Day 329 – Tangier/Marbella – 25 Jan 11
For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk
Set off at 0600 with the team, Morris’s, England’s and Pat and Maria. Bus turned up on time and we got to Tarifa around 0800 and caught the 0900 ferry to Tangiers. €144 per head for this trip.
Calm-ish crossing and we then went on a tour that wasn’t on the schedule – of the city, Medina and old town. We even got a free 3 course lunch and was entertained by a rather plump belly-dancing and a traditional Moroccan 4-piece band - which was a lucky break.
Bit of an issue with the hotel but we stood our ground – and after paying up €100 supplement we were taken to the very pleasant Hotel Chellah in the centre of town. (Got our money refunded by travel agent in Marbella with no problems). I think it was a ‘baksheesh’ issue.
We all went our separate ways to investigate the city over the next 48 hours. Not a startling place. An average Arab city with little to see except the Mosques, souks and old buildings. One impressive observation was that it was very clean and well maintained for the Middle East. Also the weather was very nice.:Cool:
The souvenir hunters were a bit ‘in your face’ during the tour of the Medina but if walking on your own it was not a problem. We found a couple of nice bars and discovered that very delicious and substantial Tapas are FREE when you buy a drink. And the more you drink the more you get to eat. We had to send some back!
Dinner at the hotel was included (like breakfast) and although simple was OK. We all ate together and met up with Alf from Benalmedana.
I think we all bought crappy souvenirs but that's what you do in these places. The souvenir sellers have a job to do and it's just part of the character of the place. Just got to put up with it really, until you can explore on your own. Be firm but not rude. If you buy one item then expect to be hassled to buy more and more. Watch your pockets though. I don’t think that pickpocketing is rife but be careful anyway.
Wouldn’t bother returning, either alone or with Motorhome – but that's just us – we’ve lived 3 years in Saudi. There isn’t any more desert scenery we want to see or any more souks we want to visit. Apart from that we’d have to reverse onto the ferry! On the plus side we came back with a couple of bargains – 1 leather pouf and a Fez for Bill!
When we got back – on time – we settled in for the visit of Chloe and Chris. They arrived safely and on time.:Laughing:
Before I continue this is a warning to Chloe, don’t read the next sentence if you don’t want to upset yourself. We haven’t had a worse weekend weather-wise in Marbella since we have been here. For the past few weeks I have been praying for good weather, but obviously my pleas went unheard.
Anyway Chloe and Chris arrived late last Thursday, and by the time we had met up with them the following lunch time they knew more about Marbella old town and its Tapas bars than we did. Seemingly they went out for something to eat, found so many interesting eating and drinking places that they were forced to stay out sampling until 2.30 am. Luckily the weather held for Friday so we were able to stroll along the promenade and into the old town for further Tapas and local wine until it was time for us to catch the bus back to the wag.
Although Saturday was overcast they did venture to the Rock of Gibraltar, 0102I think they had good intentions of taking the cable car to the top for the views but because of the uncertainty of actually seeing anything and the possibility of not be able to return via the cable car, they thought better of it. It was good to see them again in the evening when Clo and Chris bussed it over to join us to watch the footie, but unfortunately Burnley’s result was not perfect, so I shall say no more on that, and then it was a walk to the marina for a Chinese to finish the night.
Sunday was another really wet and miserable day but I think they managed to discover even more Tapas bars, and then on their final day they visited us for lunch before departing for the airport.
It was great to see them both and I’m proud to say they both showed great determination and enthusiasm in eating Tapas and drinking local Spanish wine and sherry, c/o of Marco, through the entire weekend- well done – (what else can you do when the weather is grotty!)
Hope your flight home was painless and on time, and on arrival in England the weather was colder than here!
M and D
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