Tangier

Written by Pieter Jan on Dec 11, 2019 — 3 min read

At: Tangier, Morocco

Every harbor and every bay has it’s own smell. Some harbors smell like washing powder, some bays smell like oil refineries. Tangier smells like grilled meat. It’s a quintessential Moroccon smell. It took me back almost 20 years, to the last time I visited.

We’re taking it easy in Tangier. The marina is nice and new. And ultra safe. It’s constantly being patrolled by marina staff and policemen. At any given moment there are at least 10 policemen within a tagine’s throw. My guess is that they all want to patrol the marina, because we never feel unsafe in any part of Tangier, day or night.

The Moroccans are super friendly and helpful. I’ve lost count of the times the kids are patted on the head, hugged and even kissed — to Mira’s great consternation: “I wish I wasn’t so cute.”

We visited the medina a few times. Two days ago we went for a short walk. I didn’t want to overload the kids’ systems with culture shock. Because it is a full assault on all senses. The medina is loud, colorful and full of very strong smells. One moment you’re carving your way through the fish market’s smell, the next moment you’re transported to the land of the 1001 nights by dozens of spice shops.

Obligatory spices shop photo
Obligatory spices shop photo

Today we went for the full medina experience. We weaved our way through the narrow streets, through covered souks and labyrinthine streets for hours. Even in winter the medina is full of people — almost no tourists. It’s a really vibrant and living part of the city.

Some may take this as an inspiration for quilting
Some may take this as an inspiration for quilting
That's one beautifully crafted door
That's one beautifully crafted door
If you can't see the number in the fountain, you're probably colorblind
If you can't see the number in the fountain, you're probably colorblind

Another great thing about Morocco is that it’s cheap. We eat ourselves to within inches of an indigestion for €5. We got long overdue €3 haircuts. You haven’t really visited a country if you didn’t get a haircut there.

We used Andreas as a guinea pig
We used Andreas as a guinea pig
Then Helder wanted a haircut too
Then Helder wanted a haircut too
Mom, just admit we're lost
Mom, just admit we're lost
We think it's this way!
We think it's this way!

Tangier has a very easy medina to get out again if when you get lost. Downhill is to the harbor. Never fails.

Spot Vite & Rêves
Spot Vite & Rêves

We also spend a few evenings with in the pleasant company of our neighbors, Ben and Emily and their two children Sullivan and Frankie, of Long Summer. They sold everything and now live full time on a catamaran, from where they run a consulting business. Living the dream! The kids had a blast playing with each others toys. Other kids’ toys are always the best.

With Ben and Emily of the Long Summer
With Ben and Emily of the Long Summer
The kids enjoying their new playmates
The kids enjoying their new playmates