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Arrival in Morocco

Reading some of the travel adventures folks had getting to Morocco reminds me of my family’s trip to the kingdom. We actually drove down from Bremerhaven, Germany. My dad and mom , my brother, myself and Alf (a daschund) loaded up our 1957 Chevy and headed south for the African continent.

No problems getting through France, except my dad wouldn’t go into Paris so we could see the Eiffel Tower.

However, in Spain while making our way to Rota our car lights went out coming down a a small mountain and by the time my dad could get the car stopped we were sideways in the middle of the road. My dad and brother with the help of one flashlight managed very carefully to get the car to the side of road. After a short time a nice spanish man stopped to help us. We limped down the side of the mountain following him in the glow of his tail lights. We ended up getting the car fixed on base at Rota and spent two days extra there while the vet figured out why Alf (the daschund) had became violently sick. My mom was swearing it was the water, but after a couple of days the vet came up with the solution, the dog was car sick. A couple of pills fixed that problem and we were on our way.

The next problem was a little harder to fix because it actually had to do with us getting into Morocco. After taking the ferry from Spain, the Moroccan government would not allow entry to my dad. The reason – he was in the military. So my dad and mom had to come up with Plan B.

Plan B was for my dad to return to Spain via the ferry then make his way to the base in Rota (I believe he did that by bus). He was then to fly to Morocco via Port Lyautey, commandeer some form of transportation and meet us in Tangier. Meanwhile, my mom, my brother, myself and Alf (the daschund) were to cross the border in the car and meet him in Tangier at a pre-arranged place. Before departing my dad hired a Moroccan lad to guide us to the rendezvous (I threw that word in there because after all we were in “FRENCH Morocco”) point, a hotel. My dad’s ETA in Tangier was three days.

The Moroccan lad (that’s right you guessed it) Mohammed, got us to our destination in Tangier safeley and quite efficiently. Then we sat and waited. After about a day of sitting in the hotel my mother went temporary insane (I think my brother and me were driving her crazy) and let us go with Mohammed into the city. He took us into every nook and crany of the city, the marketplace (the smell still haunts me) the cafes (we sat at the bar and drank coke out of those little bottles) and down to the waterfront. What a great adventure. My dad showed up just about right on time and we moved on down the coast to Kenitra. We stayed three months at the hotel in town then moved to a villa off base. The interesting thing about this villa was the whole yard was concrete. Also this is where we were living when JFK was assassinated, but that’s a whole different story.

We eventually moved on base near the Chief’s club overlooking the airfield. My dad could actually walk to work at the airfield. I don’t know why that impresses me so much, maybe because I have to drive 30 minutes one way to work these days.

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