Showing posts with label Unspoilt Spanish beauty in Tarifa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unspoilt Spanish beauty in Tarifa. Show all posts

Friday, 18 February 2011

Unspoilt Spanish beauty in Tarifa - The National: "Tarifa dangles like a tiny pendant from the southernmost tip of the Spanish coast. It's almost an island, hanging on to Spain by a thin thread of land. Crossing the Gibraltar Strait from Morocco, the final tip of Europe emerges, leaving African territory behind as the ferry ploughs between two continents. Tarifa holds Europe above her head while North Africa is so close that from Tarifa's port, I can still see Morocco's Rif mountains drawing a jagged skyline only 14 kilometres away.

Tarifa is Spanish territory, yet the town bears traces of Arab civilisations that left indelible footprints on Iberia, centuries ago. The Muslim victory over Andalusia, which continued for centuries, began in 710 CE in this tiny town, 100 kilometres from Cadiz and 200 from Seville.

Tarif Ibn Malik gave the town its name. This powerful Berber warrior led the initial invasion under the notorious Muslim conqueror of North Africa, Musa Ibn Noussair, taking much the same route as I am now, across the Gibraltar Strait, the circumstances being admittedly rather different. Many towns still bear names of Arabic origin in Andalusia. Yet it was this pinhead-sized town of Tarifa, welcoming travellers into Southern Spain, that first saw some 400 men and 100 horses embark from Maghreb before pushing through the region to take Cordoba, Granada and Seville."

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