Thursday, January 15

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We left Seville pretty early in order to make it to the ferry on time. Even though we had to stop three or four times because this panel on the side of the bus kept coming unlatched, we made it on time. The ferry was right by the Rock of Gibraltar, which was cool to see.

The famous rock, as seen through a dirty ferry window.

The ferry ride itself lasted about an hour, and it was a rough ride. The water was pretty choppy, and the ferry just rocked and rolled in the water. Andrew would probably say that it wasn’t that bad.
"Quit being such a baby."

When we got to Africa, I was surprised to learn that we were still in Spanish territory, so the border crossing wasn’t until a few miles down the road. We spent at least 30 minutes waiting on the bus while they checked all our passports at the Moroccan border. When we were all cleared, we drove on toward Fez.

Things in Morocco are decidedly different. There are animals everywhere—donkeys, goats, sheep, dogs, chickens, more donkeys. And most surprising to me was the number of people walking or riding donkeys along the road. And because of all the animals and people on the road, all the drivers were crazy, always passing and swerving around them. The cars don’t travel anywhere close to the same speeds, either, so there’s always someone wanting to go faster. Drivers flash their lights here to say “move over.”
Can you believe this is the main highway?

I’m glad I sat up front in the bus today (even though I had to make Maggie move and she has pretty much claimed that seat for her own since she’s sat there every day), because all the hills, curves, and swerving were rougher than the ferry crossing. The worst thing about being up front was that I was then sitting across from our Moroccan country guide, and he smells like cigarettes. (In Morocco, I think by law, we have to have a guide with our tour the entire time we’re there. He’s going to ride the bus around with us the whole five days we’re here. Crazy.) Plus, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be sort of annoying.

At a rest stop, we had our first case of having to pay a restroom attendant for giving us toilet paper and paper towels. It was only one dirham (equal to ten euro cents), but it feels sort of awkward to me. I’m glad we don’t have to do this in every bathroom in the U.S. Can you imagine stopping at a rest area along the interstate and having someone (possibly someone not even of your same gender) waiting in there, ready to dole out the TP as he or she sees fit, and then having to give him a quarter for his trouble?

We drove all day before arriving in Fez around 6:00pm and for the most part, the drive was uneventful. The countryside is beautiful. It’s very green and mountainous. We saw quite a few olive trees along the way. At a different rest stop, Andrew tried the mint tea. We’ve heard a lot about Morocco’s mint tea. It’s actually green tea, with fresh mint leaves and tons of sugar. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t outstanding to me. It was, you know, sweet and minty. Like toothpaste.

Unfortunately, Andrew is fairly sick. It’s just a bad cold, but I can tell he’s miserable. He asked me twice today if I brought Zicam (no). We’re looking for a pharmacy so we can get some kind of cold medicine. In the meantime, I’m hoping I don’t catch it.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Hmmm I don't know how I feel about this Moroccan mint tea business. It's so interesting reading your vacation day to day!