Friday, May 13, 2011

Tangier, Morocco: Days 1 & 2

Hotel Tarik
Moroccan Lanterns
Mediterranean View
Tangier
Hotel Room
Mediterranean
Day 1
I "woke" up on my 22nd birthday on a flight to Madrid. I didn't get any sleep due to the confinement of being in the middle seat in the aisle row. I did get to see The King's Speech finally, though.
After arriving in Spain, we all waited again for the easyJet flight to Morocco, on which I actually did sleep even though it was under an hour. I woke up just in time to see most southern tip of Spain and the most northern part of Morocco, I probably could have seen the Rock of Gibraltar had there not been fog. It was beautiful. After customs and baggage claim, we were off to our hotel. Driving there I just didn't feel like I was in Morocco, party because I was delirious from lack of sleep, but everything just seemed so modern. Construction for high rise apartments are everywhere and Moroccans actually drive better than Europeans (they respect the 2 lane system).
Our hotel is a lot nicer than I thought it would be, with my room and balcony overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The pool area, also overlooking the sea, is where we have class every day. No bad.
After napping and showering after 48 hours of no bathing we all walk into the city to get money and cellphones. Walking in a huge group of mostly American women definfitely gets stares from men, which I was thoroughly warned about. I don't feel threatened or scared though, and they don't follow you. The women are at the parks watching their children play outside, which is refreshing to see compared to America. There is also a huge skateboarding park with the same neon tank, black sock wearing dudes we have in Charleston. Morocco is also known for surfing, which is surprising too.
The men all seem to convene and relax in front of cafes, Parisian style, but there are never any women at the cafes. They have a very Italian style - tight shirt, greased hair, some mohawk-mullet hybrid hair do's.
About half the women seem to wear burkas, while most don't, but everyone does dress conservatively. Oddly though, the women wear a lot of eye makeup, accentuating their already gorgeous shaped eyes. Its an interesting contrast. Morocco is a pretty liberal Arab country when it comes to these things.
We walk downtown to the more modern part, where honestly I didn't take any pictures because its not that pretty.
The money though is beautiful in more ways than one - so colorful with illustrated tilework. I need to photograph them!
We end our night back at the hotel and have a 3 course meal of local vegetable soup, swordfish and ice cream while looking at the unfiltered sunset. I don't think I have ever seen the sun look so large and mighty. Only in Africa.

MinaretBlues of MoroccoBlues of MoroccoMinaretTea KettleApartmentsCouscousBlues of MoroccoOld City WallMango Ice CreamSpanish InfluenceBlacksmith ShopHanging Flowers

Day 2
After a very French breakfast of various pastries, cheese and coffee, we had class outside by the ocean. I am taking a Current Issues in Morocco class (Poltical Science) and Arabic Lit in Tranaslation. I think I will learn a great deal from these disscussion/lectures.
Lunch is fresh salad, couscous with a whole chicken, carrots and cabbage cooked in a tagine, and pistachio yogurt. Delicious. Everyone goes in for a siesta and then we're off to see the old city.
We start up at the top of the hill where the mosque dates back to the 4th century and work our way down to the more modern developments. Its exactly like I thought it would be and better. The beautifully ornate and individual doors, vibrant tilework and the strong architectural influences of the French and Spanish rule - such a sight to see! I think my pictures can do more of the talking....
We stop for ice cream and mint tea - a Moroccan specialty - along the way. When I get back home I know exactly what I am going to make with all the mint growing in our backyard!

5 comments:

  1. Ohh it looks devine.
    Have a good time..look forward 2 more morrocanthemed posts!

    x

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  2. My favorite line is "...with my room and balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea." How cool is that?!?! After only your first post, Morocco is on my list of places to go. Also on one of my lists? Your camera. I must have one. We shall discuss over Moroccan mint tea this summer!

    Oh, and I can't wait to hear about your Arabic Lit. in Translation class!

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  3. absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the post and the pics. More please:)

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  4. Breathtaking! It sounds like such a magical experience! I can't wait to see more pictures. ♥

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  5. oh my god! these pictures are incredible! i want to be there NOW.

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