Tag Archives: Travel in Spain

 Our Trip to Spain-Part 8

11 May

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 6 (Continued)

When we arrived back in Tangier, we were delivered at our hotel, where we had time for a short rest and a change of clothes before we headed for our next adventure.  We were taken to the palace (kasbah) of the local leader there in Tangier, where we admired the beautiful palace grounds, gardens, and kasbah guards.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Photo credit: Bill Lites

One of the horsemen guards even let me hold his gun (under his watchful eye) for a photo.  This didn’t give me a lot of confidence about the security of the kasbah.  I’m not sure when that gun was manufactured, but it sure wasn’t any time during the 20th century.

Photo Credit: DiVoran Lites

The guards were friendly (I think they were really mostly there for show) and our Moroccan tour guide talked them into allowing us to have our picture taken with them (They look pretty friendly don’t they, with their big smiles and all).

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Photo credit:Bill Lites

After our tour of the kasbah, and just before sunset, we were taken to an area where we were served a delicious traditional Moroccan dinner (the only course I can remember the name of was ‘couscous’) in an authentic Moroccan tent.  Before and after our meal we were entertained with a folkloric show, which included traditional Moroccan music, and of course, belly dancers (there  they were again).

Photo Credit: Bill Lites 

The food was excellent, and the show was wonderful.  There were also several specialty acts, as part of the show, such as a fire eater who entertained us with his fiery torches and feats of daring (didn’t seem very smart in a canvas tent, but hey, who was I to complain).  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites 

One of the performers (I called him the ‘Candle Man’) was a juggler of sorts, who spun plates on a stick, twirled steel hoops in all kinds of positions, and walked around the stage area, in various positions, balancing a tray of burning candles on his head.

Photo Credit: DiVoran Lites

Then there was this acrobat (who I called rubber girl) who could tie herself up in knots, you wouldn’t believe possible, while we watched.  She put herself into some of the most amazing poses, most of which were while she was balancing in some unimaginable position.  All of the acts were great, and we enjoyed the entire performance.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After the performance was over, we asked a couple of the performers if we could have our picture taken with them, and they were kind enough to do that for us.  We had our picture taken with one of the belly dancers that performed that night.

Photo Credit: Bill Lite

And of course, we had to have our picture taken with the ‘Candle Man’ as he was bobbing around the tent.  He would stop at each table, showing off his balancing act, while having his picture taken with many of the folks in our group.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After dinner, and the show was concluded, the ones of our group who wanted to, were invited outside to take a short camel ride.  DiVoran was a good sport and was elevated to new heights on her Berber camel.  She said, “Ahmed, the camel handler, was very polite and gently helped me on a stool and onto the camel, and we walked around for a little while.  Then after the camel had stopped and had kneeled down, Ahmed helped me down and said, ‘You pay me one dollar now please.’  I was glad to be off that camel and was happy to pay Ahmed his fee.” After that great meal, the exciting show, and the short camel ride, our group was bussed back to our hotel for the evening.  I, for one, was looking forward to my bed and a good night’s rest.

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 7A

27 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 6 (Continued)

Then we were taken to a Moroccan carpet shop, where we were all seated around this large display room with the walls covered with an assortment of smaller rugs.  DiVoran remembers that they were very insistent that we wanted to purchase one of their fine carpets.  She kept telling them that she didn’t want to buy a carpet, but they must have thought their salesmanship would win her over, and kept at her until she finally said emphatically, ‘NO!’

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The owner would explain the style and origin of his finest carpets (wall samples) and then ask if anyone had a favorite they wanted to see in full-size.  I guess, as with most tour groups, there were several couples who were interested in purchasing Moroccan carpets.  When someone picked a particular wall sample, two of his helpers would find and bring out that carpet and roll it out on the floor in front of us.  The selection was huge and amazing, and the workmanship was outstanding.  If the customer decided to purchase the carpet, the owner might barter with the customer over the price some, which would include the cost and  method of transportation of their carpet back to the United States, or whatever country they were from, as part of the deal.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After the carpet store, on another street, the aroma of freshly baked bread wafted into our nostrils.  We stopped at a small bakery, where DiVoran and I, and several other people, bought samples of the different types of breads that were available for sale (some still warm from the oven).  There was the typical Moroccan flat bread, square decorative breads, and small buns.  Once we had completed our purchases, we stepped outside, and all shared our different breads around the group.  What a taste treat that was.  What a tragedy, that today that kind of group activity can’t be enjoyed!

Photo Credit: https://www.virginlimitededition.com/bread-making-class/

It made it very convenient to have two tour guides for our walk thru the streets of Tangier.  That way, if some wanted to stop at a certain shop, the rest of the group could continue with the other guide.   We bought a few souvenir items for our family as we browsed the many shops and, after assembling back with the rest of our group, were ready when our tour guide said it was time to head to the hotel for lunch.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

We boarded the bus which took us to the Hotel Ahlen, located in the Karima Quarter of Tangier, where we were to spend the night.  We were assigned our rooms and told where to assemble for lunch.  We unpacked our things and had time for a short rest before we were called for lunch.  Our lunch was served in a large dining room at the Ahlem Restaurant there in the hotel. 

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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