Tangier is a medium sized city (700k people) on the NW corner of Morocco at the entrance to the Straight of Gibraltar. We went on a tour with 12 others arranged by Miriam Cole thru Cruisecritic.
Less hectic than Casablanca, it is nevertheless a busy city with a bustling marketplace. Our tour guide Abdul, was very knowledgable. We toured the outskirts first driving by the summer palace of the King. We stopped high on a hill overlooking the city and saw several beautiful but deserted beaches.
After heading back into town we did a 3 hour walking tour. In the market were hundreds of vendors selling spices e.g., safron, fruit, vegetables, fish, meats and dry goods. They speak arabic, french and some english. We stopped at a carpet store for the traditional tourist sales spiel. Next we visited an apothecary where they make their own skin lotions, perfumes and package spices. Marie bought some natural oils and skin cream that are free of preservatives etc. I bought a leather belt and some saffron.
People were friendly, many of them smiling as we passed each other. However it is a hard life here, many people are just surviving and we were constantly approached by men selling scarves, belts and other things. A gentle no and they would cease. In one area, kids would approach us selling cigarettes, chewing gum and kleenex tissue.
Abdul took us to a restaurant for a traditional Moroccan lunch. Half the group were not interested and this caused a big confusion as they had already started serving everyone bread, olives, spreads and soup. None of us were interested in a big lunch. We ended up walking out after paying 5 euro each. The owner was nice about it but obviously disappointed.
Finally we were taken back to the ship saying goodbye to Abdul who did a reasonably good job except for the captive sales pitches we had to endure.
The weather is getting warmer. We are off to the Captain’s meet and greet tonight – fancy, fancy.