After my somewhat-less-than-wonderful time in Marrakech, I looked forward to moving on to Tangier. My overnight train ride between the two cities was fun and comfortable enough (at least, for a tall person like me!). I arrived at the Tangier train station very early in the morning and knew my hostel wouldn’t be open yet, so I sat at a cafe within the station and drank cup after cup of delicious coffee and chatted with a fellow traveler.
When dawn broke, I strolled outside to look for a cab, which proved easy enough. The driver dropped me as close as possible to my hostel which was in a walled part of the city with narrow alleys – no cars could enter. He pointed to an opening in the wall to indicate (I guess) it was somewhere in there! Another man came along and said he’d help me find my hostel. I have to admit, I thought, “Oh boy, here we go again.” But, I had no other way of finding it – the alleys are a maze. This kind man showed me the way through the narrow, winding streets of colorful homes, crowded one atop the other. I wanted to stop every two seconds to take pictures, but didn’t want to hold him up. When we arrived at the hostel, I offered him a tip for his help. He laughed and said something to the effect of, “Ah, you’ve just come from Marrakech.” He said no thanks, that he was happy to help, then was on his way. A kind man, indeed.
Now speaking of my hostel….
….I absolutely loved it. I don’t usually post photos of the hostels I stay in. They’re generally nice, but this one – I wanted to move in! So lush with interesting architectural detail, antiques and colors!
The name is Bayt Alice. I’ve no idea why it’s called that, but if you’re ever in Tangier…..
….I do recommend it.
The communal kitchen is pretty tiny, but I usually ate out anyway. There are plenty of cheap places to eat.
And with a breakfast like this, you’ve got a pretty good start to your day.
Such a cool place.
I wandered over to the town square. Or, at least, one of them. There appeared to be a few scattered about the city. This one just happened to be within walking distance for me.
This is the local mosque.
I found a place near the shore that made this delicious potato, egg, omelet thing. I returned more than once. Really delicious.
I found it was easy to communicate in Spanish here. Tangier, after all, is just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, so the language is familiar here. I’m not the best Spanish speaker in the world, but I could make do.
Some more wandering. It was similar to the souks in Marrakech, but somehow a bit more open. You could still get totally lost in here (half the fun!).
You can’t miss these steps!
I went on an excursion one day with a young woman from my hostel. I can’t, for the life of me, remember her name. It was a name I’d never heard before. I keep thinking it was something like Cersei, but then I remember, no, that’s from Game of Thrones. Anyway, she was lovely and we had a fun day.
Continuing up to the view…..
There’s my excursion-mate-whose-name-starts-with-a-C up ahead.
I passed this car along the way and thought it was cute. For some reason, my camera was set for ‘sparkle!’
My nameless friend wanted to find a place she’d heard the Stones (the Rolling kind) had hung out at back in the 60’s. We found it.
On a sunny day, I imagine it might be quite nice.
As it happened that day, it was pouring rain, we were cold and soaking wet, huddling in a small, wet room with a leaking ceiling and wrapping our hands around glasses of hot tea while a large group of men sitting nearby played a lively game of dominoes. All in all, an adventurous good time!
Another day I went to the Kasbah Museum.
As always, the museum itself was a museum piece. Beautiful architectural detail.
More marvelous tile than you can shake a stick at.
I found this next item particularly interesting because my mother (quite the world traveler, she) had brought one home many years ago. It’s something I grew up with. It’s a scribe’s toolkit, so to speak from the time when many people couldn’t read or write. They would hire a scribe who carried his (most likely his) pen and ink in this brass carrying case and he would write letters and such for people at a cost.
I’m not sure why they have the stick in the inkwell (which would normally have a lid), but there we are.
This is an astrolabe from the early 18th century.
There’s an incredibly intricate mosaic floor at the center of the building. Viewing is best from an upper balcony.
It’s called the Navigation of Venus.
I lurv this tile.
Cute cat, no?
Speaking of cats…
…this is one of my favorite memories from Tangier. I was crouched down to take this picture when I noticed a woman in my peripheral vision looking to see what it was that I was photographing. She was a woman a little older than me, wearing a hijab and carrying a basket of veggies she’d apparently just bought. When I stood up, our eyes met and for a moment, just a brief moment, we smiled at what a cute sight it was to see this cat asleep on this motorcycle. Then she was on her way. Moments like this are, in my opinion, one of the most valuable things about traveling. That two people from vastly different cultures, languages and histories, could both relate to such a simple thing and smile. Priceless.