February 25, 2017 by: Diana Beach
Guests returning from one of our high altitude walks speak in wonder of Africa. We saw Africa, they cry! We didn’t know it was so close!
Morocco is just 14.3 km on the other side of the Mediterranean. And very accessible. Hence this blog is to inform you, our future guest, about a recent day trip to Tanger.
As we only had two days free we stayed one night in Tarifa at the delightful apartments of Dar Cilla, got the ferry at 10 am and arrived at 10 am (how strange is that!).
Our guide, the charming Said, organised by Dar Cilla, had booked the ferry tickets, whisked us through any formalities, and on a guided tour that lasted all day with several stops for ever more enchanting food.
We were driven around the city to see the major sights and get the lie of the land before delving into the Kasbah and Medina. Said deposited us, with passports stamped, at the ferry at 6 pm when we had to pay back the hour we had borrowed. Back in Tarifa in time for dinner at the charming Chiringuito.
Tanger is the city of intrigue, famous for spies and smugglers, writers (notably Paul Bowles of Sheltering Sky fame), musicians and intellectuals. And Matisse. Many little bars had pictures of the Rolling Stones reclining with hookahs.
We saw the other Pillar of Hercules (opposite Gibraltar), the gorgeous mouthwatering food market, an underground bread oven, rare glimpses into rich interiors hiding behind neglected facades.
Tanger is now, maybe always has been, rather dilapidated but only outwardly. The Moroccan riot of vivid colours, exceptionally good humoured people (even when you aren’t interested in buying their wares), the pure beauty of the buildings, ensure that it remains intriguing.
The most interesting aspect of the trip was the food! Against my better judgement we went to Le Saveur du Poisson. I thought I would rather take my chances with street food which has always been my favourite. But after all the guided walking I needed a sit down. And I was amazed. It ranks as one of the tastiest meals of my life. I can still taste the incredibly delicious roasted nuts with amlou, the whole roasted John Dory, the fiery but incredibly delicious bowl of chilli ( harissa I guess although they didn’t call it that but who can tell), an incredible sizzling iron dish of spinach and prawns that I shall have to try to replicate.
Truly wonderful food served by delightful men who were obviously used to tourists but the place was pleasingly full of locals. There wasn’t a menu, just a series of plates that appeared unbidden, washed down with a fermented fruit juice brewed in-house. No booze of course but one didn’t miss it although one did think one might.
So to replicate this experience, just let us know and we will put you in touch with Dar Cilla who will book Said who will take care of everything. A splendid chap who knows his stuff and, if he didn’t, he made up a good story like any quick-thinking guide does. First night in Tarifa with its wealth of nice places to eat, early ferry to Morocco, day with a guide, back on the ferry in time for dinner, and home to Dar Cilla to dreams of illusive tantalilsing Tangier.