Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Tangier to Algeciras

I woke up early and looked outside to check on the weather. The wind had dropped and it wasn't raining though it was heavily overcast. I asked at reception if the ferries were running and was told that the 8 am ferry was cancelled but the 10 am ferry was available. Since that was the ferry I planned to take, I was much relieved.

The FRS ferry is large hydrofoil and typically does the journey in 30 minutes. After going though immigration exit to check my passport and a luggage scan, I waited around with the other passengers in a large tent before before boarding. The ferry also carries cars so we had to walk onto the stern of the ship where the cars came on board. I found a good seat by a window and bought a cup of espresso coffee to celebrate.

The ship set off about half an hour late and headed out of the harbour at about 10 knots.

The speed increased but the sea remained relatively calm.

Last view of Morocco through the mist.

I could see a number of large ships passing through the strait. It is interesting that water at deeper levels flows westward out of the Mediterranean while surface water flows eastward into the Med. You can read more about it here.

Vessels passing through the strait.

It started to rain again. Our ship was doing about 30 knots and taking it very easy.

After about an hour, we reached the port at Tarifa and a pilot boat pulled alongside to drop off a pilot who would actually steer the ship to the wharf.

We all toddled off the ship and went through immigration and another baggage scan. The woman who checked my passport found it very interesting and she went though it a couple of times looking at all the stamps and inserts. She didn't say a word and just gave it another stamp.

Your ferry ticket entitles you to a free bus ride from Tarifa to Algeciras. Most of the passengers fitted onto this bus. The last ones off the ship had to wait for another bus.

Tarifa is the southernmost point in continental Europe. As you might expect from such a strategic position, it has been fought over many times.

The town appears to be prosperous.

I suspect Tarifa might be  good place to live and go out each day to talk with your old friends.. 

The town had quite a few interesting buildings and was very clean.

Soon the bus was out in the countryside for the 20 km ride to Algeciras.

This a road bridge that we traveled over a minute or so later.

We reached the outskirts of Algeciras and I was amused to see this rather large Aldi supermarket.

New housing development.

Eventually I could see Gibraltar through the palm trees.

Hopefully I will visit Gibraltar tomorrow. Anyhow, I was much relieved to have reached Spain so that I could proceed with the remaining week of my trip.

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