Tag Archives: Morocco

  Our Trip to Spain Part 7B

4 May

A Slice of Life

Bill LItes

Day 6 (Continued)

We enjoyed an excellent lunch, while musicians played quiet Moroccan music in the background as we ate.  Everyone seemed to be excited and were all talking at the same time, about the things they were going to do and see while we were in Morocco.  It was a very relaxing time for all of us after the excitement of our tour thru the bazaar and the walking tour of Tangier.

Photo Credit:DiVoran Lites

As we were finishing our lunch, the musicians began to play rhythmic Moroccan music, and a dancer appeared on the small stage to perform for us.  We were to find that these shikhat dancers were a common entertainment for tourist no matter where or what the occasion; at lunch, dinner, or any other special event. After the performance was over, we went to our room and were given time to finish unpacking our things and have another short rest.

Photo Credit:Bill Lite

That afternoon, the ones of our group who wanted to, boarded a bus for a short trip thru some 25 miles of Morocco’s picturesque countryside, to visit the small town of Asilah located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.  This old walled town (medina) was built by the colonial Portuguese in the 15thcentury.  The medina is an art center now, known for its many murals and the annual Moussem Culturel d’Asilah festival that takes place there. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

We toured the village with its narrow streets and its many small shops while our Program Director explained the many points of interest to us.  We walked along some the old walls of the city with many of its newer buildings located on, what seemed to be, the very foundations of the walls, which gave them a grand view of the ocean.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

On the way back to our hotel in Tangier, our Program Director pointed out several beautiful villas (Villa De Ojen) and luxury hotel complexes (La Mirage Hotel) along the Moroccan countryside, that cater to the rich and famous.  Everyone in the group was impressed, but I don’t think anyone was ready to shell-out the kind of dirhams (Moroccan dollars) it would take to stay in one of those establishments for any length of time.

Villa De Ojen Photo Credit:Bill Lites
Photo Credit Bill Lites La Mirage Hotel

                                               

We made a quick stop at a small fishing village, also situated on the Atlantic seashore.  DiVoran remembers that all the houses in the village were white, and we were told a person could tell who lived in the houses by the color of the doors.  Blue doors indicated a fisherman’s home, and a green door indicated a farmer’s home.  We weren’t really sure what significance, if any, there was to being able to identify who lives in the house, but that was the story we were told.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Our Trip to Spain-Part 6

20 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 6

Today was the first day of our optional two-day overnight trip to Morocco and Tangiers.  After a good night’s rest, and a great breakfast at the Bajondillo, we boarded the bus for our trip to Gibraltar.  It seems that the bus ride must have been coordinated with the ferry schedule, as we had time for a quick bus tour around the Rock of Gibraltar, which is a 1400-foot-high limestone monolith, and is famous the world over.  This gave our Program Director a chance to describe some of the local points of interest while we watched the ever-present, and mischievous, Barbary Macaque monkeys torment the tourists as we passed by them.   By then it was time to board the ferry for Morocco.  

Photo Credit: https://www.euractiv.com/spain/gibraltar/

It was a beautiful day for the ferry ride, and we enjoyed the 1½ hour trip across the Mediterranean.  I was surprised to learn that Gibraltar and North Africa are only 9-miles apart at the Strait of Gibraltar.  It was on this ferry trip that we got our first glimpse of how the 9/11/01 terror attack, on the World Trade Center, had affected many of the people around the world.  We were surprised when a Muslim family came up to us and said, “We are very sorry about that terrible thing that happened in America.”  We could tell that they were truly sorry about what had happened and wanted us to know that it wasn’t the way of all Muslims.  We were very appreciative of their sympathy with the U.S.

Photo Credit: https://travel.davidmbyrne.com/morocco-spain-ferry/

When we docked in Africa, our group boarded a bus for the short trip to Tangier.  Our Program Director pointed out several points of interest along the way.  He informed us that he had arranged for a local guide to help him escort us on our walking tour of the city and the local bazaar.  He made it especially clear, that for our safety during our entire tour of the city, we should listen closely to him and our local tour guide for instructions, and for all of us to stay together.  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

When we arrived in Tangier, Our Program Director introduced us to the local tour guide, and told us that he spoke fluent English (although with a British accent), and that he would be able to answer any questions we might have during our tour of the city and its many points of interest we would be visiting. He also informed us of the informal itinerary for the day, which would include a trip thru the local bazaar, a stop at a one of the more popular carpet shops, and other shops, as we strolled thru the crowded streets of Tangier.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Our first adventure (and what an adventure that was) was a tour thru the local bazaar (souk).  As we strolled thru the open market, we were surrounded by an amazing verity of foods; including all kinds of exotic fruits, vegetables, spices, oils, and an amazing display of every kind of fresh fish and meats imaginable.  What an outstanding experience that was.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next was a leisurely stroll thru some of the streets of Tangier, where we saw a small privately owned pottery shop that displayed some of their beautifully created original plate ware outside.  I thought it was a very smart idea the owner had come up with, to place his/her samples on the inside of the entry doors so they were displayed when the doors were opened out.

Photo Credit: DiVoran Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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