Friday, December 6, 2013

#743 Ceuta & Melilla, Spain
When I lived in Morocco, the two African enclaves belonging to Spain fascinated me. That Spain would continue to claim such a territory in a vestige of colonialism was crazy, especially with repeated calls from Morocco to return them. It is also ironic considering that Spain demands the return of Gibraltar (#877). Despite being strategic port cities, they have little appeal for most Spaniards to the point that the Spanish government had to offer them tax-free status in order for them to get people to live there.

Mellila according to
They were a convenient place for us to be able to renew our Moroccan visas, but an unfortunate flat tire set us back so when we arrived at Mellila in the middle of the night, I felt bad leaving our Moroccan friend alone on the Moroccan side (with the rental car that could not cross), that I never even got there. I went to Ceuta, but my boyfriend didn't want me to leave Morocco, so it prevented me from really luxuriating and enjoying it. I think he was jealous he could not visit without his passport, and I suppose it was selfish of me to want to linger there with them waiting.

I remember Ceuta being a particularly unexciting little Spanish town, with the banks and shops closed because it was Sunday. There was a beautiful mosaic in the bank, however... funny how you remember these things!

Looking at photos of Mellila and Ceuta (known as Sebta in Arabic) I would like to return and see them again with adult eyes.


1 comment:

  1. Ceuta and Melilla are known now for a thriving cross-border trade in clothing and electronics that has to be carried on the backs of Moroccan porters, mostly women. As well, they're frontiers in the never-ending game between European immigration and would-be immigrants from Africa, with a huge border fence surrounding the enclaves and hundreds of migrants camped on the other side waiting for a chance to slip through. I agree that it's ironic that the Spanish government doesn't see any inconsistency in wanting Gibraltar back but not wanting to give back Ceuta and Melilla.