4 May 2014, Sunday
Surreal. I can’t describe how ecstatic and thankful I was to be in Morocco. It was a decade long dream of mine to travel to Morocco. Watched tons of documentaries and movies filmed in Morocco, I really couldn’t believe it finally happened!
A rather surprised Said welcomed us. Apparently, he thought his guests would be a husband and wife, not 2 ladies! I must say we clicked well after a few minutes of conversation. From a brief introduction of Singapore to his hometown to religion and culture.Tangiers was not in his proposed itinerary but we requested for a night’s stay, which he obligingly agreed to. Driving through the streets in the city brought me to the scene of Jason Bourne’s (Matt Damon) frantic chase in Bourne Ultimatum. Haha!
I was eager to reach the riad. Wondering if it would it be as pretty as it looks on the website? Front door was deceiving (which I realised in this trip). La Tangerina is such a gem! I fell in love with its homely interior and of course, the stunning view from the terrace where we were served our first authentic Moroccan mint tea and their traditional sweets.
We were left to explore Tangiers on our own. We walked out only with Euros, forgetting that it was a Sunday. A boy brought us down to the souk, which worried Nihla quite a bit. Along the way, I saw the makam of Ibn Battuta, the known Muslim traveller. I gave the local boy a Euro and he scurried away, probably searching for new customers.
I love the atmosphere at the souk. The fresh fruits and vegetables, the freshly baked pastries, men watching soccer at the coffee shop.
We entered a pastry shop and asked if we could use our Euros. Sadly, we couldn’t. I was famished! The pastries and sweets were calling out my name! I did a quick scan deciding which pastry to get later when I am back.
We dreaded climbing up the steep slope again. Lucky thing the staff had some Moroccan dirhams for us. Went down the slope (wished I could roll down) and rushed to the pastry shop. I think I had a self-satisfied smirk on my face (having dirhams now!) which made the bakery’s employee smiled at me. Wished I snapped a photo of that shop.
This was taken near our riad. I think he was asking mint leaves from the house owner. A cute looking door isn’t it?
Nihla and I spent the night chatting away over tuna (leftover from our halal ration in Spain) and delicious pastry. It was only after 10 days that I found out she was neighbours with my late uncle’s family. What a small world!
The next day, we had breakfast at the terrace. To be greeted by the view of the blue sea was therapeutic. We were served msemmen (Moroccan crepes) which got me excited as they tasted like our local prata. We happily ate the slightly sugared msemmen with the jam and butter. Brings me back to my childhood days.
I wanted to visit the souk again but I guess Nihla was tired, thinking of the slope we have to climb! 😦 So we just took photos around the area. Said fetched us at noon for our next destination, Chefchahouen.