Axarquia, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain


Unknown to most of the world- the European Union is present in Africa too. When Spain handed over most of northern Morocco to the newly independent kingdom in 1956, they kept Ceuta, Melilla (about 250 kms further east) and some small uninhabited islands off the northern coast. It has been under Spanish control since 1580, and if you ask one of the locals here about the enclaves' future, you will understand that there is little motivation for entering Morocco proper. (In the same way Gibraltarians prefer to remain under British control).

Ceuta is divided into two zones sliding into one another. To the east, around and near the real peninsula, practically all inhabitants are Spanish, and the feel to everything around you is Spanish. But as soon as you head west, coming closer to the border area, you spot the first mosques and women wearing traditional Moroccan clothes. At the border - even on the Spanish side of it - you have already reached Morocco. Large groups of day workers and wholesellers (mostly married middle-aged women) have put up markets where cheap contraband is sold, whereafter it is imported to Morocco through the magic of bribing the totally corrupt border police.

Ceuta is a friendly place to walk around but the stoney beach is only 20 metres long.
Other North Africa:
Melilla Morocco
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