Continent Hopping : A Day in Africa {Morocco} Part 1

It’s hard to believe that less than 24 hours after arriving in Europe (Spain), we hopped on a ferry and spent the day on another continent, Africa (Morocco). It was an experience that neither of us wanted to pass up and looking back, we’re are certainly glad we didn’t.

When people ask about what our favorite part our trip was, our answer (besides laying on a beach and spending time with friends), is Morocco. It’s pretty hard to describe the day. But I’m going to do my absolute best. I’m going to do it over the course of three parts, since there is a lot to cover, and a lot of images to share!

Onward.


We left the house around 6:30 AM Saturday morning to start our 1 ½ hour trek to Tarifa, where we would be picking up the ferry to head over to Morocco. The drive was stunning. The sun was rising, and filled the sky with orange, pinks and reds. It created this enviable backdrop against the rolling hills and endless fields of windmills. Even though I was jetlagged, and exhausted, pure adrenaline had me excited and in complete awe that I was about to board a boat that would take me to Africa. It blew my mind that we were that close for it to be considered a ‘day trip’.

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This doesn’t even do the sunrise justice….

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As we drove the windy roads to Tarifa, we could already see the mountains of Africa off in the horizon. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy, but it certainly caused our excitement to grow. We were seriously thatclose to being on another continent.


Highlights from the ferry ride:

~ The beautiful view as we pulled out of port.

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Looking back at Tarifa

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Tarifa

~ My new little Moroccan friend. She was about 3, and continued to sit closer and closer to me until I smiled and said hi. She quickly smiled back and scurried back to her mom who met me with a pleasant smile as well.

~ A little boy absolutely hitting the deck when the horn went off announcing we were pulling out of port. He didn’t just fall. He hit.the.deck. I mean full out ‘Holy crap, something is going down’ hit the deck. We didn’t know if we should laugh or worry, but as soon as we saw his mother cracking up, we knew it was okay to laugh along with them. He just shrugged off as if he does this all the time.


Once we pulled in Tangier’s port, we disembarked and made our way to our tour guide, Jamal, who was waiting for us outside the ferry building.

Fun fact: We visited Morocco during Ramadan, which meant that we were 2 hours BEHIND Spain. This only happens during Ramadan. Normally, they are only one hour behind. So we may have left Spain at 9 AM, but we arrived in Morocco at 7:30 AM!

After introductions were made, we piled into Jamal’s van with his driver Mohammed, and began making our way around the city of Tangier. As we pulled out of the ferry’s parking lot, the old Tangier Kasbah sat above us, and I already knew this would be a country I was going to fall in love with.

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Tangier Kasbah from the ferry terminal.

First up, a driving tour of the city. He showed us all the important parts; the downtown area (including a spot where one of the Bourne movies was filmed), the Grand Mosque, California (the area where kings, princes, governors, mayors and so on live or have summer homes), as well as other gorgeous lookout points. We had lots of photo ops which none of us skipped out on knowing we probably would never be back.

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Our first stop, near the main downtown area

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One of the chase scenes in The Bourne Ultimatium was filmed here!

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The Grand Mosque

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Looking back at the old city of Tangier

After driving, we had our first ‘Let’s get out of the car and do something’ experience. And that experience was…. Riding camels.

Yes folks. This horseback rider rode a camel.

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A good view of the saddle… plus check out those adorable babies in the background.

Let me just tell you… I was scared out of my mind, and yet so excited at the same time. I ended up with the camel that just wanted to lay down the entire time. And she let everyone know by making whatever noise camels make, constantly. Seriously.

Whenever we stopped for pictures, Sabrina decided it was also her chance to lay back down.

{Side note: If she has succeeded, not only would it have been hilarious because I would have rolled off a camel, but she probably would have forced the other camels to lay down too since we were all tied together… just saying.}

After riding around for about 5-10 minutes, we climbed off {definitely not gracefully in my case}, and took some photos. Hence, the camel selfie.

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How was riding a camel you ask?

Completely awkward and uncomfortable, and very amusing. They have saddles on that kind of sit up on their humps, so you sink into it and it has a spot to hold to on the front (like a Western saddle). However, when they get moving, I have never felt something so strange in my life. I held on for dear life, and went full horseback rider on this camel.

But… I can now say I rode a camel. Check that off the bucket list.

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Hanging out with my camel… Sabrina.

After walking…er… hobbling back to the van, we started our journey to the seaside town of Asilah. We had about an hour drive, and we went right down the coast. The drive was beautiful and really allowed us to see Morocco. We also all took this opportunity to fit in a quick nap. Since we were exhausted from riding camels and all.

To be continued.

Next up – Asilah.

To read more posts from Eryn, visit her at A Glimpse Into Eryn's World

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