Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Kasbah, Tangiers Morocco Africa

We went to The Kasbah...hearing those words made me think of Humphrey Bogart and the movie Casablanca.  However, the word means a place local leaders lived and were protected behind walled cities.  Often built on a hill on high ground as added defense.  We took a day trip (through Julia tours, please see previous post as you do NOT want to take their tour), from Spain to Tangiers, Morocco in Africa.  I expected a historic area of interest, almost thought of it romantically.  What I saw instead was a bit like a ghetto.  Old, dirty, poor area not well preserved or taken care of.  You can see bricks, above as there is some new construction and or rehab going on in some places.  The man with the cap is our tour guide for the African side.  You see the back of my head...I'm the one in the teal sweater.  You can get a feel for the hill, the archway ahead takes us to The Kasbah.  We were walking in the Old Medina.
 Tangiers is basically devided into 3 sections, Old Medina (center of the old town), The Kasbah...walled area, and New City...up the hill away from this area.  A small residential area.  You can see 3 doors and addresses all very close together, with a mailbox.  We were told colors have meaning, but we actually didn't see many colors, not did he tell us what they meant.  One would assume this residences are quite small but how close the doors are.
 One of prettier doors, no doubt this is a more wealthy residence.
 Notice the wall on the left and how narrow the streets/pathways are.
 We saw very few women and virtually no children in comparison to the number of men we saw.  Twice a week the peasants bring in their farm goodies and set up shop, right on the ground.  You see all kinds of dress, but the men seemed to wear more western wear then the woman did.
 Another such business area.  Hard to imagine driving here with the narrow areas, people and commerce.
 Hard to see, all pictures though can be clicked to enlarge, the sign says Kasbah.
 We saw less then a handful of pretty doors.  This Green door is photographed alot.  Seems all tours stop there to have the guides point out this is wear  HenriMatisse, the famous French painter lived.
This is in fact titled Window at Tangiers.  Clicking on the photo will take you to the info on Wiki.  Looks like it was prettier in his day, if this was what he saw looking out his window.
 The wall from the outside.  Kasbah's were also often built on a harbor...again for protection.  Here they had both high ground and a harbor so would have had a good vantage point.
 Scales and a bag of green beans being sold right in the street/walk way.
 Many little store front type shops in the narrow walk area's.
 Nothing is seems comes in containers
 Some areas were a bit wider.
 I can't take credit for these pictures of the snake and the snake charmer.  I needed to be able to run so was well back with camera away.  As a person who can't even go through the snake house at the zoo....I wanted no part of this.  The few children here in this picture were about the only ones we saw all day.
 Shortly after this the snake was put back into his box.
Another photo where you can get the feel of the up and down nature of the area.  This was a little nicer area then many.  That's hubby on the left in the black.

My bubble was burst regarding going to Africa and Tangiers and The Kasbah.
  • You don't even get your passport stamped showing you were in Africa, instead you get a stamp that shows you left Spain by boat and reentered by boat at Tarifa
  • "The Kasbah" was nothing like what we all saw in the movie, Casablanca.  Just a poor area that's old and dirty and fairly uncomfortable.  (however I think with a different tour, or a private tour one might actually see and learn something about the area).
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  1. Hi Sandy - very interesting to see .. thanks for sharing with us - cheers Hilary

  2. It is quite disappointing when one has a romantic sense of something and it turns out to be quite the opposite. However, your honest viewpoints and interpretations of what you experienced are as refreshing and appreciated....not what you would get from a Travel log or a Tour Company such as Julia Tours. I did enjoy seeing the landscape and street photos. I'm with you on the snake shots...that'd be a zoom zoom zoom shot for me.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  3. Great photos, Sandy. That looks like such a fun experience. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great pictures! I guess I had a romanticized notion of Tangiers, too.

    Snake charmers amaze me. I have no idea what compels people to mess with poisonous snakes!

    1. Sooooo with you on the snake, couldn't pay me to do it.

  5. Sandy, I think your pictures are great. I loved walking through the does have such a romantic sound to it, doesn't it?

    1. Yes, it does "sound" romantic, sorta rolls off the tongue. I've heard others had a more reasonable experience. A friend who was there years ago talked about how kids would come up (touts) and offer to guide them; but she didn't experience any of the very aggressive and very in your face discomfort we all did of men...and ONLY men. Even the men in our group expressed some discomfort at how aggressive these touts were, which made walking through the kasbah such a HUGE disappointment.

  6. It does sound romatic or course but it LOOKS beautiful indeed. I loved the Window....

  7. Snake charmers are so cool. Would love to see one some day. I wonder where have all the kids gone there

    Road trippin :)


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