Friday, February 24, 2012

Spain 2012: Tarifa

After our whirlwind day trip to Morocco we relaxed for the evening back in Spain in Tarifa. There aren't a lot of sights in Tarifa besides a cathedral and the remainder of the old walls and fort, but that was fine by us.  

St. Matthew's

The ceiling in the church

An interesting tidbit from Rick Steves:  

A visit to St. Matthew, the town's main church, offers a glimpse into Tarifa's history. A tiny square of an ancient Christian tombstone embedded in one of the church walls (dated March 30, 674) proves there was a functioning church here during Visigothic times, before the Moorish conquest. Some years later came the church's "door of pardons," dating back to the late 15th century, when Tarifa was on the edge of the Reconquista. During the period when the Spain's Catholic Kings were driving the Moors back to Africa, Tarifa was a dangerous place. To encourage people to live here, the Church offered a huge amount of forgiveness to anyone who stuck it out for a year. One year and one day after moving to Tarifa, they would have the privilege of passing through this special "door of pardons," and a Mass of thanksgiving would be held in that person's honor.

We finally settled in for a dinner of marinated dogfish (much better than it sounds!) and paella

The next morning we strolled through the streets and local markets, snuck into the old fort, and watched a few ships squeeze between Europe and Africa before heading to the beach and the bus station (for Seville!). 

{That's Africa!}

{We were pressed for time so that we didn't miss our bus, but dad insisted on sticking his hand in the water}

Next stop: Seville!

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