Exploring Tangier

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The (relatively) new sections of Tangiers are spread along wide boulevards and you can drive between them. From the cemetery at St Andrew’s church with its wartime headstones, to the oldest golf course in Africa, your drive will give you a glimpse into the louche world of 19th and 20th Century Tangiers. You can then get out of the car to explore the older parts of the city, the medina and the kasbah. There’s a lovely museum in the kasbah (time permitting) and the medina itself is a warren of commercial and residential streets. The Petit Socco, with its history of prostitution and drug dealing (all long gone now) is a good place to stop for a mint tea and a rest; just outside the medina the Grand Socco square frames the Bab Fass gate beautifully, and is the heart of Beat Tangiers, where Matisse, Saint Saens and Paul Bowles all spent time.

Nestled below Cap Spartel, the north-western limit of the African continent, is the Grottes d’Hercule (Caves of Hercules), where legend has it that Hercules resided. More prosaically, through history it has been a quarry, a party venue and a favourite spot for prostitutes! It makes an interesting stop whilst in the area, to explore the beach and snap a picture of the ocean through an Africa-shaped passage in the rock.

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