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ex HARALD JARL ::: ex ANDREA ::: SERENISSIMA :::

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  • Seagull
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    Just as in such places as John O'Groats or Norway's Nordkapp, there is a shopping opportunity!
    I didn't give too much attention to the fossils among these souvenirs though. Morocco has for years been notorious for a 'cottage industry' in fakes and forgeries, especially fossil trilobites. One common technique is to glue bits to complete an incomplete specimen. One might end up with a head that is far too large for its body, or a tail from an entirely different species. I might actually have looked out for that kind of thing if I was still involved in teaching undergraduate students and adult evening classes - useful for 'spot the mistake' kind of exercises!



    Clothing stalls seemed quite popular.




    Quite a number of other tour buses had turned up, to the delight of young boys with animals in tow to attract tourist photo-taking for a price of course. I just took photos of the tourists among the animals...



    ...as well as the inevitable consequences underfoot! Best not wear sandals!

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  • Seagull
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    As the bus turned out of the harbour, I saw where all the activity was and why there had been so many fishing boats - the trading market for fish.



    Another 'from the bus' photo I liked was this almost abstract blocky pattern of the buildings on the hillside.

    It was an interesting drive around various areas of the city, and on through pleasant surroundings of a nature reserve where we stopped at Cape Spartel, some 12km or so to the west.
    This is a bit like tourists visiting John O'Groats in Scotland, which is not actually the most northern point of the UK/Scottish mainland (that's Dunnet Head). Cape Spartel is certainly NOT the northernmost part of Africa - that’s clearly in Tunisia, but actually I'm not even sure it's the northernmost point of Morocco as listed here. (What appears be the northernmost point is perhaps too close to disputed boundaries around the Spanish exclave of Ceuta to draw attention to.)

    Anyway, we can all agree that Cape Spartel lies at the north western point of mainland Africa at the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar.

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  • Seagull
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    The tour buses had arrived on the quay, and we disembarked, our smiling Captain seeing us off from up on the bridge wing.

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  • Seagull
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    Waiting for Serenissima's gangway to be lowered. Meanwhile across the other side of the harbour the cruise ship Marina has just arrived, and I stayed outside watching her turn and reverse in to her berth before I went to breakfast.




    We all had the usual kind of immigration cards to fill in and present with our passports to the officials who had set up office in the Harald Jarl lounge. On more recently renewed British passports the issuing authority is shown as IPS, (short for Identity and Passport Service). This seemed to confuse the officials at first, and a queue of guests was starting to build up. Perhaps they expected us to put somewhere such as "London" as ‘place of issue of passport’ on the cards. The person next to me in the queue told me he was sure he would slow down the procedure even more, and showed me his Guernsey passport! How interesting - even the cover rather unexpectedly had the wording "British Islands", followed by "Bailiwick of Guernsey" As it happened one of the more junior of the officials knew about the Channel Islands, and no doubt impressed his superior. After that the rest of us who had put IPS on our cards had them stamped without further ado.
    Last edited by Seagull; March 16th, 2015, 16:29.

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  • Seagull
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    There were quite a number of small fishing boats coming from the inner harbour, but otherwise everywhere seemed quiet, as well as now pleasantly warm in the early morning sun.

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