Ifni airport


Not a joke - except the airport stopped functionning in the 60's and has since become a huge, open, stony field between two arms of the city, one hugging the mountain and the other stretching along the sea atop a cliff. A few pics from that glamorous era that saw Hollywood film stars flying to Ifni can be seen, appropriately stained and dog-eared, at Hôtel La Belle Vue (and possibly some other places that escaped my languid attention).

a peculiar place - but one that insinuates itself into you - provided you take to such end-of-the-road, time-warped places.

The top end of the gently sloping Lungomare, to the left of the previous photo, leads to a beautiful little piazza that was once the centre of it all, with stunning art-deco buildings left by the Spanish. Not much happening there now, a function of most buildings having been put to somnolent administrative use, and a few others tragically left abandonned.

Such activity as there is is mostly concentrated along the few commercial avenues - but unless you're lucky or took careful aim at the narrow window of opportunity you could be forgiven for thinking they never, ever come alive. They do, but only for quite a short time in the morning and late afternoon. Think I read in the Lonlely Planet this is a result of locals having combined Spanish and Moroccan siesta times so that it engulfes the best part of a normal working day. It's actualy true, not just one of these traveller's tropes, and needs to be experienced to be believed.

Ifni's got to be one of the sleepiest places there is.

Love it though, and it also makes it one of the most perfect escapes.

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All photographs on this site copyright of Antoine Boesch