We moved into a less-expensive hotel yesterday, one that caters to mostly Moroccans, just outside the Medina. We planned a day of relaxation and some medina-wandering.
We sat on our rooftop terrace and read (had it all to ourselves), walked to the more modern part of the city, overpaid for bananas at the bi-weekly market, and bought some (perhaps authentic) Berber jewelry.
When we got back to our room last night, we could hear a man singing (or maybe praying) in a beautiful voice, with the sounds echoing up the airshaft outside our window....later we heard what seemed to be a father helping a child with homework.
This morning we ate breakfast across the street. The "complete breakfast", eggs, cheese, coffee, fresh oj, bread was about $2.50 each...The owner gave us a tour: he has a pretty outdoor patio, besides two stories inside and a few tables on the street. It seemed to be a family business: the mother and two sons were there too, and the youngest was washing the windows while the rest of the family critiqued his work! An older man came in and was severely scolded by the mother....he may have a grandfather, as
Entrance to Casa Khaldi
Our latest hotel in Chefchaouen...only $35/night...right by Bab Souk, but outside the wall.
he was greeted as "poppy".
If we return to Maroc, we will probably stay in fewer riads and more of the Moroccan tourist hotels: One night in this hotel and our breakfasts cost about $40, while the riad with a smaller breakfast cost $80. The main difference is that we would not have met Sylvain and Delphine...!
We took a "grand taxi" (shared taxi) to Tetouan today, an hour away...another beautiful ride through a river valley. We paid for 3 seats ($12 total) to have more space as there are usually 4 passengers in the backseat and two in the front, besides the driver. The taxis are all recycled German Mercedes taxis!
Our taxi driver got a ticket for something, but otherwise the ride was uneventful. On arriving in Tetouan, the driver got us into a petit taxi headed to the old center of town. We got out near the Royal Palace (still in use, but the King is not in residence right now) and walked through the Medina to our riad in the former Dutch Ambassador's home, the Riad Dalia.
After unpacking a few things, we headed out for the Spanish part of town, with
wide streets and white buildings with ornate wrought iron details. We had lunch, and then went back in to the Medina, where we wandered, coming to a new Islamic Museum, in a restored madrassa. There were no other visitors, and the young guide was very happy to talk with us. We have now moved from Fench-speaking Morocco to Spanish-speaking Morocco....I am sad to leave the French behind. It's really been fun speaking it fairly fluently again!
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