Day 1 – Travel to Tangier, Morocco

Sunday/Monday – June 25/26, 2017

It was dry and warm when we left Niagara for the Toronto airport at 6 pm on Sunday evening. Surprisingly, the traffic was relatively good and we reached the ‘ Skypark ‘ lot earlier than expected and we were at the airport with lots of time to check in, go through the security check and have supper before our 11:55 pm flight to Lisbon.

With the assistance of a 180 km tailwind we arrived in Lisbon almost an hour early and we circled twice before landing at 11:22 am ( 6:22 am EST ) Monday morning.

There was a very long line at the Portuguese customs and it took us 30 minutes before we got to the customs agent but it only took a few minutes after that to clear customs. We tried to get our boarding passes for the next leg of our flight but there was a problem with my ticket, so we had to exit the customs area and go to the TAP airline service desk. There were only about 15 people ahead of us but it took more than an hour to talk to one of the four agents. However, it only took a few minutes to get everything corrected and print out our boarding passes.

Even with the delays, we still had plenty of time for our 10:20 pm flight to Tangier, so we decided to get a SIM card for my phone, clear security, have supper at one of the many restaurants in the gate area and then relax a bit before our flight. We found a vodaphone kiosk and I had them install a local SIM card in my phone for 10 Euros, which gives access to 7 GB of data and 500 minutes of local talk time in Portugal and Spain. Clearing security was very easy and we opted for a simple supper of burgers and fries.

I took a picture of Pete and Kathy in the airport. You can figure out who’s who.

It was still a long wait until our flight departed and there was a half hour delay before we finally left. We arrived in Tangier shortly before 11 pm and our driver was waiting for us as we exited the airport. It was a 15 minute ride to the El Minzah hotel and by the time we checked in, it was almost midnight in Tangier ( 8 pm EST ), 26 hours from the time we had left Niagara. Even though we were tired, it took us a while to fall asleep.

The El Minzah was built in the 1930’s and it is a 5-star hotel in Northern Africa that is a favorite of many influential people. This is a view from Pete & Kathy’s room at midnight.

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