Posted by: Gary Guertin | November 30, 2011

18. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #16 Tangier, Morocco

Hi All,

I’m going to disappoint you on Tangier, the city of intrigue, snake charmers, veiled women, etc., etc..  Susy and I both have bad colds (as almost the entire ship), so while I went out to the terminal to look around, Susy didn’t venture far from the ship.

Tangier, and Morocco for that matter, has always been an important port on the northwestern coast of Africa.  It is built on the slopes of a chalky limestone hill, and was especially famous pre-WWII when it was a favorite retreat for the European elite and full of spies (from all “sides”) who mingled in smoky Tangier bars.  It had the reputation as an “anything goes” city.  It went through a period as a banking center, and was known as an “offshore” depository of choice – legitimate.., and otherwise.  This all ended after WWII, when Swiss banks recaptured the finance business, and Tangier became a part of Morocco where reform swept away the notorious brothels and gay bars.  It still today has it’s devoted followers, the last most famous one being American publishing heir Malcolm Forbes.  Forbes purchased a lavish palace, Palais Mendoub, and threw many parties there, including his famous 70th birthday bash in 1989 when the rich and famous (i.e. Elizabeth Taylor), with their yachts and private planes, converged on the “white city”.

I did take some pictures of the port, first as we were approaching:

IMG_4605 Stitch

Then in closer:

IMG_4614 Stitch

and finally up close to the old part of the city, the Medina:


You can see an old fort right there in front and on the hill up above is the famous “Kasbah”, an area built by the Romans, and had always been where the most privileged live.  The homes have a plain exterior, but are lavish inside.  Recently the cities wealthiest people have abandoned the city for the suburbs.  If you look to the right of the hill, here is a close up of some of those homes in the Kasbah:



Have to show you the ships port sign:


and a look at the dock as I was leaving the ship early in the morning:


No good port signs to show except this one on the way back:


Now you may think that the day was lost, but not so, I came to the rescue late in the day.  I happened to look out one of the windows and noticed that during the day a market had been set up right outside of the gangway.  The minute I passed this new found knowledge on to Susy, guess what:


Yes, you guessed right, and did she buy?


You bet!!  Here’s Susy at day’s end with one of her purchases:


For Susy the day had been a great success because of her purchases.  That’s it for Tangier, so it’s on to Cadiz, back to Spain.  Can’t wait!!

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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