Sunday, 23 January 2011

Passing the Pillars of Hercules

Sounds painful? Well it was but more about that later. I left Meknes on Thursday morning and took the Train to Tanger (Tangiers). The ONCF (Morrocan Railway) is cheap and reliable. The staff were very friendly and helpful. You can get Food and Drink at reasonable prices as well. The toilets are not great though. Definitely No:1 only.
Tanger, is a beautiful City with a very long history. It's strategic location at the mouth of the Mediterranean meant that all the great Powers of the last few millennia  wanted a piece of it. And located between the Harbor and the Medina is the Hotel Continental.

I forgot to take pictures of my Room but it was magnificent. The size of an Apartment with separate Bathroom and Toilet, wonderful Mosaics, Paintings and antique carved Furniture. This is a Cafe. Even the Ceilings
were exquisitely decorated. All for 38 euro including Breakfast :-)
So after a Coffee and some delicious pastries I left the Hotel in a good Mood I went down to the Harbor to buy my ticket to Gibraltar. Even the incessant harassment by the Tangier tourist touts, the worst in Morocco was not enough spoil it. I went to a Travel Agency that was advertising tickets to Gibraltar and bought one. Half an hour later I was on the Bus to Tangier Med, the other Harbor, looking forward to re-entering Europe.
Buying a ticket to Gibraltar was easy but there was a technical problem with catching it. There was no Ferry going to Gibraltar!
It seems the Ferry was being repaired and nobody told the Agencies or that's what they told me. A refund was out of the question. I could use the ticket once the Ferry had been repaired after a few weeks! Ok, at this point I lost my cool..completely. After about half an hour they were rather embarrassed and "generously" offered to trade my 505 Dirham ticket to Gib for a 355 Dirham ticket to Algecieras. The squeaky Wheel I guess.
A few hours later I was  in Algecieras, got a Taxi to La Linea and crossed by foot into British territory. The next technical difficulty was that my Phone was still not working. Anyway after a few more hours of faffing about I managed to get into the Apartment and could finally relax. Next I found out that none of my Cash-cards are working despite having ample funds in the Accounts. Last night the power supply for my Laptop packed it it. Groan. See what I mean about "Passing the Pillars of Hercules"? Luckily I still have a working Credit far. So two Cash Cards, Mobile and Laptop all in one Week. Have I inadvertently offended some Deity? 
Anyway, this afternoon I visited my Landlord with the intention of asking where the nearest Electronics shop was, forgetting that it was Sunday.  Luckily he had an incompatible Power supply from another Laptop and after some snipping and twirling of Wires I am back online and the Laptop has not exploded yet. Thus I am now able to bring you this enthralling Story :-)   


  1. that hotel looks incredible.

  2. It is Jeff. You are seeing a living Museum. Like lifting two Potatoes with one Hoe.