Bob and I arrived in Tangier, Morocco on Dec 6th via a ferry from Tarifa, Spain. We crossed the Straits of Gibraltar on a fairly clear day and the waves made it just a bit shaky for my stomach, but I made it with no mishaps.
Lorraine, our property manager greeted us with a warm smile. The drive to the apartment was eye opening. We turned on a street that did not look like a street and honked our way up the hill nudging pedestrians out of the way to our corner.
Now corner really isn’t quite right in that it’s a alley-like-walkway with a water spigot at the end. This is my landmark to get to the apartment. We haul the luggage up the walkway, take a left and then a right and stop in front of a beautiful muted orange door and we are home.
Our apartment in on the third floor of a newly renovated building with a balcony overlooking the Bay of Tangier. Stunning view! The sun streams in making for a cheery place to stay. The bedrooms are on inside walls, but each room has a window to bring in the light. We call them our Mr. Ed doors. “Willllburr” Every morning one of us sticks our head out the window and acts like Mr. Ed and we laugh every time. Silly fun!
We have been exploring much here. Everything is so different. The Medina and Kasbah make up the ancient city and are a maze of cobblestone alleys and streets. We live just on the edge of this area and I do most of my grocery shopping here. I have my favorite fruit guys, and a few great vegetable guys.
Once out of the Medina, Tangier is the “new” city, with brand name stores and a modern grocery store. It’s a very welcoming city.
When I first arrived, I was a bit nervous about being a woman in a Muslim country, but my uneasiness was quickly eliminated. Before we arrived, I was told that I would need to be careful. They said that I would be stared at for the way I dressed, that I would be bothered by men trying to sell me stuff, and I could not go into cafes by myself.
No one stared, a few people tried to sell me stuff, but they were just trying to make a living (now they ignore us) but I still felt funny going into a cafe.
Every cafe I walked by had only men. They would line the outside of the cafe enjoying mint tea, reading the paper or chatting with other men. For the first few days, I never saw any women. What is a woman to do? Where will I enjoy a cup of coffee and get some work done? I was determined to find my cafe.
One day while trying to find a cafe, I noticed two women sitting outside a quiet restaurant enjoying breakfast. They were clearly European in that one had fashionable pink hair and the other blue hair. I walked right up to them and asked, “Where can a woman go for a quiet breakfast and a cup of coffee?” They laughed, invited me to sit down and we are now friends. Deb and Sue are sisters from Manchester, England living in Tangier. They have taught me the ropes of Tangier. I now have three favorite cafes. We also were invited to a wonderful English Christmas dinner. Ann, their mom, is visiting from England too.
When I’m not in a cafe writing, Bob and I are out exploring. We took a lovely hike next to the Atlantic Ocean and one along the Bay of Tangier.
That’s all for now. We are in Tangier until mid February, so stay tuned for more adventures.