Archive for February, 2013

Many moons ago when I came to Tangier, we stayed at one of those faceless hotels full of lager louts that sometimes come included in package holidays. In

those days we came on business so it did not matter. Fast forward 17 years and little did I know that once you move away from Boulevard Pasteur or Mohammed V, there is charm, history and beauty to discover. You just need to climb higher to get to it so add a great work out to the list.

Start at the Grand Socco…the hub…. with Cinema Rif presiding. Walk through the white gate with the Mendoubia gardens to your left (note the two amazingly large trees) and start climbing the Rue de Kasbah or Rue d’Italie as it is sometimes called until at the very top you come to the main entrance to Kasbah.

 

Kasbah: Enter and go through to the far side then right down the passage (with the wall on the left) leading down to place de Kasbah. Continue through the next white arch leading to place Amrah and straight through then up by the Barbara Hutton house, (historic Café Baba perched half way) making a loop and climbing back to place de Kasbah where the museum is. This time take the small road by the museum and walk back along the (other) wall to the entrance.

Recommendations: Nebab Moroccan restaurant a few streets away from placeAmrah.  El Morocco club in the entrance to Kasbah for both inexpensive light
meals outside, a piano bar serving tapas and a smart restaurant upstairs. Volubilis Art Gallery opposite.

Merchane: Instead of taking a right into Kasbah, at the top of the road, continue veering left and sticking to the right hand fork past the old Italian consulate and the blue door of Merchane Art Gallery. Once the road flattens out you have gardens on one side and the sea on the other. Take in the Phoenician tombs, the views and finally walk the length of Rue Shakespeare, which starts to the left of the Malcolm Forbes house (now a royal guest house). At the very end of Rue Shakespeare you have a wonderful vista of the Straits. It is magical and you can see Spain on a clear day from several places. The cemetery at the far end by the mosque is also beautiful. Then walk around the other side of the palace and stadium returning to the same place.

Recommendations: Las Chicas (lifestyle shop with tea room) at the intersection top of Rue Kasbah. The Phoenician tombs, Marchane Art Gallery and Café Hafa for Baisa (lentil soup).

The Tangier American Legation Institute is a museum and cultural center, and is the only US National Historic Landmark abroad. The building was the first American diplomatic property in the world, a gift of the Sultan of Morocco in 1821.
The Legation museum is open Monday through Thursday, 10:00 – 13:00 & 15:00 – 17:00,
and on Fridays 10:00 – 12:00 & 15:00 – 17:00.
Closed on weekends; groups by appointment (Tel: 05 39 93 53 17). Country code +212

For more information visit the Legation Website , and the Directors Blog.