Sunday, 1 November 2015


We first visited Tangiers 25 years ago with sweetheart and both grannies. It was a Thomson package for half term and time was spent round the pool and beach and finding camel rides and other "family quality time" matters.  
Tangiers seems now to be 3 or 4 times the size. 
The centre is much the same. The Cinema Rif on the Grand Socco was showing a season of motorcycle road movies. I could only think of "The Motorcycle Diaries" and "Easy Rider" but presumably there must be others and in French. The was small demonstration marched in and stood chanting outside the building next to it but we couldn't work out what it was about. 

The Cafe de Paris was as ever it's exquisite Deco interior intact and the elderly clientele could have been the same people as when we were last there, just aged a bit like us.
We walked through the Petit Socco where William Burroughs used to cruse the cafes when Tangier was an international Freeport and every house down there was a brothel or opium den or both. Ginsberg and the Beats used to hang out there in the early 50s and it lives of its reputation although the area is largely cleaned up and just your usual tourist trap now.
We walked down the steps next to the El Minzah  where Churchill used to go to paint, and went down to the port. 

The colonial frontage is still there with cafes and hotels aging a la Haversham  but the big change is that the Ferry port has left. It has moved 20 miles down the coast tto Tangier Med.  It's site is going to be used for a "pleasure port" or marina. 

It will be very upmarket and as the taxi driver said "now is the time to be getting a business in there, it will be very exclusive but people don't think about it now because it's not built". It's not just tourist apartments they sell off plan here.
The King likes to come here and there is a lot of modern development along the corniche and east of the old town beach. That is now lined with nightclubs/ beach bars,

 with bored camels waiting for sweethearts behind.

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