Disclaimer – this was written nearly two years ago now and is taken directly from my tumblr with no edits.. Apologies for any cringe terms or phrases/change in writing/hair style. I had a crop at one point…
When I first arrived at the border, and the tour guide told us – “No photos, there are people in uniform” I thought it was such a shame. You can literally see the divide. There are people with about a dozen bags full of what looks like bedding hiking about all over the shop. Thousands of them! People queuing up for hours just to get across the border. That, and there was an old Merc that had a bar instead of seatbelts.
This was my first impression of Morocco, but I’m glad I’m open minded enough to change my mind. After a little drive through the coast with all the white washed houses and little villages up the hills and enormous mosques we came to a little stop. And this is what happened there.
Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, I rode a camel. Single most funniest thing that’s ever happened to me. “Ride this camel for a euro” Yessir, I was all over that camel.
After a spot of camel-riding we went to Tetuan. I adored Tetuan. We went into the old town, with all the Jewish quarters (though you’d think there would only be four.) The people there are preparing for November 7th – a day which is also celebrated in my area of Ceuta. The people save and scrimp for months, then buy a beautiful goat, and kill it in the streets. It has something to do with the Bible and when someone had to kill someone else, but mainly they make a huge feast with this slaughtered goat and the whole street smells like blood. Can’t wait…
Beautiful olives! We got free samples of olives, bread, and two cups of Moroccan tea – which is very sweet and minty but delicious! All the women were given a stick of mint to smell, and, you know, it was minty. I’ll be darned.
Sadly I had to cut that photo down about so it would fit on here, but there was every colour you can think of, and they hand make everything there (as you can imagine) They roll out these balls of string in the street for blind people and also so that it doesn’t get tangled up when they make things from it! All the girls got to try on a 30,000 euro golden belt that’s traditionally bought for a bride.
Next was another surprise!
All the girls were dressed by native women working in a market in the traditional dress of the Moroccan workers!! My little woman was abut 4 feet tall, maybe a little more, so there was a lot of bending over backwards (literally) so she could get my head dress on. Here is a closer version:
I don’t know if you can see her because she is so small, but that’s the woman who dressed me!
IBERIA life jacket anyone?
We got taken to this beautiful carpet shop (again, the photo had to be trimmed to fit but there was much more colour) He asked us which ones we liked so I pointed to a lovely sunset coloured blanket and was hustled into a side room. Now, I’ve seen Taken, and I’ll admit I was a bit wary. He wrote “85″ on a piece of paper and smiled at me. I had no idea what was going on. He looked delighted, as if he had stumbled across an idiot tourist who thinks that 85 euros for a blanket is reasonable. I wrote “30.” Though I didn’t really want it. He looked a little down heartened, then agree. So my first accidental haggles was a success. Or it would have been had I bought it…
Next it was lunch time. I don’t have many photos because the food was very good, but I have a couple of videos of the show they put on for us. I’ll try and put them on youtube the next time it rains and I have nothing to do, but it was very impressive.
After that we went to Tangiers, and I have to say, I didn’t feel much for the place. It was full of people trying to sell you things or trying to give you things and it just wasn’t my bag. We went into a spice chemist – which was very interesting, finding out about all the different spices and what they do!
Then we went back! I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and would recommend the trip to anyone! The trip was via Flandria Agencies in Ceuta, Spain. Our guide was honestly extraordinary and could speak at least 5 languages. He even knew some Finnish!