50somethingnomads

The Gran Teatro Cervantes and Mick Jagger’s backing group! 🇲🇦

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Tangiers or Tanger – a sprawling city where men rule – the young boys racing their bikes in the calf achingly steep streets, the rows of men incessantly talking with mint tea sweetened breath and the “Guardians” who keep your car safe on the streets for a few coins! Our favourite moment happened when walking past the derelict Gran Teatro Cervantes built by the Spanish in 1913, which is desperately in need of restoration. The gorgeous facade hints at its “Gran” past but disagreements between the Spanish and Moroccan authorities means its future is uncertain. We had read that you can apply to the Spanish consulate to get a pass to enter the building – with no guarantee. However as we were taking photos, a guy came out to water his 2 tomato plants randomly growing in the cracked base of the beautiful ornate front gate, so we asked if we could see inside. He finished watering his plants and led us through the gate into the dark and dusty interior, using our phone lights to ascend the marble and ornate iron staircase. We passed original doors marked with “Costume” and arrived at the decaying auditorium, viewing the seating and stage with light streaming through gaping holes in the ceiling. He led us tentatively onto the roof to see the city framed by beautiful carved stone figures rising from the front of the building. Amazing!Later, after a long walk through the medina, we joined les Fils de Detroit – a group of elderly guys who have played music in the same place for 40 years. Having played with Mick Jagger and other celebrities – it was our turn to join in, welcomed by a glass of the ubiquitous mint tea!

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