SeaDream I pulled in early to Tangier, Morocco. I was quite excited because I remember all the old movies featuring the Casbah. Humphrey Bogart, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope all featured in movies about this famous place.
Many of the group left the ship early on an optional shore excursion. Sandra and I have found that when visiting smaller ports, we prefer to find an English-speaking taxi driver and do our own independent tour, stopping as long as we like at any given location. It’s really important to do a little research about where you’re going; I’ve found that when visiting places that are some distance from the ship, organised tours are a better option as the ship will wait for the group’s return should there be any mishaps such as traffic jams, etc.
After a leisurely breakfast (which was served on the outdoor deck) we went ashore and were approached by an elderly Arab. He was dressed in traditional garb and looked straight out of a 1940s Bogart movie. He offered his guiding services for two hours, including the use of a nearby taxi. Negotiation is an art form in many countries, including Morocco, so when he suggested a fee of 60 euros I counter-offered 30 euros, which he accepted.
We drove past all the local sites but the place of most interest was the famous Casbah. My camera was working overtime, photographing winding, narrow lanes crowded with people and shops. Our guide seemed to know all the shopkeepers and despite his many attempts to lure us in to some of them, we survived without buying any local souvenirs or fake designer knock-offs.
Tangier was one of the most exciting and certainly different ports of call.