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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sephardic Heritage Trip 2019/5779: Day 4: Morocco

On the fourth day of the Sephardic Heritage Trip, we visited three countries and two continents all in one day!
On our second morning in Gibraltar , some students woke up extra early for a 4 mile run with Mrs. Wielgus to watch the sunrise by the beach and take pictures throughout the quaint streets of Gibraltar. After minyan, we had an elaborate breakfast on the stunning rooftop restaurant of the hotel with fresh produce and egg omelets. We discovered that Ezra Faks makes a mean avocado toast with eggs:) 
After leaving Gibraltar, we made it to the ferry going from Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco by the skin of our teeth! The ferry crossing was fun but rough with very choppy waves. Upon arrival in Morocco we met- and will never forget!-our personable and excitable tour guide, Ahmed. We joked that he sounded exactly like a character from the movie Borat. Our first stops were a tour of the fancy sections of Tangier and a stop for pictures at the gorgeous point where the Mediterranean and Atlantic meet. To fit with the mood of the city, we played lively Arabic music on the bus. We then toured the breathtaking cave and grottoes of Hercules where we learned about the many civilizations that shaped the history of Tangier. After that we had a blast riding camels on the beach! 
Finally, we toured the Medina, the old city of Tangier. We saw two beautiful shuls in the Jewish quarter and prayed mincha in one of them. We also learned about the unique history of the Jews in Morocco and their special relationship with the king of Morocco. 
In the afternoon we ate our packed lunches at a restaurant while listening and dancing to Moroccan music. After touring the city we had some time to shop around the market place/ shuk. Many students practiced their bargaining skills at the market place. Some of the boys bought hats called the tarbuj or the fez, traditional Moroccan hats. Everyone walked out happy with the items that they bought from the market. The students played the oud and the Moroccan drums while waiting by the customs to get onto the ferry back to Spain.
We are now on the bus to Seville looking forward to the sights tomorrow will bring!
~Julie Saadia and Aaron Najar, Class of 2019