In Pictures: Hercules Caves with Kids; What to see near Tangier, Morocco in a Day?

In the stories of old, Hercules smashed through the Atlas mountains because he did not want to climb it, thereby creating the Strait of Gibraltar and opening up the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. The ancients believed that Hercules stayed in these caves before completing the 11th of the 12th labors imposed on him in a contest of the Greek gods.

This opening to the cave of Hercules is supposedly in the shape of Africa. Can you see it? The Phoenicians did it!

It was also long believed that the complex of caves of Hercules were bottomless and that they actually went under the Strait of Gibraltar and connected with Saint Michael’s cave in Gibraltar UK. And that’s how the monkeys ended up in Gibraltar (the Barbary macaques).

Fishermen brave the crashing waves at the rocky shore of Hercules’ caves. You can see Achakar beach beyond the walls.
The other, paid and rather kitschy-ly decorated cave. Photo credit: Sefer Kilic/GMAP.
This wave was a small one. Waves would actually crash into the rocky shore all the way to where the people are sitting on the right.
Could this be the tree of Hercules’ “golden apples”? As the ancient Greek story goes, Hercules’ 11th labor was to get golden apples from the garden of the nymphs.
The legendary Hercules, depicting one of his labors, at the other (paid) cave. Photo credit: Youssef Aitbrim/GMAP.
With a good camera that works well in the dark, the cave could look like it is covered with gold. Photo credit: Leonardo F./GMAP.
The boys examine the walls of Hercules’ cave like the Berbers who cut wheels of stone from the walls to make millstones and thereby expanding the natural caves even more.
The caves of Hercules were both natural and manmade, and now made more dramatic by lights and Berber drumming music echoing through the halls during your visit.
The boys play Roman warriors while the eyes on the walls (shaped by ancient Phoenicians for reasons that have been lost with time) watch in silence.
Storytelling in the caverns at its best, as in the stories of old, Mama style!
Brave men fish here (that wave in the background actually reached me).
Maybe a little inspired by the Phoenicians, the boys dig outside the Caves of Hercules.
Yeah, I don’t know what this reads. I think it means, “Don’t be stupid. Rough waters can come crashing quickly over these rocks!”
All tourists must, at some point rest. You can get coffee, ice cream, food and… restroom here! Photo credit: Sam Zhang/GMAP.
Suburb of Tangier. Looks like California.

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