Travelling to Tangier

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April 5th 2011
Published: April 5th 2011
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Train StationTrain StationTrain Station

There was something about this picture that I really liked.
I decided to take an earlier train to Tangier today. It was going to be a 5 to 6 hours trip: therefore, I wanted to get it out of the way and enjoy an afternoon in Tangier. I grabbed the quick breakfast that was included with the room, hopped in a Deathtrap (Petit Taxi and yes, this one fit the description to a T) and off we lurched to the train station. I splurged on a first class ticket so I could have some quiet in which to read. It was only 185 Dirhams (divide by 8 for an estimate what it was in American dollars.) The trip was smooth and rather uneventful. Several people came and went from my compartment, but it was a quiet ride. I was thrown for a loop though when I asked one person if he was gong to Tangier and he replied that the train wasn't going there. Oops, did I do it again? Nope, he had boarded the wrong train, so got back off. My heart always drops a little at those moments. I like to think it keeps me young, but I don't think it does. It does make traveling an adventure for sure.

Once we reached the Tangier station, I was again hit up by several people wanting to take me to their taxi. It is a bit intimidating, but I managed to pick one (or be picked by one I really don't know) and off we went. He dropped me off at a small courtyard area and had a teenager grab my luggage to take me to the hotel. I just thought it was because the roads in the Kasbah are so small that a car couldn't drive up to the hotel. As he dropped me at La Tangerina, the beautiful hotel I am staying at, he offered to take me around later. Yes, I knew this was a set up to go shopping for rugs as well as pay him, but as winding and confusing as the streets are here, I said yes. Inside the hotel, I was given the most incredible mint tea and cookies at a table up on the roof overlooking the ocean. The weather is terrible today, overcast, gray, windy as the dickens, but it was still nice to sit up there and unwind for a bit. I had to check out how they made the tea because it was so darn good. It seemed to be fresh mint leaves and sugar. No tea bag, no dried mint, no wonder. I finished up and went downstairs for my tour.

Since I knew what I was getting into, I accepted that this was a prelude to shopping. He took me to several good vantage points for pictures and gave me a lot of interesting information about the Kasbah, Medina and Tangier. We practically galloped through the streets we went so fast. It was fine with me as the weather was getting worse. Finally, out of nowhere we ended up at (are you ready for this??? ) a rug shop. Not just any rug shop, but one run by Berbers. I declined the tea, tried to get out of the sales pitch, but when I made a break for it the man made an offer that I was actually ok with. So yes, I now have a real Berber made rug for my bedroom. It is the most beautiful blue. My hope is that I won't get it home and find a Made in China sticker on the back. Actually, I do have a feeling that it is a real Berber made rug. At least that is what I am choosing to believe, so it must be true.

I rested at the hotel for a bit before heading out to dinner. The directions I had were so vague that I had no idea where to go, but I did have the name of a restaurant. Not to worry, as soon as I left the door, I was accosted by someone offering to take me around. No polite no thanks yous would stop it, so I put on my bad-ass face once more and walked off ignoring him. As I came around the corner, I saw where the taxi had dropped me. I had a feeling it was a set up with that teenager, and I was right. Ah, it is all part of traveling and I have accepted it. The restaurant recommended to me was right outside the Kasbah gate. They had a trio singing Arabic songs, or at least that is what it sounded like. I had marinated olives and bread, then the most delicious soup that tasted like it had some tomato and garbanzo beans. They left a tureen of it on the table, so when no one was looking I had a second helping. Don't shake your head, I was hungry and they are the ones who left it there. They should consider themselves lucky I didn't just scoot it over and eat right out of the tureen. After that I had chicken tangine with lemon. Again, delicious. The sauce was so good that several pieces of bread just fell right into it, soaking it up. What was I to do, leave them? Nope, I ate every bit of that sauce on the bread. Cookies and mint tea were dessert. At first I thought there was a little mold on a cookie, but it turned out to be something baked inside. Sure tasted good. It honestly was the best meal I have had in days and only cost 200 Dirhams. I may go back tomorrow.

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Entrance to KasbahEntrance to Kasbah
Entrance to Kasbah

And Kasbah just means fort

5th April 2011

Hey there!! Sounds like you are having a great time and I am very happy for you!!! I can't wait to see the rug and if it is made somewhere else, cut off the label!!! I am glad you are using your "bad ass" face to keep people away.. I hope it works on others better than it worked on me!! LOL! Love and miss you!!!!
6th April 2011

Hi B, Even though it wasn't the center of this blog I keep thinking of the petit taxi. Every time I read about it I get the mental picture of moms old Honda civic with all 5 of us piling into it to save gas. To complete the picture you have to remember it after she did her "body" work to it with spray paint and steel wool. Thanks for the great blog and pics! Have fun. Ted
6th April 2011

you made me laugh
Oh Ted, I actually sat here and laughed out loud thinking about that Civic. Yes, it would absolutely fit right in here as a petit taxi. And thanks for the support. I am doing my best to have a good trip. Wait for tonight's entry. Just picture a camel ride on a deserted beach.
7th April 2011

Hi B, All the pictures are gorgeous. What a great adventure and you really had me laughing thinking of you holding the door closed on the mini taxi! Have lots more fun and I can't wait to read the next installment. xoxo. K
7th April 2011

Thanks, it was a ride for sure.
7th April 2011

Not to mention putting your families height into a little car like that!!!! Did Ted mention to you that the new word now is ROR (Raugh out Roud) LOL!!! I'm enjoying your daily blogs and look forward the the Camel adventure..... Keep those pictures and blogs coming.
7th April 2011

Raugh out Roud, I love it. I will do my best to keep this updated, but the Godess of Technology is a cruel Mistress, sigh.
25th April 2011

these are some of my favorite pictures.
16th October 2011

Hi Brendan
Really enjoyed reading this blog. We are heading to Morocco on Friday. Can't wait to explore!

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