We took a train from Lisbon to Faro, a little beach town, where we whittled away 3 hours wandering, drinking coffee and taking a nap on the docks. We also had an extra person with us, a guy from Germany wanted to get to Seville so he grabbed the same tickets as us and we got to all travel together for the day. Then we took a bus from Faro to Seville, at this point it was about 10:30pm. Then we made our way to the train station to pick up our rental car and drive down to Tarifa, Spain which is a tiny costal town. We were quite tired at this point so the drive included a 10 minute power nap on the side of the road to safely continue. We finally arrived in Tarifa at around 1am and our hostel was no longer open. Therefore we drove to any hotel or hostel and they were all closed, finally rang a buzzer at one and a man speaking only Spanish answered. He was so nice, he had gotten out of bed for us and gave us a room with a hand written recipt and the hotel was cheap luckily, but also covered in beautiful tile with a balcony, we were so happy to see that bed!
Next morning we woke up around 8:20 and headed to catch our ferry over to Tanger, Morocco! We got stamps in our passport for AFRICA! Needless to say we were pretty stoked and on a ferry with mostly retired UK residents in tour groups and a few older Spanish women. After getting off we were barraged with offers to tour us and kids following you for blocks to try to offer you help of any kind. Making it past that barrier we went to exchange money for dihram and tried to exchange $20 and they man said no no don't need more than $10 for the day, turns out he was right ha!
We walked through the winding streets with tall brightly colored buildings leaning in on all sides while the city woke up. It was quite lovely to see the people that lived their opening shop windows and sweeping and children playing soccer in the corridors. At first we were a little nervous, we are very white and obviously stuck out, but we quickly realized they were cool with that and most Moroccans seemed happy to practice some English with us.
We walked to the Kasbah, palace, first which had beautiful intricate mosaics and overly elaborate carved wood ceilings, we paid $1 each to enter. There was also a beautiful overgrown garden courtyard with views back to the Strait of Gibraltar. Since it was so early and we were the first ferry over we had the whole place to rock out in ourselves.
Then we headed toward the Gran Socco which is a market full of everything you can imagine. If there was any open ground space women with colorful woven hats laid out cloths and peppered them with fresh greens and herbs. We had orange juice squeezed in front of us and chickpea flour bread to munch on as the stalls all opened up and began to teem with people bargaining and chatting. We started to bargain for a rug which was fun because the price goes down significantly the longer the conversation goes on, we didn't buy one but I was glad we got to try.
We sat down near a main square with a cute mosque in view and had kebabs with fries and a coke zero, no diet coke ha. The food was prepared by tow guys standing behind us with a cook top. Mostly I am extremely unaware of the cleanliness because no gloves, no barrier or sealed containers and I'm pretty sure he touched his friends pigeon while making our meal, but we can't deny that it was delicious :)
Although exhausting we are both so glad we went. It was fun to be transported somewhere entirely different than all the other cities we were exploring. We had nothing to do all day but wander around, talk to people, and eat street food. The sun was out and overall the day was amazing!
Stray cats everywhere, I had to strongly resist cuddling them all! We took the ferry back and then drove the car back up to Seville where we settled into our next room & passed out!