Our next destination was Tangier. From Rabat, it was a 3 hours leisurely drive. Along the way, we made a stop to the Lixus ruins.
Lixus was once an ancient roman city that sits atop of the hill, overlooking a town called Larache. I remembered having lunch in Larache. If I was not mistaken we had a sumptuous seafood lunch that day. It was a hearty meal of various kinds of fresh fish and crustaceans.
Lixus is one of the bigger Roman ruins I have visited so far. The view at the top of the hill was beautiful, overlooking a river and the nearby town of Larache. I could probably understand why roman settlers would choose this hill, most likely as a strategic location as an easily defensible position as well as its close proximity to the river and its downright gorgeous view of the lands below.
According to Greek legend, Lixus was where the mythological garden of Hesperides is situated, the fabled keepers of the golden apples, where Hercules once gathered them. Lixus flourished during the height of the Roman Empire and was one of the few Roman Cities in Berber Africa that has an amphitheater for its citizens to enjoy. Interestingly, the amphitheater is still preserve to a certain degree, and it was larger than I was expecting. My friend re-enacted the scene from Gladiator, taunting the spectators sitting on the steps of the amphitheater, arms raised, asking them if there are not entertained by the bloody spectacle.
As we walked the ruins, we saw ancient bath houses, walls that were once residential houses, mosaic floors, and some rather interesting pits dug from the earth, which to me remained a mystery as to its purpose.
Cave of Hercules
The cave of Hercules wasn’t very far from Tangier. As soon as we explored the cave, we headed to Tangier, where we settled in our Airbnb accommodation for the night.