We didn’t know what to expect when we went to Tangier. The place was simply a dropping-off point to go to Spain. There was a ferry from the port to Tarifa, Spain. I read that since many Europeans go to Tangier to experience the “real” Morocco, it’s become a tourist trap border town. The sort where there are many peddlers and hawkers and expensive restaurants with watery Moroccan food. Expensive restaurants, yes but not that many hawkers (Euro slump, maybe?).
Tangier surprised us. There were actually a few decent sights. First off was the tomb of the famous traveler, Ibn Batuta. Ibn Batuta is a famous Arab and Muslim traveler who went all over the world in the Middle Ages (all over except the Americas and that’s because Western History hasn’t seen it yet, well maybe except the Vikings).
He traveled lands that were under the Mongol rule. The Mongols! It’s like traveling in lands that are controlled by ISIS except waaay crueler. The Mongols make ISIS look like chumps, like a 1 year old breastfeeding and the Mongol is its genius brother. The ISIS murder. The Mongols annihilate. They would commit total genocide over a town including killing cats and dogs. And to top that off, once they left that town, they’d send soldiers there months later to make sure no one survived!
Ibn Batuta traveled from his home Morocco to the Middle East for his mecca haj (not under the family Saud rule yet) then onto Africa, Central Asia, South Asia (India), Southeast Asia and then East Asia (all the way to China). He went to more places than Marco Polo. He did it by ship and hitchhiking by camel/caravan (bet he didn’t stick his thumb out then). From Morocco to China in the 1300s! Yowza! What a backpacker!
We had to pay homage to the explorers in the past who paved the way for us present travelers. Though they traveled in much harsher conditions (marauders, thieves, the Black Plague, absence of air travel, no TSA) they were able to go boldly and explore lands no one in their cities have ever been. They had guts, they had glory – something tourists in a tour bus wished they had.
After we visited his simple tomb (no body though), we explored the Tangier medina. The medina was a beauty. I didn’t expect to see it painted in different colors (there was the blue corner, the red corner, the orange corner). The prominent color of the day was blue.