So much has happened since I left Pinos del Valle, Spain.
I’ve gone from Spain to Tangier, Morrocco on the African continent to the eastern European country of Romania which at one time was behind the Iron Curtain!
I had a birthday!!! I didn’t receive a single gift! Haha, it’s ok. Everyone knows I don’t want any more stuff. The only thing I want is money, but I’d never say that because it sounds rude. Come to think of it, I haven’t given any birthday gifts either, so I’d say we’re even!
Speaking of “stuff” – I lightened up a bit and left behind 3 books and 7 items of clothing. My suitcase zips closed more easily now without unzipping the expansion zipper.
I can’t wait to tell you all about Morocco…
(LOL, that brings back memories of diary entries from my youth.)
Our very first African adventure was a pretty tame day-trip by ferry to Tangier, Morocco from Tarifa, Spain.
The Rick Steves guidebook advised that purchasing a 5-hour tour would cost less than the round trip ferry ticket and included a short city bus tour, a walk through the Medina (old town) and Souk (market), a visit to the Kasbah (fortress) and lunch – as well as required stops at the carpet and artisan craft shops.
Purchasing The Tour, we were given a return ferry ticket and a sticker to display on our clothes announcing to all the good people of Tangier that we were “taken” and not needful of their their help, their taxi ride, their guide services and that a kick-back would be expected by our guide for any purchases.
We debated on whether to actually go on the tour or remove the sticker and head out on our own. Deciding to give it a try, we knew we could bale if we didn’t like it. Disembarking with our identifying sticker we were promptly claimed and led to a full size tour bus. We were the only clients that day so it became a private tour and we were extremely pleased with it in the end.
What Tangier wasn’t…
Tangier was not noisy. Venders were not pushy, neither beggars grabby. Tangier was not chaotic nor scary. Poor, but not filthy. We never felt unsafe. We were thankful for our guide, especially in the narrow, winding alleys of the Medina.
We toured on a Friday, the Muslim holy day, and were told the city was quieter and many shops were closed for Friday prayers.
What Tangier was…
Tangier air was fragrant from bread baking in communal ovens and the bouquet of a variety of spices. Tangier was melodic with the singsong reading of the Quran over a loudspeaker. Tangier was colorful – from the color of houses and riot of colorful tiles, to the displays of farm-fresh produce in the market and women wearing brightly colored caftans. Tangier was tasty. We sampled fresh goat cheese and pistachio baklava.
We enjoyed our first visit to Morocco and would consider a return visit.
Presently we are currently in Romania.
Romania is a big country. We stayed 6 nights in Bucharest, 5 nights in the Transylvania towns of Brasov, Sighisoara, and Sibiu, 2 nights in Arad and arrived last night in Timisoara. We just moved into an apartment overlooking the Piata Victorei which is surrounded by cafes and restaurants. We are a little road weary and are looking forward to a week in one location to recharge our batteries!
There’s been much ado about a lad named Vlad – but that’s a story for next week when – I’ll Meet You in the Morning.
Thanks for reading. Ciao!