Wednesday May 22

Trip Start Apr 18, 2013
Trip End Jul 09, 2013

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Flag of Morocco  , Tangier-Tetouan,
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Heading for Tangier in Morocco, Africa today. We dock at 11am and leave at 7pm.
Ron and I will conduct our own walking tour.

This morning from about 7am until 8.30am we passed though the Straits of Gibraltar. We had breakfast on deck and watched it go by. The Straits of Gibraltar is 30 sea miles long and at its smallest section near Tarifa is 7.5 sea miles wide. The average depth is 700m. It is between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.

The half island of Gibraltar lies on the southern point of Spain. The chalk Mountain in front of Gibraltar is 1250m wide and 425m high. The Rock of Gibraltar is 425m high, 4.8km long and up to 1.4 km wide and looms out of the sea. The city of Gibraltar lies to its west.

We got up to an early breakfast and headed off to the Medina. A pleasant 22 degrees today. On the way we had to head off a plethora of taxi drivers and would be guides who wanted our money. Needless to say we were too smart for them. One fellow however was walking in our direction and struck up a conversation with us in very good English. It seemed he was going everywhere that we were going. Every time we turned around there he was. Amazing coincidence hey? Finally I asked him to leave us alone but he begged to help us get the most from our visit and Susie succumbed to his 'charm' and price of 10 Euros.

We saw the Medina, Great Souk, Small Souk, Kasbah Citadell from the 17th century built by Ahmed Ibn Ali, the Pascha from Tanger, the Great Mosque (Jemaa Kebira) built in the 17th century by Moulay Ismail and the Bab Eric Raha with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean.

It was good for awhile as he took us to hidden fish markets that we would probably have missed and little weavers rooms upstairs above the bustling streets and so on. Finally he landed us in a large shop (which was really his major goal) and the shop keeper captured us for about 20 minutes showing us rugs and cloth made by the different peoples of and around Tangier. Susie enjoyed learning about the difference between berber, arabian and bedouin woven carpets. Finally we put an end to that and said we were only interested in a pair of shoes for Ron. While Ron tried the shoes Susie found a mass of handbags for all the girls that she also wanted.The price? OMG you would have thought we were in Harrods! 45E for a leather handbag that would have fetched 15E in a normal stall and 55E for a little woven bedouin backpack for Addi. We offered a fair price and stuck to it. We were supposed to feel obligated since he forced us to listen to his carpet lecture. Anyway we escaped with the leather shoes at a fair price of 15E. Sorry girlies! I am not sure how we would have managed to pack all those bags into our cases!!

On our own once again we struck out for the main city. We walked along the esplanade. We saw the huge marinas that they were building. Someone is sinking money into that place.

We grabbed a coffee and pizza in a posh beach front restaurant and enjoyed the distant view of our ship. One the way back we searched for the shopping street but they didn't seem to have the big shops. We stumbled upon the Mosque and the Cathedral and the top end of the Kasbah. Here we enjoyed another distant view of our ship but this time from the other side. We covered quite a distance.

Did you know that 'posh' stands for 'portside out and starboard home'? The rich used to have their cabins and the luggage stored in the ships on the none sunny side so posh was written on their luggage.

The Kasbah is the original fortified town with its tiny lane ways and buildings opening directly onto the lanes. It was a real rabbit warren and we were running out of time. We asked a a local to point to the direction to get out but of course he insisted on taking us and we felt obliged to pay him 1E. That was ok.

We got to the ship with minutes to spare and headed up to the deck for a quick beer while they played the departure music.

We had sucked the eyes out of another destination and stretched our legs with hours of walking.

Onward to Lisbon in Portugal. 300 sea miles or 556 km.
The entertainment tonight is the dance group Sofystichic performing 'Mamma Mia'.
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Paul on

Damn! I just noticed a glitch in Travelpod. When you click on the first thumbnail on the diary page you don't get to the first image in the album; it skips a couple or three. Double damn! Now I'm gunna have to go back over the whole 35 days and look at the photos I missed. This virtual touring is exhausting ;-)

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