Marrakech has a totally different feel to the rest of the cities we visited. It is chaotic, noisy, croweded, lively and colorful. We spent 2 nights in Marrakech during which we took a walking tour around the city (5 hours walking almost) and went shopping in it's markets. Haggling is a big thing here, and we were able to buy some cheap goodies. I felt weird because I usually never buy souvenirs, I bought many this time.
Marrakech felt like an appropriate place to end our Moroccan adventure.
28 September 2017
On our way to Marrakech, we stopped for the night at Ouarzazate (so called Moroccan Hollywood, many desert movies are filmed there). We spent the day stopping at certain interesting, however random, places like a field with old water wells, no longer in use. A local naturistic pharmacy, and the throats of Dades and (I can't remember the name). The view of the so called throats is quite impressive, especially in Dades. We stayed there for the night.
27 September 2017
Merzouga desert + berebere food & music. Memorable night. Hoped to see the stars but we had a cloudy night. Woke up early the next morning to see the sunrise, bit it wasn't that visible either. Shoganai.
Around midnight we ventured into the darkness of the desert. After a while a guy in a motorcycle appeared. He waa super friendly and explained to Ale, Monse and I what he did for a job, what he ended up there with us in the middle of the night. He was an interesting guy, someone you could feel he should be your friend. But now I can't even recall his name. This is a hallmark of the travel life: brief, random, meaningful encounters, however fleeting, meant to be remembered but not hold.
26 September 2017
Random streetphotography. On our way to the Merzouga Desert to ride a camel and spend the night with some berebere guys.
We went into the Medina of Fez. A medina is like a city inside a city. It is surrounded by thick walls, has a certain number of entrances and is made up of many aisles and hidden corners. It can be a nightmare to get lost there, but a great place to visit with a guide. We had Idriz, fortunately. We went to a tapistry shop, and a leather workshop (it stinks! Literally) and got dressed up as berebere. Then we walked some more around the Medina streets.
We hopped on our van again and Zidane drove us to Fez. It's a long way, so we made a couple of stops along the way. Tried my first mint tea, which is the typical national beverage, offered everywhere you go. It was too sweet for my taste, but flavor is good. We would find better mint teas later. We stopped at one of the King's palaces and took photos in front of it. Later, we met a local guide in Fez, Idriz (Andrès) who explained many details about the city, it's culture, language and food. The guy was very knowledgeable and spoke Spanish very fast. His general demeanor was very interesting to me, he seemed to float among the crowds of the market and traffic and the Medina. He took us to a very good and local restaurant inside the Medina of Fez, which was quite an experience visiting. We had the best food so far into the trip there. He also took us to a pottery workshop where beautiful pieces are made by hand. The whole process seems to be made by hand. Remarkable artisanal work.
25 September 2017
Sunset at Chefchaouen main square. We stopped to listen to the call to prayer and see how locals react to it and go into the mosque. I had never seen this in person before. It felt truly exotic, foreign. Had our fist tajin for dinner and went back to our riad afterwards.
It is noteworthy how many times random dudes offer you weed and hachis in the streets of all the cities we visited. Here was the first time that happened. Also noteworthy, almost everyone speaks Spanish.
Arrival in Chefchaouen around 5pm. We were dropped off in our fist riad of this trip. Riads used to be big houses (almost palaces) in which each side of the riad was occupied by one family or wives of a certain man. Riad Hicham was it's name if I recall correctly. The service by the manager and staff was really good. They like to joke around a lot. We left our stuff and went out for a reconaissance walk of the city. Extremely picturesque little town. We caught the sunset in the main square and headed for an early dinner.
Arrival into Tanger, Morocco. Zidane picked us up and we drove towards Chefchaouen. We stopped midway to eat lunch at a restaurant buffet. There was a brief confusion regarding how much we had to pay and wether the meal was included. We saw the first photo of the King of Morocco, Muhammed VI, displayed in the restaurant. We would see his face almost at every establishment during the trip.