Another is to the beach town of Asilah. It's only an hour bus ride away, so we may still do that.
Anyhow, yesterday we just wandered around Tangier. There are a few interesting things to see here, and we managed to (almost) match up a couple of my dad's photos from his visit here in 1954.
I had forgot to mention that the price we are paying here in Tangier includes breakfast. Our host Faiza is very cognizant of the fact that we eat gluten free. She even went to great lengths to try to find gluten free bread, but with no success.
Eggs, mashed olives, dates, cheese, mint tea, and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Late morning, we set off to explore, intent on finding two of my dad's photo spots. And, there were a couple of attractions we wanted to see along the way, one of special interest to our American readers.
And on that note, our first stop was the Tangier American Legation.
What's a "legation"? We had never heard that term. Well, a legation is a diplomatic office, one step below that of an embassy.
It turns out that Tangier, Morocco was the site of an American Legation. That site is the very first American public property outside of the United States, because Morocco was the first country in the world to officially recognize the United States as a country back in 1780! It is also the only U.S. National Historic Landmark located in a foreign country.
I bet not many of you knew that. We sure didn't! Interesting stuff.
And so we paid the 20 dirhams ($2.80 CAD, $2.20 USD) each to tour the property and museum.
It was in 1777, that Sultan Sidi Mohammed includes "The Americans", who were at the time fighting their revolution, among Morocco's trading partners. He was the first foreign head of state to officially recognize American independence.
In 1821, Sultan Moulay Suleiman gave the United States it's first diplomatic property, the site of this American Legation.
The property is still owned by the U.S. State Department, however the current U.S. Embassy is located in the capital city of Rabat.
Ruth, and an interesting grandfather clock.
This is Zohra... The Moroccan Mona Lisa.
This painting was done in 1952 by James McBey. Zohra was a 15 year old girl at the time who was friends with McBey's two nieces who spent the summer in Tangier. In 2013, thanks to the magic of the internet, Zohra was able to reunite with the nieces in North Carolina, where two of Zohra's sons live.
From there, we walked down to a viewpoint over the water, and then to the Sultan's Palace.
Near the ferry port.
It's looking pretty rough out there!
There are two big marinas under construction.
In the medina, near the Sultan's Palace.
As evidenced by the one single photo he took, my dad was at the Sultan's Palace in Tangier in 1954. So we paid the 20 dirhams ($2.80 CAD, $2.20 USD) each to enter the palace. There's not really a lot to see there, but here are the highlights...
The wood carvings on the ceilings are amazing.
The floor contains "The Voyage of Venus", a mostly intact Roman mosaic.
They have a mirror, in case your neck gets sore from looking up!
My dad's pic from 1954.
The other photograph he took was going to be more difficult. It's a view of the huge waterfront beach here in Morocco, but we had no idea where it was taken from. We walked down to the beach itself to try and get a better idea.
The new marina at the beachfront. Not open yet.
The huge beach at Tangier.
We figured out that Dad's photo must have been taken from somewhere in the Medina. This made it difficult, because the medina is a maze of narrow streets, most of which don't offer any sort of view unless you are on top of at least a three story building.
We found a hostel that allowed us to their rooftop, but the view was blocked by another building, and we don't think it was even close to where Dad had been. On the street outside the hostel, I asked a group of young guys who happened to speak English. One of them suggested the Dar Chams Tanja Hotel, one of the best boutique hotels in Tangier.
Fortunately, the owners of this posh private hotel were there to talk to, and they also guided us to their rooftop for the view. What a beautiful hotel! But, we weren't there to see the hotel...we were there to see the view...
Dad's photo, Tangier 1954.
It's not from the same location. But it's sort of close! Many thanks to the Dar Chams Tanja Hotel for helping us out!
The understated entrance to a beautiful hotel.
And then we walked back home. We were beat! No idea how far we walked, but it was enough to ensure a very good sleep last night!
Coleman's instant shade canopy is on deal of the day... great for camping, and easy to set up. Plus, it's never been this cheap!