About Tarifa

The little town of Tarifa sits on the southernmost point of Spain (and thus Europe), where the Atlantic ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. Tourists flock to its ancient city walls for two main reasons: the world-famous kite-surfing, or the ferry, which is a quick way to get to Tangiers for a day trip. Few of them probably know the historical significance of this tiny town, which has occupied its magical spot at the nexus of two oceans since 700 A.D. Tarifa has long been a place of comings and goings, of leavings and of home-comings. Just inside the city wall at the entrance to Guzman’s castle, archeologists recently unearthed a tiny chapel, where travelers and local fishermen stopped for a prayer and a blessing before setting out to destinations near and far. What more appropriate setting for Santiago, the main character in The Alchemist, to struggle with the choice he has to make for himself — to leave or to go, to give up something he has for something he wants?

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