05/08/2023 Sometimes a spade is just a spade!

The day started out early, too early for the breakfast at the hotel!  We headed out to catch the ferry to Morocco and left at 7 am to arrive on time. With only a few “U-turns”, we arrived and luckily found a parking spot fairly easily. Navigating through to the port, we soon were ensconced very comfortably in the cafeteria. Dave opted for orange juice and was delighted to see them us a machine to “squeeze” whole oranges right in front of him and into the glass. Kathy, on the other hand, had the obligatory European-style “American” coffee that is more like an espresso with a tad bit more bitterness. The sweet taste of some pastries helped balance out the strong coffee. Dave opted for a chocolate croissant while Kathy opted for a cream pastry. Both were excellent. Feeling rejuvenated, we settled in and started talking with some people from the US who, like us, were exploring Spain and the surrounding areas. An hour later time wise (but not losing a minute of time due to the clock change), we were off to explore Tangier. We set off to walk through a castle/Kasbah museum that was rich in history of the conquests/surrenders that shaped the architecture and culture of the area. We climbed 5 flights where we had successive views of the city below us and the Mediterranean Sea on the other side. Soon we were out the museum and on our way to visit the Kasbah. Sensing our confusion, a local person decided to show us the way and gestured, “follow me”, along several confusing corridors. (We are sure he was hoping for a tip/fee). Deciding our only course of action was to give him the slip, we stepped into another museum. The museum, like the other one, consisted of multiple floors of which one of the upper ones was a beautiful garden inhabited by several tortoises. One was bold enough to walk between Dave’s legs as he was crouched to get a level view of the “fast” moving reptile disguised as a turtle. Wandering down to the lower level we peaked around the corner to see if we lost our “tail” and found the coast was clear. Dave’s lesson to Kathy on counter-surveillance techniques was complete!

Soon we were headed off to visit the maze of the Kasbah. We eventually found ourselves in the main square and decided to have some lunch. Lunch, like most things in this area, was an adventure. Despite the “late hour” of noon, the only option was breakfast. Kathy opted for homemade lemonade that was flavored with some honey and Dave opted for a “juice” called “banana split” on the list of juices. In this case, a banana split was really a banana split and he ended up with ice cream, bananas, cookies, and lots of whip cream as an appetizer to his cheese omelet. Kathy helped him a bit by eating a couple of the bananas while swiping some tastes of whip cream, but Dave managed the rest and enjoyed every minute of it. Lunch (or was it breakfast?)…sometimes, as in this case, a spade is not a spade as lunch was really breakfast. Dave’s omelet was filled with local goat cheese which gave it a tasty and distinctive flavor, while Kathy ordered a banana pancake/crepe (who really knows…it was lost in translation). She instead ended up with a pancake/crepe coated with Nutella, good but not as good as banana would have been. Sated by lunch, we wandered the maze of streets looking in the shops and avoiding the shopkeepers who tried to maneuver you into buying something. Deciding to head back to the sea side, we began the trek back. We wandered, and wandered, and did a few circles. At this point Dave was wishing for a GPS that would “chuckle” at him when he went the wrong direction. Instead, he only had google maps which was hindered by the poor satellite reception in the narrowest of narrow alleys and could only state “You appear to have changed location” over and over again. Finally though, after passing a gentleman for the third time, he gave us directions on how to escape the Kasbah. Seaside at last, we chilled and decided to have a drink. After a long painful “failure to communicate”, we got our drinks: Dave had fresh strawberry juice with fresh squeezed orange juice and Kathy had banana juice (finally) with some local milk. Both were enjoyable and it was a nice time all around. Deciding to head back early, we boarded the boat, enjoyed a rousing conversation with some British expats who live now in Spain, and breathed a sigh of relief knowing we were headed back early in order to get dinner.

Sometimes though the best laid plans go awry!! Breakfast here is between 10 and noon, lunch usually 3 pm to 5 pm, and dinner from 8 pm to midnight. We arrived back at six and were out of luck. Hoping to find some tapas, but failing, we finally gave up, came back to the hotel and waited for the appointed time of 8 pm. Dinner was tomato and onion salad with large chunks of tuna (we left the tuna on the plate) and a pizza! Tomorrow we head off to explore Granada and the white villages, or “pueblos blancos”.