I just got back from Tarifa. I’m sitting on my sun porch writing this and gazing across the street that the ferry travels several times a day between Tangier and Tarifa. In order to stay in Tangier legally, I must obtain residency. That takes some time and we are in the process of gathering the documents.

View of Tangier from my window
View of Tangier from my window

Although we’ve been to the immigration office twice with the documents that they told us to gather, each time they’ve turned us away with yet more documents to obtain. Italy has a two-step process for obtaining a Permesso di Soggiorno and then residency. Morocco has only one, which covers both, the Carte de Sejour.

Until I have obtained my residency, as a U.S. Citizen, I can be in Morocco for ninety days on a tourist visa. No paperwork is required for that. Once my ninety days is up, I must leave the country and return to restart the clock on the ninety days. That was the purpose of my trip to Tarifa.

A big move like this one where you are changing countries, lifestyles, languages, cultures, and many more everyday things is stressful. I really wasn’t ready to travel. I remember when I moved to Florence, Italy, it was over a year before I decided to take a trip.

Tarifa is a comfortable one-hour ferry ride. The cost of the roundtrip is 660 dirham or about 65 euro. The ferry is very nice and has a bar and a duty-free shop. My trip was delayed a half hour on both sides, but it is all very relaxed and easy.

Inside the ferry
Inside the ferry

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I booked a small hotel room for 30 euro in Tarifa to spend the night. I had planned to do more sightseeing, but when I arrived, I had a nice lunch with a glass of wine in the sun. The first time I had sipped an alcoholic beverage outside for almost ninety days. I walked down to the beach and found a bar/restaurant opened called Waikiki and sat there for a few hours watching windsurfers on the waves.

Beach of Tarifa
Beach of Tarifa
Beach of Tarifa
Beach of Tarifa
Windsports
Windsports
Waikiki Tarifa
Waikiki Tarifa

Tarifa is a lovely little town to pass a short period of time. I was surprised that no one spoke English but managed to conjure enough Spanish to communicate. These multiple languages, none of which I know very well, are killing me.

I explored the historic district behind the Jerez Wall and found it to be lovely, clean, and empty. This seaside town is known for its wind sports so it is definitely offseason for them. Many restaurants and shops were closed. The Guzman Castle is one of the sights in Tarifa, and although I walked by it, couldn’t summon up the desire to enter. Maybe next time. I’ve read there are incredible views and a nice museum inside.

Gate of Jerez
Gate of Jerez
Streets of Tarifa Historic Center
Streets of Tarifa Historic Center
Courtyard
Courtyard
Streets of Tarifa Historic Center
Streets of Tarifa Historic Center
Streets of Tarifa Historic Center
Streets of Tarifa Historic Center
Bar in Tarifa
Bar in Tarifa
Castle of Guzman the Good
Castle of Guzman the Good
Castle of Guzman the Good
Castle of Guzman the Good[/caption
I went to dinner and ate Grilled Tuna, which Tarifa is famous for. I have to say it was the best tuna I have ever put into my mouth. Grilled to a perfect medium rare and sprinkled with shaved salt, it was served with soy sauce and wasabi, over a bed of rice made with seaweed and sesame oil. Afterwards, I had a piece of cheesecake and that meal made the whole trip worthwhile.


The meal and the two bottles of Bombay Sapphire that I bought in the Duty-Free shop on board the ferry for 35 euro!

[caption id="attachment_612" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Holiday streets Holiday streets

Jerez Gate
Jerez Gate
Castle in Tarifa
Castle in Tarifa

Twenty four hours away from Tangier was just enough to let me know that Tangier is already starting to feel like home. I will probably visit Tarifa again…maybe in another ninety days. It will be spring then and likely a very different place with more visitors. It’s nice to know there is another world an hour away if I ever want an escape. For now, I’m happy at home.

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2 Comments

  1. I’ll be taking the ferry to Tarifa in a few days. Do you remember which restaurant served you that delicious grilled tuna? I am planning on having some great tuna for lunch there. According to TripAdvisor, ”Restaurant La Burla” is highly recommended and offers a grilled tuna entrée for 16 Euros so I might go there.

    • Karen Mills Reply

      The restaurant was La Pescaderia and is in the principal place when you get off the ferry. http://www.lapescaderiatarifa.com/?lang=en I have since discovered that you can buy this red tuna in the medina fish market and grill it at home. It’s really wonderful. The restaurant is a bit pricey, but the food and service are wonderful. Enjoy.

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