Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mysterious Tangier, Morocco. . . . . . . . . . . .


Tangier, the 'White City', is one of the oldest and most vibrant cities in Morocco, 
and it has quite an air of mystery surrounding it. The lively souks, ancient mosques
 and Grand Sorocco (market place) offer a much different world.  Just a stone's throw
 from Spain's familiar Costas, and a ferry ride across the Straits of Gibraltar, Tangier 
is a northern gateway to the continent of Africa.

We had just a day to explore when our ship docked on a cool damp morning
 and we decided to walk into the city and do our own tour on foot.
Of course we did get lost, more than once, but we did see some interesting 
places and people. 

It was difficult to take photos of anything much when it started raining quite hard.
 Local people were definitely not thrilled when I pulled out the camera from 
under my raincoat and pointed it in their direction. . . . . . . .all except the 
smiling gentleman in the window below. He waved and seemed thrilled to 
have his photo taken, and I thanked him profusely from my vantage point 
in the narrow street below. 

Whereas, once in the crammed market places selling anything and everything 
imaginable, recognizable, or otherwise, the hundreds of people, including 
complete families as it was Sunday and a huge shopping day, and the
 shopkeepers, would wave me away and hide their severe faces. I love to 
photograph people going about their daily lives but here I realized
 that it was both a religious and/or a cultural thing not to permit photos, 
so I only managed a few.

The streets and markets were not a comfortable place to be for me whilst
 dealing with a cold rain requiring an umbrella all whilst negotiating dangerous,
 slippery narrow hills, speeding traffic, and huge throngs of local people.
 I had been warned that stepping out onto the streets of Tangier is a daunting
 experience for the uninitiated. However, putting up with a relentless barrage
 of beggars, so-called 'guides' and souvenir sellers made a lasting impression
 and I was able to absorb a little north African culture in just a few
 hours of sightseeing.



The tagine - one of Morocco's most common dishes.
Cunard's Queen Victoria from the hillsides of Tangier.


Leaving Tangier (click here for more on the colorful history) Morocco on the evening tide. 

We had walked up and down those hills through the medina, the old city, but I
 wouldn't relish doing it again in just a few hours. If there's a next time, which is
 doubtful, it might be fun to have a few days with time to learn one's way around,
 hopefully in sunshine with a parasol rather than an umbrella!


Surprise, had to share this with you.
The laundry lady did look out first, but didn't smile or wave for me like the
 man next door!


8 comments:

  1. She does look a bit stern. ☺ A fascinating place and very unlike anything I know.

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  2. Well, you did get some wonderful pictures. Same thing in New Mexico and Arizona. American Indians don't want their pictures taken there.

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  3. You have some very good images of the people Mary regardless of the weather and also the lack of wanting to participate. I do like to see photos of the indeginious people but understand their reluctance as I feel the same myself. Have only visited Morocco during sunny weather but did travel up and over the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech through snow, but then back into the sunshine again and the Sahara Dessert

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  4. Dear Mary, I'm not surprised that you met with unhappy faces. Many cultures do not like to have their pictures taken. They believe that their souls are being stolen from them.
    Especially in Morocco it is dangerous to take pictures especially of women.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

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  5. Oh my goodness, what a colourful place. I know for a fact that taking photos and carrying an umbrella is not easy, which is why I usually leave my umbrella at home and hope that a rain jacket will do the trick of keeping me dry.

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  6. In spite of the many obstacles you took some great photos of Tangiers.

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  7. I can feel your discomfort with the rain and cold and treacherous street...surprised you got the most beautiful photos. I would have been miserable!! I admire your tenacity and drive, Mary. Always have.

    Thanks for your posts on your adventures. Perfect for cold windy days here indoors.

    Jane x

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  8. Wonderful, wonderful photos! I always feel a bit awkward about photographing people. Loved the laundry lady and the one with the yellow hat. Oh and the textures of the walls and streets, just lovely to see.

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