So its our last night in Spain and we thought we'd have a quiet dinner and a few drinks at a bar ....well a crazy Norwegian guy who spoke English in an Irish accent, and a lovely Swedish /Estonian couple later ...we find ourselves fairly drunk and it's 5 am in the morning! That would not be a problem if you didn't have to shower, pack grab some brekky and get to the bus station (which is not even a bus station more like a bus stop in the hot sun on the busy main street) for a 5 hour trip to Algecerias with a pounding hangover headache! Arrived feeling slightly better only to be greeted by a women who was absolutely pissing herself laughing every time she looked at Mick. Talk about giving someone a complex!
Luggage once again in tow we walk down the street to the massive harbour to try and find our tickets. It's a pretty deserted ferry office apart from a few people sleeping on the benches and others yelling at each other, one yelling in French, the other in Spanish and a couple in Arabic none of them having any idea what the others
The Medina Taxi
Having a problem with his mouth
Considering we were arriving in another country passport and customs was a breeze. 2 hours later we find our selves in Tangier Med, Morocco, and as everyone else had disembarked before us we seem to have some difficulty finding our way out. A myriad of passageways later we open a door only to find our selves in the truck cargo area... its starting to feel a bit Spinal Tap-ish before finally making it out to daylight and getting the once over by a massive Moroccan security guy.
Of course we get ripped off by getting in the taxi with no meter and not pre-arranging the price. You think we should know by now. Checked in to Dar Sultan, a quaint little Riad run by a French-guy for the last 10 years. Lovely place with honest helpful staff.
Checking our room out which had an indoor patio area and a few adjoining doors which we thought were all ours, we found we couldn't open one door after rattling it around so decided to try our key only to hear sleepy questioning French voices from inside. Ok... not our own private patio and not our room so we beat a hasty retreat locking our own door behind us!
We hook up with a very friendly, well spoken tour guide Sarhan reccommened by the Riad. He takes us on a tour of Tangier for a few hours before our train is due to leave. Helping us out with getting a sim card and tickets and giving us great tips on bargaining. He also suggested we not get involved with men on the train that befriend you in the hope you use them or their friends as your next guide. Like Bali every body is a tour guide!
Of course thats exactly what happened on the train. The guy was so nice and friendly and even bought us lunch which he had to ring a restaurant near the next station to deliver it to the train as we pulled in. Train ride was fairly non eventful except for Leanne going ass up backwards then nearly having a giggling fit as the guy next to us chanted, rocked and wailed at prayer time. Of course his friend Hammoud was waiting for us as we disembarked so he could be our new tour guide.
He wanted to take us for a tour then and there but all we wanted was a bed by then at the Hotel. We roll in to find ourselves completely surrounded by French. Its the second language in Morocco and even Leanne's 5 years of French in High School aint helping. We now have to switch from Spanglish to Frenglish!
The hotel is beautiful but the service is crap. Some great views overlooking the Fes Medina from the Terrace on the roof, our first proper Moroccan meal and we are looking forward to our next day.
Upon entering the Fez Medina, which was built 2000 (!) years ago you feel the cool air on your skin and the musky smell in the air. The buildings are tall and the alleys are narrow and claustrophobic, some only wide enough to fit one person (Leanne has a panic attack thinking we are never coming out). There are over 9000 alleys which house 600,000 people and you would never even think of trying to traverse it without a guide. Following Hammoud, we stroll past all sorts of shops selling everything from the finest silks, spices, snails and silverware to rotten camel heads.
We get taken into a carpet shop who's owner is a very pushy salesman, (" I will give you a stupendous deal!" They must be the same everywhere!) getting his workers to unravel 100s of carpets whilst we have to sit and drink mint tea. We started laughing as at least 10 men dressed in white lab coats were unrolling and re-rolling these huge carpets with the salesman yelling at them "take it away" in disgust every time we did not feign interest in one. It is really an amazing experience, but "thank Allah" we are back out and into our beautiful hotel room pigging out on cheap Kebabs. Todays purchase a leather jacket for Mick, a silver necklace for Mick, a silver bracelet for Jazzy and a bag of friggin saffron for Leanne. Lol 😊
So its 'maasalama' from us as we are off to the Sahara tomorrow, if Allah is willing!
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