Off we go on an Odyssey to another Continent. North Africa here we come..
We have changed our minds so many times wether to take Pinot to Morocco or not…insurance options for us were proving to be a very expensive problem and only offering third party cover, so Pinot is resting once more as we begin this adventure into Morocco. We caught the bus from Mojacar into Almeria and checked into our Hotel Nuevo Torreluz. Oddly there was a bronze statue of John Lennon outside reception…… don’t know what the link was. A quick freshen up and we ventured out and enjoyed a great evening in a traditional local Bodega complete with legs of ham hanging from the ceilings and even a couple of bulls heads overhead.
Next morning we wandered down to the Port and boarded the ferry for a 6 hour crossing to North Africa. Actually we disembarked in the town of Melilla, a Tiny Spanish enclave surrounded by Morocco. We checked into the Parador Hotel and walked into town. Wow this is a very soft intro to North Africa…..it’s a very gentrified Town with some 85,000 Spanish inhabitants of almost half are Christian with around 40% Muslim and the rest made up of Jews, and Hindu…..a real cultural melting pot.
The architecture is also pleasantly surprising…..a young man called Enrique Nieto who studied under Gaudi of Barcelona fame, escaped his grasp and came across in the early 1900’s and stamped his own mark on the buildings throughout Melilla.
The parklands are beautiful and it’s just something we didn’t expect. A huge amount of mosaic tiles are used around the gardens beds.We found a little quirky Tapas bar on trip advisor (la Cerveceria) in town for drinks and Tapas and scored a real winner…..and Amanda discovered a new drink which is a little twist on Sangria called Tinto de Verano….a bit too sweet for me so just stuck to my usual Cerveza followed by Vino Tinto.
We even popped into the local Bullring in the centre of town and had a private tour from a lovely young Señorita who could only speak Spanish….it was free and we got the gist of it. Interestingly there’s now only one bullfight per year and the venue is now used more for fiestas and concerts etc. A dander through the old town completed our visit to this lovely city.We still managed to fit in an 12 km walk around the place this afternoon and took in the views from the fortress walls which date back to the 15th Century.Tomorrow we tackle the border crossing into Morocco and the five hour train journey to Fez … we have heard can be quite traumatic ! 😳😳
Lots of love xx
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