Journeys across the strait part 1

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Africa » Morocco
October 7th 2010
Published: October 11th 2010
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I haven’t written anything for a while, due to the fact I've been a bit sick and a lot of lazy! Time to catch up.

I last left this blog last Friday when we were en route to Marrakech. We arrived to a really nice hotel which was a nice respite after our travels around Morocco. For dinner, included with Intrepid was a dinner at the UNESCO world heritage listed Djemma el-Fna (excuse the spelling if wrong). If anyone has seen images or footage of this infamous market square dubbed ‘La Place’ by local Marrakechies, it is everything plus more. Throngs of food stalls, fresh juice sellers, performers, acrobats etc.

Dinner was a lovely banquet of Moroccan style ‘tapas’. Probably the best meal I’ve had in Morocco. After dinner we took a short stroll through all the action to have a look at the street performers (not too long since I didn’t have any change to give as a tip!)) But one guy from a performance group (who wasn’t actually performing himself) got up and demanded money off bill when Bill was taking a photo of the building BEHIND HIM (so he wasn't even taking pics of the performers). Hello Egypt again! Lol. So bill kept refusing him in Arabic, the guy uttered of what I figure to be were dirty words I’m sure and left. If we were to stay and watch a particular performance group sure we’d give money as a tip, but a tip just walking around the square, taking pictures of the general area? I don’t think so!

The next day (last day) was a free day to wander around Marrakech. We went to the Jardin Mojorelle which is a lovely lush garden of bamboo trees which is now mostly a dedicative monument to Yves Saint Laurent (yes the French designer/perfumer/cosmeticer ) since he used to often come to the gardens. A nice respite from the blazing sun but so many tourists! After that we went back to La Place and went shopping in the old Medina!! It was really nice but couldn’t buy much of course, but I did bargain hard with my purchases. Every night the food stalls are taken down so during the day the square is clear for the juice and cd stalls, and of course a couple of performers (snake charmers of which are totally unethical as the snakes are drugged.)

Our farewell dinner was that evening, followed by a farewell breakfast on Sunday which was a bit sad to see the Moroccan trip end, yet excited to be starting the next part of our adventure. Taha had to go straight back to Casablanca to lead another Colours of Morocco Intrepid trip. Another 15 straights days! Poor guy and we thought we were tired; he actually has to work on the trip! That evening we caught an overnight train to Tangier, a port city on the coastline of the Strait of Gibraltar. The 3 New Zealand sisters were making the same trip as us. After a long day of wandering Marrakech and then coming back to the hotel to sit by the pool and drink wine, we were off.

We arrived in Tangier that morning after a hard night’s sleep on a couchette sleeper train. We wished that we did the same thing as the NZ sisters in that they headed straight for Spain and we had a whole day in Tangier. We didn’t find Tangier to be that appealing esp. at 8am wandering the streets waiting for our room to be ready. The town proved to be nice, we found the old medina and wandered around.


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