TANGIER | Rockin’ the Kasbah

I was in Spain, a mere hop, skip, and a jump from Tangier. That was a temptation I could not resist.

So I hopped the bus to Tarifa, skipped down to the port, and jumped onto the ferry, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, to Africa.

Ahoy, Africa.

I landed in Tangier and set off to find my hotel, Dar Nour, a riad in the Kasbah.

Here were the directions they gave me:

“You will take the Mohamed VI Avenue, then right street Youssef Ibn Tachefine, right again Mohamed V Avenue, then straight on Boulevard Pasteur, instead of France, Belgium Street.

The second light turn right – there are two streets on the right, it will be the second – the Hassan II avenue that runs along the cathedral, on top of which you will take the left Roosevelt Avenue.

You will pass on your left the stage, and the Pasteur Institute, after which you take the second street on your left (just before a palm).

This street draws several curves: go to the end where you will find a small slope overlooking a big arch, ocher-colored earth. This is the gate of the Kasbah.”

I took a taxi.

I walked through the arch into the Kasbah—a maze of crooked, colorful lanes.

Somewhere within those walls was my hotel and I set off to find it, wheeling my suitcase over the cobblestones and making a LOT of noise. (Hence, inadvertently rocking the Kasbah.)

Here’s what I discovered: The Kasbah is one of those places where a map is useless. You simply keep walking until you find your destination.

It was a bit like a big treasure hunt, as there were design gems everywhere I looked. I mean…the colors!

The Hand of Fatima was painted on walls and represented on engraved brass door knockers like this one. It’s a symbol of power and strength, blessing and protecting those within.

There were several intriguing shops along the way.

I kept walking, hoping I would find my hotel soon so I could drop off my suitcase and go in search of food. Or at least water. (Most restaurants are closed during Ramadan fasting times.)

Okay, I’ll admit it—I had to call the hotel and they sent a young man to lead me there. The door was tucked into a small alcove. Let’s face it, I never would have found it.

That’s okay, though—an adventure is never a waste of time.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien