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Pressing on to Tangier

December 6, 2021

Our time in Casablanca was brief. After a good sleep in my comfortable hotel, Le Doge, the next morning we set off for another three hour drive, to Tangier. Along the way we stopped at Abdou’s sister’s home in Bouznika for our second breakfast. According to Abdou, it is not unusual for Moroccans to have an early breakfast, then tuck in again for more sustenance before lunch! Along with the usual tea (sweet or not), came almond cake, baguettes, honey, jam, olive oil, soft cheese and olives. (I have eaten an unconscionable amount of bread on this trip!)

Abdou and Zachariah

More charming children, especially little Rian.

The landscape here has changed again, to more lush fields and large groves of olive, banana and avocado trees, and small herds of cows and sheep graze the rolling hillsides. At lunchtime we stopped in Assilah, a lovely small fishing town, where we enjoyed a very cheap (160 MAD, about $16 for the three of us) spread of lightly fried fish, calamari, shrimp and frites, then strolled through the quiet medina inside the ancient city walls.

Just outside Tangier we stopped at the Caves of Hercules, a rather kitschy tourist spot but interesting geologically. As myth has it, Hercules created the caves during his seven labors when he ripped Africa away from Europe at this spot. On one side the mighty Atlantic crashes against the cave walls, while on the other the more gentle Mediterranean waves lap against the rock. The inside is a combination of natural formations created by weather and water and man-made carving. Another legend has it that the famous Barbary monkeys that inhabit Gibralter (just 8 miles away), made their way there through tunnels under the sea from these very caves.

This area is called Cap Spartat, and there’s a handsome lighthouse pointed out toward Gibralter. We got there about 5:30 and walked around a bit, to see where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea meet, marked by a fingerpost sign. But I could tell my guides/companions weren’t Caves of Hercules

photographers, who would have stayed for what promised to be a spectacular sunset in about 45 minutes. Since we’d had a long day of driving, I didn’t press it!

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