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Posts Tagged ‘Morocco’

Well I have said it before, and I will say it again, Salobrena is a great place to stay whether you just stay put or decide to get adventurous.

I have been away from the blog for quite a while, chalk it up to a busy summer with lots of visitors and a fair amount of work to keep me busy.

One of my visitors, my best pal from school, and I decided on a short road trip.. we headed to Morocco for 2 nights and followed that up with 2 nights in Tarifa, a beautiful little town the other side of Algeciras on the south coast of Spain.

We did not have a car, so don’t think that you can only do short inexpensive trips if you have a car, the bus service is not only fantastic, but dirt cheap.  We caught the 1030am bus from Motril to Algeciras at a cost of 21.72 euros each.. a bargain by any means. The journey is direct with only 4 stops along the way, no bus changes. Motril is a 20 minute bus ride at a cost of 1 euro from Salobrena.  The bus stops in Almuñecar, Nerja, Malaga and Marbella along the way. The bus goes everyday too.

When you arrive in Algeciras, you are walking distance to the ferries that take you to Tanger or any number of destinations for that matter.. just come out of the station and hang a right and walk towards the water.. walking time 10 minutes, most of that is thru the grounds of the ferry terminal.. go to the building with the blue top on it.. you can’t miss it.  This trip to Tanger was different from all the rest, in that the ferry no longer goes into the downtown port of Tanger, but rather to the new port which is 50 clicks from the downtown area, don’t panic there is a free shuttle, or you can take a taxi for next to nothing.  The bus goes every 30 minutes or after each boat load which ever comes first.  The cost of the ferry was cheaper too, normally the fare is 37.50 euros into the old town, but because of the new port, we only paid 27 euros.. big bonus I think.

We stayed at the hotel I normally stay at, which is the Rembrandt Hotel.  It is central, inexpensive, has a pool, restaurant and bar.  Breakfast is included in the cost of the hotel, which was 75 euros a night for 2.  Not the cheapest place for sure, and there were cheaper, but I know it and so always stay there, it is walking distance to the market place too.   Coming into the new port, made for a nice change, we got to see a lot of little seaside towns, Berbers in full ornamental dress on the side of the road selling the biggest onions you have ever seen.  It is quite a picturesque journey, one which I thoroughly recommend.

I should mention, that the infrastructure of the new port and terminal aren’t quite in place.  Getting off the ferry we found ourselves running with the cars (similar to running with the bulls, on every level).  It was an exciting and hilarious arrival into the country, and forget about shade..my little pink friend from Canada nearly burst into flames..lol.

We also took a taxi ride for 5 dirham, the equivalent of about 50 centimos out to the casino by the Mövenpick Hotel..it was lovely, and very air conditioned Haaaaaaaaaa.. there were free drinks and a sandwich buffet for anyone gambling..there are the usual slot machines on the lower level, the tables are upstairs, roulette, black jack and the rest.. Becareful what you wear, no espadrils or shorts..slacks and shirt or dresses and skirts are fine for women..

After depositing much cash we limped back to our hotel. Taxi back was 20 dirham or about 2 euros.. it’s a long ride, for such a cheap price, and you get to see an area you wouldn’t normally see if you just stayed in the old town..Lots of villas, wide boulevards with lovely palms, and disco after disco along the beach.. it really does have an exciting night life there.. Plus during the summer months, there are kiddy fair grounds set up all along the beach.

Next stop Tarifa back in Spain.  The ferry to Tarifa still goes out of the old port on the high speed ferries.. it’s quite a ride and the ferry is about 100 years newer than the one going into Tanger from Algeciras.. arriving in Tarifa is great too.. you walk off the boat and in 5 minutes you are down town Tarifa.Cost is 37.50.

Tarifa is a gorgeous little town.  It has a buzz all it’s own.. lots of cute trendy bars, shops that are open really late..most til 1130 pm and some til 2am.. We ate at a cute place where the food was dynamite and so cheap..individual pizzas, thin crust perfectly cooked, 5 euros. You can’t beat that.  We also had meals in more upscale places, and we were happy every where that we ate.  We paid a little more for a hotel here,it was off the beaten path but it had airconditioning and was still walking distance to downtown, and the bus station for our journey home.

The week we decided to do these trips, it was so hot I thought I would melt.  There is a bus several times a day from Tarifa to Algeciras, I recommend the 1230 bus, it gets into Algeciras with plenty of time to have some lunch and a beer and catch the bus to Salobreña at 3pm. That’s right the bus back drops you right back in Salobreña, that was an added bonus for sure.. When I am coming home from a journey, I just want to get there, no messing about.  The bus ride from Tarifa to Algeciras was under 2 euros each and then we had the 21.72 euro fare from Algeciras to Salobrena.  I have included some pics from our trip, I hope you enjoy them, and I also hope that you decide to take a trip to either or both of these destinations, they are well worth it!

I forgot to mention, that Tarifa has the most beautiful beaches, fine powdered sand without a rock in site..so gorgeous and you can walk out for hundreds of feet and still find shallow water.. It’s also a kite surfers paradise. I will be posting the Tarifa photos tomorrow.

This reads God, King and Country not tourist go home lol.

Arriving at the new port.

Look who just stepped out of 1950

Beating the heat and looking good.

The Moroccan flag was everywhere and they were big and beautiful.

Olive salesman

Olives for every taste

Fresh Bread Vendor

Brass salesman.

Scenes from the market.

Fresh meat.

Grains and preserves.

Happy Salesman.

Fresh eggs-look at the size of those babies.

Fresh ground spices on demand.. We bought curry, tumeric and cumin.

Street vendor.

Goat Hell.

Grocery shopping ladies.

Pretty woman.

The masses.

Watch your step.

My wonderful friend Catherine in Tanger with the old port in the background

Kaftan shopping.

The main entrance to the food market

Looking down the staircase at our hotel. There is an elevator as well.

Up the down staircase.

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I still have lots of great shots to show you from the Morocco day trip. Enjoy!

Inside the fruit large market

Inside the main fruit,veg and meat market

fruit2

fruit3

halal butcher

halal butcher

man selling prickly pairs

man selling prickly pairs

skinned and ready to go..hint- it's upside down

skinned and ready to go..hint- it's upside down

Barbary Partridge

Barbary Partridge

Prickly pears up close

Prickly pears up close

Bread for sale

Bread for sale

Bread for sale

Bread for sale

Bunnies and Chicks

Bunnies and Chicks

Olives and then some.

Olives and then some.

More photos tomorrow. Watch Monday for the Romeria photos from Sunday.

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The quick trip to Tanger was done thru the port at Algeciras.  The return fare is 66 euros or one way 37.50 bought separately. We went by fast ferry from Algeciras to Tanger.  First let me give you the inside scoop.  When you arrive at the Ferry terminal, there will be guys there trying to get you to park under the bridge and buy your ticket thru them.. They will quote 20 euros a day parking.. its only 23 in the official lot.  Plus they will try and tell you that the ticket offices are closed due to a fiesta… The ticket offices Never close, these guys are just gonna take your money and then your car in all likely hood will be either towed or broken into.. Don’t do it.

Now, we took the fast ferry, which still managed to take 2.5 hours.. they say and hour..never gonna happen. I have done the crossing 3 times, and 2.5 is about the norm..if not longer depending on the seas.

When you arrive at the port on the other side, there will be gentlemen that will try and take you to a hotel get you a taxi etc.. these guys are a great idea.. most are licensed, so they won’t see any harm come to you.  They will also offer to be your guide, but they will try and charge crazy money.  The truth is, you don’t need a guide in Tanger, everything is walking distance, and a taxi to anywhere in town is 5 euros.. so use them if you get tired.  Confirm price prior to commencement of your journey.

I have a lot of photos to show you, so without further ado here they are.

Don't be shy, get in there.. this is the main entrance to the sook thru the old gate

Don't be shy, get in there.. this is the main entrance to the sook thru the old gate

can you pick out the westerners?

can you pick out the westerners?

Men don't stand a chance in this market..

Men don't stand a chance in this market..

Beautiful fabrics were everywhere.

Beautiful fabrics were everywhere.

Just look at this fabic.. just gorgeous!

Just look at this fabic.. just gorgeous!

I could spend days walking thru the textiles market

I could spend days walking thru the textiles market

Market in Tanger more more more

Market in Tanger more more more

Fresh breads daily in the market

Fresh breads daily in the market

life goes on.

life goes on.

Little side street I helped along

Little side street I helped along

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I have lots of great stuff to show you, about a recent 3 day very doable road trip, taking in Gaudix, where the cave people live, cork forests, which are being harvested as I write this, a quick stop in Ronda, a night in Gibralter, 2 nights Tanger in Morocco, site seing in Tarifa, Marbella, and Fuengirola, lots of great photos from the Market in Tanger.. Boy was that busy! Hints on where to stay and where to eat cheaply.. only thing holding me back is the fact that my internet is down.  So stay tuned, I think you are going to really enjoy it.  Book Mark Me.

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