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Monday 7 Dec
Casablanca, Morocco

Take Me to the Casbah!

I left Malaga way early--probably too early, as it turned out. I got up at 4 a.m. in order to pick up my still-drying laundry and pack for my trip. I caught the 6:30 a.m. bus from Malaga to Algeceris farther down the Spanish coast. It was still dark when I arrived at my destination. I hurriedly exited the bus, so as to walk some considerable distance to the port to catch the ferry to Morocco. I didn't notice that I failed to pick up a small shoulder bag that I keep a few items in for travel. I didn't miss it even when I was directed to the wrong ferry. By the time I got off it, the right ferry had left! That necessitated my going long distances to the offices, getting my ticket changed, getting back to departure again, explaining to the immigration officer why my passport was already stamped as having entered Morocco. When I sat down, breathless, on the ferry, I finally missed my bag. By then, the ferry was pulling away.

I was sick. My losses this time were the camera memory cards of my trip and a month's worth of written diary!

The final days of my trip were not going well. There was nothing to do, but go on. It is hard to be excited about the trip when things like this, and my stolen wallet happen.

Resignation eased into interest in my surroundings. We were cruising the waters the ancient sea-farers sailed, including one Christopher Columbus. I was amazed at how close Africa and Spain seem to each other. You can see clearly both shores. We cruised that way for a long time before turning south toward Tanger. The French called it Tangier, but today it goes by Tanger. For years it was an international city.  When I arrived at the dock, I could look back and see Spain, as well as the Rock of Gilbralter.

I was met by an older, robed man named Abdul, who offered help with a taxi and a personal tour of the sights of Tanger. Since I allowed myself only one day here, I decided to let him, for a price, of course. The taxi deposited us at the hotel in the old part of the city. Once I putmy bags away, I rejoined Abdul. We did a walking tour. First the bazaar. Then the government building that once housed the German legation until the latter days of WWII. (Remember the movie Casablanca? Morocco was under French rule then, and France, defeated by Germany, had a German controlled government. Enter Humprhey Bogart.) I would go to Casablanca the next day.

Then he pointed out the Casbah, the old fortress part of the city;

"Take me to the Casbah!" I couldn't resist saying it.

 The Casbah housed Jews and Arabs alike. Both groups lived in harmony, providing trade for each other. There is still a Jewish community here and a synagogue. We went then to the Medina, famed for its narroz streets qnd shops of all sorts. It's a fascinating place. When darkness fell, crowds filled the streets. It was a Sunday evening. Young men sat at tea shops lining the streets, watching as young women walked by. I saw no women sitting, drinking tea. Many of the women were robed in the traditional dress, which, I'ved noticed is often embellished with unique fashion designs, and many were in Western dress--jeans or fashionable skirts.

Tanger refilled me with the resolve to finish my trip, experience the culture of Morocco as I have opportunity, instead of giving up and returning home. The wanderer still wanders!

2 Comments for this Travel blog entry

Helen Samples Says:

7 December

We are sad for you that at the end of your trip we are reading of the difficulty you have experienced. YOU ARE IN OUR PRAYERS!!!

kwilkinson Replies:

10 December

Thanks...all is well, in spite of it. I have my health, and keep going as best I can.

bath mate Says:

19 December

i wanna say wow

kwilkinson Replies:

20 December

Yeah.

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  • Crossing the...

    Casablanca

    Morocco

    Crossing the Strait of Gilbralter
  • On deck

    Casablanca

    Morocco

    On deck
  • Approaching...

    Casablanca

    Morocco

    Approaching Tangier
  • Looking back...

    Casablanca

    Morocco

    Looking back toward Spain