getting out of our comfort zones
After a 3 hour bus ride, a long walk, and a ferry ride we arrived in Tangiers, Morocco. Much to the chagrin of the older people in the group, we went for a tour around town(on foot).
I took out some Moroccan dirhams from the bank machine. 2000 of them actually. Yes, in case you’re wondering I’m rich. Or at least it feels like it.
We finished our tour and got into our bus. Somehow Tom and I managed the back seat. The thing about the back is it is cramped, has no air and no windows. Good thing it was only for 4 hours. Apparently we went through the Rif mountains.
We arrived in chefchouan. This is a blue village high in the Rif mountains. Our room was on the 5th floor and there is no elevator. After spending the day in that bus we were happy to get some exercise. The reward-our room had a living area and a bedroom! Everyone else said their rooms were the smallest of the trip. Karma.
This is the first country I have no idea how to say hello, thank you or no thanks. We have definitely left Europe and are now in Africa.
We had to leave early for our trip to Fes. Back in the shitty bus for the entire day. After a 4 hour bus ride, we made it to our lunch stop. This is where the older people on the tour revolted. They did not want to continue touring for the day and decided to leave the tour and head directly to the hotel. This worked out well as we were able to really enjoy the tour of Meknes.
The big event in Fes was hitting the medina. This is the huge area of shops. I was prepared for it to be extremely stinky and crowded and dirty. It was not bad on any of those things.
We walked in to the food section. First thing we saw was this camel head hanging. So that was a shock. Then the head of a shark. Ok, that area of the market was stinky.
The only way to get things in the market is by donkey as the roads are all very narrow. So every once in a while someone from behind you yells “BARAC” and you must squeeze yourself up against the wall and let the donkey through.
We toured the ceramics place, the copper place, the textiles place and the tannery. All of the items in the market are made by artisans and they also live in the area for many generations. I bought a leather bag and the good news is I can take the smell of the tannery with me now for the rest of the trip.
You must barter for your items in the medina and it’s not as much fun as it sounds. When you purchase something the guy is mad at you and you are mad at him. No one feels like they got a good deal.
We went to a dinner and show organized by the tour. We showed up and it was full of other tour groups and the show was terrible. We watched them bring old guy after old guy on stage to practice belly dancing. Ya, real authentic experience. Oh, well, everything can’t be excellent.
Train ride to Casablana for a day then wrapping up in Marakech.
Super Side notes
Dudleys old man’ness’ charm has worn off completely.
Someone exclaimed ‘we like to be in control of our own holiday’, while on a group tour with a detailed itinerary.
We started a side bet on how long it would take Jean to ask what something is after it was explained in detail.
Salim malikam is hello
Chakran is thank you.
Yalla is lets go already.
Boom. Arabic language unlocked