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Bonjour!  This post is picture-heavy and a day late.  (We had absolutely no wifi in Tangier last night.)  We hope you enjoy!

Day 4   |  Monday 06 November 2017

We started the day with a visit to the Instituto Cervantes de Tétuan, where we heard presentations on Spanish language and culture––and the Institute's role in promoting them––from director María Dolores López Enamorado, cultural manager Josefina Matas García, and librarian Almudena Quintana Arranz. 

Erick Jara provided Spanish–English translation... did Sonia Hernandez.  (They were great!)

Our travel companion anthropologist Dr. Judith Anderson discussed language cultural and linguistic exchange between Spain and the Americas:  "Without Latin America, we wouldn't be who we are.  In the Bronx, the Spanish they speak is half English and it's BEAUTIFUL Spanish!  The Spanish culture gave much to the Americas, and the Americas have given so much back."

The highlight of the day was a much-anticipated walk through the old medina of Tétouan, a Unesco World Heritage Site that dates back to the 8th century CE.  Surrounded by a 5k wall and accessed by seven gates, the medina is filled with an impossibly labyrinthine network of stone paths and is utterly inscrutable to Google Maps.  Fortunately, Javier had arranged for us to meet up with a Moroccan guide who would conduct us through the medina.

Exploring the medina was an incredible experience––and one best told in pictures.

entering the gate to the medina

Our Moroccan guide educated us about the history, design, and functions of the medina.

The medina was thrumming with action: craftspeople working in hundreds and hundreds of tiny stalls and workshops built into the walls; vendors selling vegetables, fruits, olives, herbs and spices, leather products, rugs, washing machines, stove parts, tools, ornate silver teapots, pigeons; vehicles squeezing through impossibly narrow passages; children playing; the occasional goose.  Every corner we turned was a new zone of smells: wood shavings, pastries, adhesives, cinnamon, spices, tangerines, burnt oil. By the time we emerged from the medina and fell into our chairs at the restaurant, our sense were throughly glutted.

After lunch, we gathered our luggage and transferred by bus to Tangier, where we enjoyed a relatively early dinner in the hotel. Dr. Anderson and Sara Kassir spoke about feminism and the status of women's rights in Morocco, Alfredo Molina spoke about the economy of Morocco, and our own Skylar Nieman, Lizzie Platner, Ly Nguyen, and Grier Calagione gave their site reports.

We wrapped up the day with some much-needed downtime––including several vigorous rounds of Bananagrams.

Tomorrow we cross over to Spain!


  1. The medina sounds amazing ... thanks for all of the photos - it's almost like we were there :)
    Mariah Calagione (Grier's mom)

  2. Lovely photos and sensory images! Nice to see Erick and Sonia in action and that you've interacted with an anthropologist after reading about some in class. And a running thread of feminism! Good stuff. ENJOY, ENJOY. . .