There is some evidence, or so they say, that Tarifa is as old as Cádiz. When you consider that Cádiz is a front runner for the western world’s oldest city, that would make this little town on the southern tip of the Costa de la Luz pretty old. Phoenician, to add a little precision; or even pre-Phoenician.
The town I’m looking at now though, from up on the roof, as it sprawls around me in all directions, is largely an eighteenth century creation.
On my left, where we hang our washing, is Calle Castelar and the stately building opposite ours. From street level it looks like a bank but I think it must have been a merchant’s house; a glimpse can be had of a verdant inner courtyard. It is no doubt divided into private apartments these days and someone has laid out a magnificent patio and conservatory on the roof. I could lazily leap the narrow gap between it and our roof, so tightly are the streets and alleys squeezed between buildings in the casco.
Behind it, the heights of old Tarifa. Like a cubist painting roofs sit on roofs beneath a clutter of solar panels, water tanks and laundry lines. The whole thing tumbles down as my gaze shifts rightward. In the distance some newer apartment blocks and the green hills that separate us from Algeciras. More