From the Kasbah
My friend Eva and I at the top of the medina.
We had a free weekend this past week, and so seven of us from the group decided to go to Tangiers for a short relaxed vacation from Meknes. Tangiers is the most international part of Morocco, with influences from many parts of Europe and Africa, and is a vacation destination for many Europeans.
We arrived in Tangiers around five o'clock in the afternoon and went directly to our hotel. We stayed outside the city because most of our group was interested more in the pool and sun than the city itself. And the hotel proved to be a lovely break from the riad in Meknes. We spent Friday evening at the pool and then had small dinner at the hotel. Because we knew the hotel would be expensive we also brought Nutella and peanut butter among other snacks with us.
Because the beaches in Tangiers are not very well kept, and the water is not good for swimming, the hotel had walled off the beach from the pool, although my roommate Grace and I had a gorgeous view of the city and the water from our balcony. After dinner we ventured onto the part beach that was next to
At the cannons on the border of the new city
the part adjacent to the hotel pool and some people just put their toes in the water.
On Saturday Grace, our friend Eva, and I went into the medina to wander around see the Kasbah. Our hotel was so far outside the city that it took us almost ten minutes to get to the top of the Kasbah in the cab. When the cab dropped us off we weren't quite sure where to go, and a nice group of woman showed us the best way to walk down through the medina, and we happened upon a gorgeous view of the ocean and the harbor. We spent the morning wandering around the medina, until we wound up at the bottom of the hill. We then got lunch in the new city and walked around there for a while. We also randomly ran into another group of students from our program in Meknes.
After lunch we returned to the hotel to swim and sit in the sun. Despite only being by the pool for four hours, and applying sunscreen twice, I managed to be the only person who got sunburned. Since Tangiers is so close to Spain, our group decided
Since the weather in Meknes has been rainy, we were so excited to have such a beautiful day at the pool!
to try and get paella for dinner. The concierge gave us a recommendation for a restaurant in the new part of the city where we met up with several students from Meknes who were staying in another hotel. We showed up for dinner too early for the restaurant to be ready for us, so six of us went to a maqha to get Moroccan tea. In Morocco, the maqhas (coffeehouse) are really only for men, but we sat outside and away from the street so we were okay. IT also helped that a member of our group, Nabil, speak fluent Arabic and had studied in Tangiers several years ago. The paella at dinner was delicious, with chicken, beef, prawns, shrimp, and squid.
Unbeknownst to us before our arrival, Saturday was a very important soccer game. Morocco against Algeria in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier. We stayed in bar section of the restaurant to watch the game, and the atmosphere was electric. We had been in Meknes when Barcelona won the UEFA championship the week before, and that was crazy, but the Morocco game was insane. Morocco beat Algeria four goals to none, and the city went nuts
after the game. In the cab ride back to the hotel there were horns going off all over the place and people jumping on the back of our cabs with Moroccan flags.
We went back to Meknes early on Sunday afternoon so that we had time to relax and do our homework since we had class the following morning. We are going to Merzouga to spend the night in the Sahara this weekend, and I am really looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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