ATLANTIC MOROCCO

The road from Tangier to Agadir

There is an almost unknown Morocco that stretches continuously from Tangier to Agadir. We are so used to isolating the capitals, Rabat, Casablanca, even Essaouira, that we risk obscuring this space which offers over more than eight hundred and fifty kilometers by seagull flight, beaches and ports, estuaries and kasbahs, offering an authentic seafaring life, illuminated each evening by the setting sun which colors the ocean. An example: the famous "green ray", so rare, it is in Kenitra and nowhere else ... just wait for a few hours, on the verge of immense strikes in the fresh air of twilight ...

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Tangier

Tangier, the most ancient city in Morocco, since it was founded by Phoenician shopkeepers over twenty-five centuries ago, is resolutely Atlantic even if it is the gateway to the Mediterranean. Opposite, Gibraltar is only a fortress. It all starts in Tangier and the journey obviously ends in Agadir, capital of the good life. The two cities are experiencing extraordinary, almost symmetrical development.

Tangier was the seaside and "playful" resort of the British who were hard at work on their armored rock.

It did a lot for his notoriety if not for his reputation.

Cargo dans le port de Tanger

 

Tangiers.

A boat. A rare flash of light after a dull day of sticky weather no good for photography.

I was scouting around and had almost given up hope of finding a boat reminiscent of the 1930s and Paul Bowles.

I found a freighter out of some black and white movie, which looked barely sea-worthy.

By 7pm I was on my way home when suddenly a flash of light struck this wall of steel. Dented, wrinkled and twisted it

was magnified by the massive projector. The little man with a hat perching on the superstructure, in a cartoon decor,

was an extra gift. And just in the right place there is a minaret to remind us this is not a sci-fi film but really Tangiers,

a port between two worlds. It was a real boat, about which I know nothing, except that it weighed anchor two hours later and sailed out to sea. We wish it a fair wind.

Tangier

Tangier was a diplomatic crossroads for the "legations" of the Western powers which were eyeing a supposedly juicy market. A fantasy city further accentuated by the international zone which made it an ideal “nest of spies” as shown by dozens of films. The real Tangier was hidden from view. It is an economic crossroads between three worlds, Africa, Europe, America, which makes it an exceptional position. But we get there to embark, we disembark to enter it, is that all? No. The misunderstanding quickly dissipates as soon as we consider it for what it is, a capital of the North in full mutation, with infinite decorations. And a splendid starting point for this (re) discovery of Atlantic Morocco.

Musée Forbes de Tanger

The Mendoub Palace, Forbes Museum of Tangier which was created by Malcolm Forbes, American billionaire publisher of Forbes magazine.

Tanger vu du toit terrasse de la Casa Velasco

Tangier.

The bay, seen from the terrace of casa Velasco, typical example of these beautiful houses built for notable foreigners when the city was "international" and which still attracts so many VIPs.

Le phare du cap Spartel près de Tanger

Tangier.

Cape Spartel lighthouse

Few landmarks, it's true, the coast line seems monolithic, barely scratched by a few capes that do not punctuate it. It is the estuaries that feed and draw it. Because these river outlets are all guarded by cities that motivate the journey. Starting with Asilah asleep in her white rampart belt, improbable bubble of serenity. Moulay Bousselham is an almost tropical happiness quite unexpected, with its warm water behind the sand barrier.

 

Asilah

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Asilah.

Un joyau qui a retrouvé toute sa beauté et fait « peau neuve ». Désormais connu pour son festival, mais pas seulement.

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Asilah.

On the ramparts

 

Salty and Rabat.

Rabat, on the banks of Bou Regreg, is resplendent, elegant, fascinating. Centuries overlap to provide a joyful present

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Salty and Rabat.

The cemetery of Salé

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Rabat.

The Oudaïas; view of the strike of Bou Regreg, the imperial capital, founded by the Almoravids, has the appearance of a mysterious island, emerging in the early morning from its mirror of water.

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Rabat.

The entry of the Oudaïas at the exquisite hour when the heat subsides, the women meet; information is exchanged, it has been a high place of social life for centuries.

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Rabat.

The guard watches over the door of the Mohammed V Mausoleum which overlooks the Bou Regreg estuary, opposite the Hassan tower.

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Rabat.

The oath of allegiance on Feast of the Throne day at the Royal Palace.

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Rabat.

The royal guard during the feast of the throne.

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Rabat.

The great state clerks and dignitaries.

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Rabat.

Prayer during the Feast of the Throne.

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Rabat.

Despite the two bridges, the smugglers cross Bou Regreg all day to bring the inhabitants of Salé to the capital, and then bring them back. The flow is incessant. It is an essential shuttle for everyday life and a feast for the eyes of those who get up early.

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Rabat.

Smugglers cross Bou Regreg

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Rabat.

Some women visiting the Mohamed V mausoleum

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Rabat.

An unexpected image: this young woman waits outside the entrance to the Mohammed V Mausoleum

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Rabat.

Spice merchant

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Rabat.

Butcher in the souks

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Rabat.

Greengrocer

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Rabat.

Exit the souk