Morocco – Tangiers

Tangier … (also called Tangiers in English)  … is located at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean …

In 1923, it was considered as having international status by foreign colonial powers, and became a destination for many European and American diplomats, spies, writers and businessmen. …

Pirates, outlaws and guys like  Paul Bowles, playwright Tennessee Williams, the beat writers William S. BurroughsAllen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac all hung out here. Matisse too.

Pre-1956 Tangier had a population of 40,000 Muslims, 31,000 Christians and 15,000 Jews. …

Tourist like Tangiers. With long walks along the ocean front, it feels more mellow than the other big cities.

Since it’s less than an hour from Spain by ferry, many (including me) pass through.

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Homeland season 7

Though I loved the first few seasons, I had to psych up to download season 7 of the world’s worst bipolar Mom.

Authorities should have taken that kid away for good long ago.

However …

… it is still must watch TV. The issues are the real issues of today. Russian disruption of the American politic.

Season 7 was the weakest so far, but still worth watching.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

Morocco’s capital – Rabat

At my hostel I met an American diplomat who was assigned Rabat as part of his internship. He’d just arrived from his previous assignment – Paris.

I found it even more mellow than Casablanca. Fewer tourists. .

Rabat (Arabicالرِّبَاط‎, al-ribāṭBerber languagesⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟAṛṛbaṭ) is the capital city of Morocco …

The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg.  …

Like Casablanca, the  Rabat-Salé tramway (opened 2011) is modern and works well.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

working online while traveling

I met Leon Nikoosimaitak at a hostel in Casablanca. He’s a Motion Graphic Designer / Illustrator.

In London he might spend 4000€ / month. In Casablanca it’s a tiny fraction of that.

He works online. Takes breaks to go surfing every day.

Click PLAY or watch samples of his work on Vimeo.

Earlier in the trip I met Anika from Houston. She spent 3 weeks hiking the Appalachian Trail this year … while sneaking off trail once in a while to work online.

underrated Casablanca

Marrakesh is packed with tourists from around the world.

The streets are filled with touts and conmen trying to separate them from their money. A Canadian I met had his phone stolen from a cargo pants pocket in the street, even though it was worthless to the pickpocket. It was locked.

Very few visitors go to Casablanca except on business. I don’t know why. It’s a very interesting city with no touts anywhere.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The highlight is massive Hassan II Mosque built out over the ocean. It’s one of the 5 largest in the world. (capacity 105,000 worshippers with room for at least another 100,000 outside)

I’ve loved visiting huge Mosques since Istanbul 1994.

In Morocco non-Muslims are not allowed inside, actually. But Hassan II is one of the two that does allow it. I joined an English language tour.

 

T-bone steak at Rick’s Casablanca

Rick’s Café Casablanca …

My table.

Opened March 1, 2004, the place was designed to recreate the bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the movie classic Casablanca.

Set in an old courtyard-style mansion built against the walls of the Old Medina of Casablanca, the restaurant – piano bar is filled with architectural and decorative details reminiscent of the film …

As Time Goes By is a common request to the in-house pianist.

I splurged on a steak, the best meal I’ve had in two months on the road.

Casablanca the 1942 movie was filmed entirely in Hollywood. They never came to Morocco.

The Storyteller of Marrakesh: A Novel

Hassan, the “storyteller” of Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya’s … novel, is more than just a narrator: he is a guide, a witness, a showman, a chronicler of Moroccan legend and lore.

His stage is the central square of Marrakesh, Djemaa el Fna, where the myriad wonders of this great, red-walled city surround and inspire him. …

On this particular night, however, Hassan is concerned with only one mystery: the story of a foreign couple, a beautiful French-American woman and her Indian partner, who vanished from the square one evening a few years earlier. …

NY Times Book Review

I read the book in Morocco, enjoying the hectic main square each evening.

This is an ambitious book. A modern “Thousand and One Nights”. But I can’t say the mystical style worked for me. It has mixed reviews on GoodReads.

The author is from India. But he did a good job of giving the rest of us foreigners a bit of the flavour of the nation.

Here is one of the last real storytellers. I didn’t see any in the square itself. It’s too noisy in 2018.

Abderrahim El Makkouri