This week we’ll look at Tangier, Morocco, a sun-stained city on the northwest tip of Africa.
By Warren Cullar
Tangier is a city with its own foreign mystique. By day, it’s a busy, lively city of merchants selling wares and beggars everywhere. By night, it requires visitors to be street-smart as it can be unsafe, but if you’re relaxed, it can be quite intriguing.
Its architecture leans more towards a fortress style with a strong sense of survival and endurance. It’s mostly white as though the sun has blanched the color right out of it.
Kitty and I visited Tangier while cruising and we hired a guide adn a taxi driver, both dressed in traditional attire. They lead us through twisted little streets and back shops where we bought exotic oils, pungent herbs, and intricate hammered silver. Without our guides, we would still be there.
I drew this from the observation deck of the ship as I looked back and felt its international aura and its powerful magnetic pull of all that’s out of the ordinary.
Jacob’s History Notes:
Tangier is one of those really fascinating cities that always has a story to tell. It has history relating to the Romans, Moors, French, Spanish, and even Germans. Arabic is the common language there, but Moroccan Arabic is so accented that it’s impossible for other Arabs to understand, having a huge number of loan words and features from French.
Perhaps most interestingly is the city’s history of espionage. Tangier was a key safe-point during the cold war, and is a common setting in “spy fiction” and thriller novels.
Next week we’ll take a break from Warren’s travel-sketches to look at a self-portrait in his own, distinctive style.