Tales from the Train

Casablanca / Tangier / Fes / Marrakesh, Morocco

June 19 / 22 / 24, 2019

She had WTF written all over her face. Then a suppressed smile lit her eyes. I could see her in my peripheral vision as she was observing Ki pressing his phone on the glass window to take videos of passing landscapes. The observed noticed the observer. She grinned at having been found out. This scene played out in all but one of our train rides around Morocco. Local commuters blind to their daily view were incredulous at a tourist’s child-like amazement. Travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson put it best: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

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TTT and Ki @ ONCF Al Boraq High-Speed Train

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A Bayt of Medina Life

Tangier, Morocco

June 19 – 22, 2019

The cultural heart of every Moroccan city beat in its ancienne medina (ancient city). That was why Ki and I dove head on into Tangier’s old quarter by booking a stay at a boutique B&B named Bayt Alice. Bayt, we later learned, was Arabic for house and, by extension, household. Alice, however, was a decidedly Western name. We could only surmise that this was a house owned by a foreign woman. How typical of Tangier, the African city closest to Europe, not only geographically but more so culturally.

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TTT and Ki @ Bayt Alice, Ancienne Medina, Tangier
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A Camel Tow and the Beach Boys of Tangier

Tangier, Morocco

June 20 – 21, 2019

Thousands of feet up on Royal Air Maroc, I could make out the tip of Morocco – of Africa, really – forming the lower lip of the Mediterranean’s mouth. That turned out to be Tangier’s coastline stretching from the Atlantic in the west through the Strait of Gibraltar toward Alboran Sea in the east. A day after our arrival at the sun-drenched, sea-kissed city, Ki and I were drawn to go beachcombing through five kilometers of its coast and newly-reinvigorated corniche.

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Camel Tow @ Plage Municipale Tanger (Playa de Tanger), Tangier
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Avec le Temps

Tangier, Morocco

June 21, 2019

Avec le temps tout s’évanouit.

Léo Ferré

“With time everything vanishes.” Even an entire civilization all but disappeared with scant remnants of its existence. To the unfamiliar, Moroccan history may seem to have begun with the Islamic conquest. That we would stumble on a pillaged Phoenician site in Tangier was the cherry on top – of Marshan Plateau which Ki and I unknowingly explored on foot.

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Punic-Roman Necropolis of Hafa @ Marshan Plateau, Tangier, Morocco
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Fifty Be Like

Den Haag, the Netherlands / Le Puy-Sainte-Reparade, France / Casablanca and Tangier, Morocco

June 10 / 15 / 19, 2019

More than 3,000 kilometers from Amsterdam to Marrakesh. That was how much distance I covered in my epic trip to celebrate my 50th birthday and the 10th anniversary of my blog and alter ego – TTT (The Transcendental Tourist).

Three countries and 15 cities by land. That was how intimately I was acquainted with my itinerary as I traversed almost the entire stretch through railway and highway, but mostly on foot – save for one flight across the Mediterranean.

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TTT Flying Over the Mediterranean aboard Royal Air Maroc
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