Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Renzo's beach

Tangier is blessed with an unusual position at the meeting point of two bodies of water: the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean and it has access to kilometre upon kilometre of beach stretching all the way to the Algerian border to the east and to Mauritania to the south. The Mediterranean beaches with their calm warm waters have been developed but the Atlantic shores are still almost untouched. The sea is more turbulent and can be treacherous there but a vast expanse of sand and vigorous waves are worth the detour.

Years ago, an Italian couple, dashing and charming Renzo and his beautiful and vivacious wife opened a restaurant at Briech beach near Asilah and planted lounge chairs and straw parasols in the sand in front of it.

The couple's passion for flowers is obvious as soon as one enters the small courtyard surrounding the restaurant.

Meals are taken inside or out depending on the weather, the time of day and one's mood.

One sits in the dappled shade of a simple reed-covered pergola where the breeze keeps temperatures low even in the hot summer months. There is a set menu of delicious homemade Italian fare, good local wine and at the end of the meal, Renzo throws in an amazing homemade Lemoncello, a sweet lemon liquor. 

After all that, if you can still walk, a few steps to the shore for a stroll, a swim or just plain old italian farniente.  

Images: Joelle Desparmet

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The colours of Tangier: yellow

Yellow, the happy colour of a summer day in the sun, of the sand under your sandals at the beach, of tall maturing wheat in a field and of summer fruit for sale at the market.

The warm tone of a reed umbrella at the Océan beach.

A hand made cotton coverlet against a yellow wall at Foundouk Chejra, the weavers workshops.

A fleeting bright yellow djellaba on the Grand Socco square.

Candy, sweets and cookie containers awaiting to be filled and offered.

A pale yellow wall underneath a maze of electrical wires and power boxes...

...and the even paler yellow of a party headdress on almost life-like mannequins.

Touches of man-made and nature's-work golden yellows in the foundouk.

Images: Joelle Desparmet