oh, tangier. what an experience you were.
we filled out customs forms, drank a beer and before i knew it our ferry had already crossed the straight of gibraltar. we had gone back and forth deciding if we would simply use this as a port stop to get us into morocco, or if we would stay and explore for a day or two. this article ended up inspiring us to do the latter.
i experienced a bit of culture shock stepping off the boat: immediately we were swarmed by men of all ages [including very young kids] and taxi drivers offering to "help us" with our bags, protect us, give us tours of the city or simply give us a ride to our hotel. all for "small price. very inexpensive. no money." ––little did i realize how much i was about to say "no shukran" [no thank you] over the next 15 days. we continued walking as if we knew where we were going and eventually negotiated a grand taxi driver to take us to our airbnb for about $5. grand taxis are interesting, because you have to sit and wait for the driver to fill the other seats before you can leave.
we are so happy we chose airbnb for tangier – our host, fouad, was one of the nicest men in the world. he welcomed us into his home with hugs, mint tea on the patio and dinner at one of his favorite local restaurants. he told us stories about his city and it's rich history. he made us feel so comfortable and also fed us his favorite breakfast in the mornings. on our first and only full day he took us to one of his favorite beaches which was really nice and one of the perks of tangier. it's a hectic city and without staying at a high end hotel, could be really hard to navigate and enjoy - with fouad's help we really felt like locals for those 2 days. we are working on a full morocco travel guide, but in the mean time – some immediate favorites from our quick visit:
plage achakar [great beach 20 minutes from downtown] || hercules caves [near the beach, check out the rooftop restaurant] || el morocco club [one of the few spots in town that serves alcohol, good small bites and timelessly designed – gets more of a vibe later into the night] || cafe hafa [iconic cafe that is almost 100 years old, overlooking the straight of gibraltar and packed with locals, young and old] ||