We have now reached Tangier, at the far north of Morocco,
one of the world's most strategic sites. This picture was
taken from Tangier's Casbah (Kasbah), which still means
fort. Across the Strait of Gibraltar lies Spain. This is the
entrance to the Mediterranean Sea on the right. In the
center is a terminal for ferry boats, such as the one I took
back to Spain.
Early in the 8th century, Moslem forces, united Berbers and
Arabs, looked at this same geography, and concluded that
Spain was the logical place for the next phase of Islamic
conquest. Meeting little resistance, they conquered virtually
all of Spain in only two years, and held onto at least parts of
it for the nearly 800 years that followed.
They would have kept going, but were defeated in France.
We know these Moslem rulers of Spain as the Moors. Their
architecture survives as a glory of Spain, presented in the
pages to come. The very name Morocco, to which the
defeated Moors retreated in 1492, reinforces this historic
link between the two countries.
Before arriving in Spain, a brief Moroccan fashion
show. These two women are wearing relatively
In contrast, the women on the left have chosen
modern styles. There is no dress code in Morocco
for men or women. All three pictures were taken at
the same spot in Marrakesh. The woman in pink
worked at our Casablanca hotel, a quite colorful look.
I don't wish to forget Said, our guide, who appeared in a
series of traditional robes, each day a different color. He
spoke English, French, and Arabic. Said warned me
against entering Old Fez by myself, certain I would get
lost. Confused, yes; but I never became truly lost in Old
Fez. Bring a map and a compass if you want to try it.
If you have a high speed internet connection,
watch the Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video
of Spain and Morocco, by clicking on:
From Flamenco To Fez