With so many travels this year already made and published here, I haven’t managed to tell about one of the greatest ones last October until now. In fact, it had been my first solo travel in a very long while and somewhat meant the world to me.
Having moved to Barcelona last summer and mastered all the new challenges, I felt like treating myself to an exciting yet relaxing trip. Living in Spain, the options are beautiful and endless obviously, so I decided to visit Andalusia and then cross over to Morocco.
I first wanted to split those two destinations into separate postings but as I’m not selling any city guides here but rather sharing my experiences, I opted for placing it all in one. Which leaves you with dozens of images more to scroll through and me with a serious case of travel nostalgia.
As you might have figured out by now, I’m quite the spontaneous traveller so I didn’t plan that much when booking a flight from Barcelona to Seville and one back from Tangier to Barcelona. Some rome2rio minutes and my wonderful AirBnB host’s tips later I settled for my route: Seville – Cádiz – Tarifa – Tangier in 6 days.
I started my trip low-cost and spent two nights at the Black Swan Hostel in Seville. Contra: The only girl among seven guys in a shared room and the discovery: I’m too old for hostals. Pro: Little sleep chased me out of bed early in the morning and I had the city almost to myself.
To be frank, the chemistry between Seville and me was not quite right. Even though you can’t deny the city’s beauty, it felt a bit like walking from one attraction to the other with not so much in between. However, the Real Alcázar had me fall for Seville after all and gave me some foretaste of the Moroccan architecture I was to discover later on my trip.
With a less traditional yet very tasty lunch at El Pintón my visit in the citadel of Flamenco came to an end. I took the train to Cádiz and lost my heart. With its narrow, colourful streets and welcoming small town charm, the Andalusian city was the perfect destination for a solo travel. Beautiful architecture, good food and a great beach made me want to stay a tiny bit longer than the two nights booked.
Tapas, ice cream, amazing views – what more could I ask for?
While Barcelona’s water temperature had gone down over October, swimming at La Caleta was great. Plus, I had the ocean almost to myself. Unfortunately this was the end of good weather during this trip and I found myself running with my luggage through the heaviest rain to catch the bus to Tarifa the next morning.
I had booked a room in the cosy 08 Rooms House only one day before my arrival and could not have been luckier to find it 8 minutes from the stop where the bus dropped me off. It was national holiday in Spain and I without any cash since the station in Cádiz did not show a hint of an ATM. So my only possibility was to run once more through the heavy rainfalls. Arriving in this snug hotel and having a long hot shower made up for all the freezing though. I was in need of some good coffee, so I headed out to explore cloud-covered Tarifa. And I must say it did not lose any of its charm despite the weather.
And I was lucky enough to stumble upon the cosiest café just when the thunderstorm gained momentum.
Warmed up by my carrot cake breakfast, I strolled further through Tarifa’s old town.
I got some overdue sleep and got ready to take the ferry over to Morocco the next morning. When walking through rainy Tarifa was tough, getting to the industrial port with a suitcase that had lost any will power to roll was a tiny bit tougher. But hey, that’s the challenges that make travelling unique I suppose. The swaying ferry ride too. Suffice it to say: Do pack some anti-nausea pills!
After one hour the ferry crossing came to an end and I arrived in Tangier. I was curious to discover this city which was described to be far less enchanting than Marrakech and much rougher and more authentic. Also with Only Lovers Left Alive being one of my favourite movies in the history of film making, I was eager to discover the one or other corner I knew from the screen.
Getting lost is why Morocco has been my favourite travel destination for a while now. Backed up with mobile internet in the south of Spain, I lost all connectivity – and orientation – crossing the pond. I had a map with me but some seconds you can’t really tell whether that street on the left or right is the one you are actually looking for. Some helpful people guided me the way though and I found my tasteful AirBnB and its owner in the midst of the blue colours of the Medina.
I was soaked with rain and still felt a little off from the ferry ride but a pot of thé à la menthe and two hours of chatting with the adorably sophisticated host I regained lots of strength to discover Tangier.
After some tajine with a view over the Place Petit Socco I climbed up to the Kasbah.
On my way back I did a turn around the Medina and headed towards the Place du 19 Avril 1947 to explore some bookstores and modern corners.
I had one more day in Tangier ahead and started it with some relaxing minutes on the roof top of my AirBnB to stroll once more through the city.
From invitations to a British writer’s private book club to playing Bingo with my host and his friends through to a laid-back party of the Cinématèque de Tanger: This city was indeed much rougher than what I had known of Morocco. But at the same time, local culture felt much more at hand. Traditionally I finished my trip with one more delicious tajine and a chicken pastilla for “dessert”.