A Travellerspoint blog

June 2019

Southern France

From Toulouse to Nice (before heading into Italy...)

sunny 28 °C

Can I admit that I'm actually far too busy to regularly write a blog post? Only reason I'm writing this now is that I've just arrived in Pisa, needed something on my car seeing to, and as it's rather sweltering outside, I figured I'd stay in my air-conditioned Airbnb until heading out for dinner later. So I had a few spare minutes at least...

Anyway, my last post ended with my visit to Andorra. Still have some great memories of that place, and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey back into France. I took the old route, avoiding the tunnel, and had some great views passing over the top of the mountains. Going down the other side was quite amusing, particularly once I hit the border and the line of cars looking to enter Andorra, mostly French cars and people, looking for the cheap booze and fags on offer.

I was staying with a local in Toulouse but not through Airbnb, organising it through Booking.com. I hadn't been aware that was on offer and it is something I'll keep an eye out for later. Anyway, Michel was a lovely gentleman, spoke great English, and we enjoyed some good conversations, when I was about.

As I was only spend three nights / two days in Toulouse, I had plenty of time to wander and looking around. Being France, most museums were closed on Monday but I could still wander and take in the sights, the cathedral, basilica and other churches, while also just walking the streets. One thing I learned quickly is that Toulouse shared one thing in common with Bordeaux - the great pubs on offer! One pub I'd visited in Bordeaux was the Frog & Rosbif, and they had another pub in Toulouse. These sort of pubs are also good places to find fellow English speakers, and I eventually found myself chatting with an English RAF serviceman by the name of James. Top lad, and it was amusing to hear he was based only a few miles from where I used to and still live in the UK.

My second day was much like the first, though this time I visited a few museums, learning that Toulouse was once a Roman city by the name of Tolosa. Few Roman remains are left around the city, but the museum I visited was interesting, with quite a bit of information in English. Found museums can be very hit and miss regarding that, depending on the city you are in. I eventually ended up on the other side of the river, away from the centre, but to be honest, there wasn't much on offer. The one place I did want to visit was closed on Monday and Tuesday. Just my luck sometimes!

I can definitely recommend Toulouse as a place to visit. Plenty of places speak at least a little English, and as always, they appreciate if you at least try a little French.

On the way to Avignon, my second destination of three, I stopped at two places on the one. The first was rather unplanned until Michel suggested I really do stop there, a city by the name of Carcassone. I'm glad I did, as although I only spent maybe 90 minutes there, it was certainly an interesting old city, though absolutely teeming with tourists (yes, yes, I know I'm one of them!)

My second stop was planned, and had been on my itinerary from the moment I planned the whole thing. Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct still in great condition. Knowing they were onto a good thing, the French have built an entire park around it, with all sort of restaurants, exhibitions and a museum. Plus you can also take a towel and your swimmers and go for a drip in the river, if you're so inclined. Anyway, the place was as spectacular as I imagined, while the museum was interesting, giving plenty of information about the construction of the aqueduct, but also the history of the region itself, mentioning one city that I would be visiting later on.

Avignon is a lovely French city, one perhaps overlooked by many tourists, though that's not to say I didn't run into a lot of them! I was staying in another Airbnb, not far from the centre. The first day was, of course, wandering Avignon. First thing was the whole reason I was there. The Papal Palace. And, I'll admit to be... slightly disappointed. I'd read plenty of reviews, and while it wasn't awful, nearly all the walls were bare, though there were plenty of artefacts to see. The walls that were still painted, and a couple were magnificent, we weren't allowed to take photos of those. But the rest of the palace was brought to life by THE PAD! Given some headphones and it give the history of the palace and the popes who resided in it.

The second major attraction is the bridge. There's bugger all left of it standing now, but again, in addition to the bridge was a museum which gave plenty of history and the one amusing feature was the rumour about the bridge. Was it ever completely finished? And, if it was, what was it like? According to the museum, it was built, but collapsed centuries ago, and was probably a good idea poorly implemented.

Avignon is full of museums to see, and just wandering the old city can see yourself finding little cafes to sit and enjoy a beer or coffee, or perhaps a small shop or museum. I followed one of the trails on the map which took me through the medieval heart, the streets and paths where cars simply cannot go. Stopped for the occasional beer before hitting the pubs for happy hour. France do love their happy hours!

Next day was a trip to Nimes, another French town with strong Roman origins. The main attraction is, of course, the Arena. Around two thousand years old, it's fair to say perhaps half of it is the original as it had required plenty of work over time. But it's still spectacular, again an audioguide provided, giving history of the arena itself, but they also focused on the gladiatorial contests that once took part. I guess they found a lot of information about them so added that in. The arena is still open to this very day as it will host plenty of concerts during the summer.

Nimes is a gorgeous old city, the old town full of narrow streets, again inhibiting cars from going down most of them. The ruins of a couple of Roman temples are definite attractions, and if you don't mind walking up a steep hill, you can also climb the remains of a tower overlooking the entire city. Admittedly, I'm not a real fan of heights. If I feel completely 'safe', I'm okay, but the climb up the tower itself was narrow, and... well, let's just I didn't look down until I was at the very top! The climb was worth it, though. The view was outstanding.

Day three was another day trip, this time to Arles, another old town with Roman origins. Again, this had an arena, in roughly the same condition as Nimes. But Arles is perhaps more famous as the home of Vincent van Gogh. He only lived there for around a year, but the city takes pride in the fact one of the world's most famous artists once lived there. If you look at his Wikipedia page, his work while in Arles was prolific, but don't expect any museums in the city to have any of his work. Anything to do with van Gogh in the city is simply to entice tourists who don't know any better!

There is a fantastic archaeological museum worth checking out, just a little outside the centre (a 15 minute walk at most). The best exhibit there is of an old Roman ship, which laid buried under sediment in the nearby river for two millennia. Dug up and painstakingly restored, it now takes pride of place in a new part of the museum. Unfortunately, this new part is the only one that really provides English translations of all the exhibits. The other areas, while incredibly interesting, had next to no English translations. Slightly disappointing, but at least entry was free that day!

To be honest, I could have spent another couple of days in Avignon, as there is Orange and Aix-en-Provence nearby that are also interesting to visit. Perhaps another time...

Anyway, my third and final destination in southern France was Nice. Now while I had the idea of travelling the coast road instead of the autoroute, I knew, at this time of year and the day I was travelling, the traffic would be horrendous. So I took the probably quicker way. My Airbnb in Nice was another apartment, quite smaller than my one in Avignon, but I didn't plan on staying there too much during the day, though it was still quite the walk from the centre.

As always, day one would be spent in Nice, but let's be honest, you don't go to Nice to spend all day walking around. You go to stroll the promenade, perhaps wander the old town, definitely hit a beach and just... relax. So the morning and early afternoon was spent doing the 'touristy' things, particularly going up the nearby ruined castle / fort to take in the views. Spectacular! Other than that, it was a wander around the old town, but to be honest, it was far too hot to be walking kilometres around town, so I made sure to stop every so often for... something cold... perhaps with some alcohol in it...

Made a friend that night in another pub, this one with an Irish theme. Yes, yes, shoot me for being typical but all the bar staff spoke English. In fact, most were Irish or American, and one or two couldn't even speak French! Anyway, made a friend that night by the name of Grant, and he was a drinking buddy the next three nights.

Day two was a trip to Monaco. It just had to be done. After grabbing a map, not that I needed one for what I wanted to do first, I walked the track, taking my time, and an enormous number of photos were taken during my walk. Took perhaps a couple of hours, before heading up towards the palace, which provided even better views of the whole of Monaco. The final thing for me to visit was a museum full of cars owned by Prince Rainier (and probably owned by Prince Albert) now. Though called a museum, it's actually a private collection. Quite a few F1 cars, sports cars and normal cars... though I'm not sure you can call a few Rolls-Royce's 'normal' cars. It was a great collection, though, an obvious sign of the family wealth.

But Monaco wasn't as expensive as feared, at least when it came to food and drink. Never paid for more than €5 for a beer, and food was cheap as well. Just stay away from the harbour-front, look around for deals, and it could definitely be cheaper than Monaco. Wouldn't want to know how much a night in a hotel cost though. An Airbnb would probably be far too expensive too! (Doubt anyone would even offer, to be honest.)

My last day in southern France was one of relaxation. I stayed in Nice and did precisely nothing. Woke up, slowly walked into town, had a rather ordinary lunch (suckered in by one of those cheap three-course meals. Should have read TripAdvisor first!) before enjoying one or two cheap beers, before meeting my drinking buddy for a final night of revelry. In addition to him, we were joined by all sorts. Remember chatting with a Canadian fellow who'd just moved to Nice, and also an old American guy who was living life to the full now that he was retired and widowed. It was a long night, probably not the best idea considering I was leaving the next day, but it was well worth it.

The next day, I did need a couple of hours to feel right before I left. It was time for country number eight of the trip so far.

ITALY!

Posted by benjamin2981 08:26 Archived in France Tagged beaches road_trip walking beach palace palaces cathedral roman hot nice nightlife avignon arena monaco toulouse arles heat arenas nimes roman_history Comments (0)

Andalusia, Castilla y Leon, Aragon and Andorra

Granada, Salamanca, Zaragoza and Andorra

sunny 28 °C

After Morocco, I'll admit that I was happy to be back in Europe. To get to Granada, it was a long drive towards Granada. About three, maybe another half hour to Granada, but it was a decent drive, with plenty of scenery to appreciate from my window, and as I admitted, I was glad to be back in Europe.

I spent three nights (two days) in Granada, and I enjoyed both entirely. Before leaving the UK, I'd booked a few things I knew might prove troublesome during my trip, and one was the Alhambra. So I purchased the Granada card, which gave me entry to many sites around the city. My apartment I'd booked was a distance from the town centre (taking a bus was the best idea) but I was left with an enormous apartment, so no complaints.

First full day in Granada was filled with most things to see except the Alhambra itself. The cathedral was stunning, and I must have spent an hour and more wandering around, but out of all the sites I visited, the one that lives long in the memory is the San Jeronimo Monastery. I've seen quite a few churches and cathedrals on my trip so far, and I think this was the first to make me stop and say 'Wow!' Trust me, if you're ever in Granada, please visit this place and make sure you see the adjoining church. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Day two in Granada was dedicated to the Alhambra. Let's get to the major question. Was it all that's it cracked up to be? Yes. It's an enormous fortress overlooking the city, and if explored correctly, you'll easily spend a few hours exploring. There are numerous regions of the old fortress to explore. The Palacios Nazaries was beautiful, at times, but the gardens of the Generalife were almost as impressive, though the buildings themselves were not comparable.

Granada isn't a huge city, but there are many monuments and historical artefacts to see if you're interested. The Granada card allowed access to the major sites while I bought a ticket to Moorish sites that might not be so popular. But don't take this as a criticism. There is so much to see in Granada, you'll probably need more than the two days I had to visit.

My next stop was Salamanca. Now, if you're wondering, when I first put my itinerary together, I did include a stop in Toledo to break up the trip. Unfortunately, this author can admit he messed up regarding Schengen, so Granada to Salamanca was a near six hour / 400 mile drive. And the suggested '2 hour, stop, revive, survive' is not for everyone. I did nearly the entire drive in one go, only needing fuel around fifty or so miles from Salamanca. I find stopping worse for my concentration than not...

Though I'd read about Salamanca before arriving, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Well, I eventually spent two of my three days wandering the old streets of the city and I was never bored. An absolute load of things to see, most you have to pay to see, but it was what I'd come to expect. Even better, though, was the fact I was there while a festival was taking place, so for my first night at least, I could take in a Spanish hard rock band. Never spoke or sang English, but after a few beers, it didn't really matter.

My second day in Salamanca included a train journey to Avila. I'll say right now, the walls in Avila were better, much much better, than those in Lugo. In fact, Avila was... Well, it certainly lives long in the memory. Plenty of things to see while I was there, most of them free. The cathedral was one of the best I'd been to in Spain, and I paid to walk the city walls, which couldn't be walked in entirety, but was well worth the admission price for that I could see.

I'll admit, the third day I had originally planned for Segovia long before. But it was either a four hour drive round trip (including fuel) or €50 on a train ticket. To be honest, both are obscene amounts of money for someone on a budget, so my last day in Salamanca was just me wandering around, taking in anything I'd missed during my first day. The climb to the top of the cathedral provided some spectacular views, for example.

Granada to Salamanca was a long drive, but Salamanca to Zaragoza wasn't easy either, particularly as, during to parking issues, I chose to park at the airport .as I'd read parking in Zaragoza was difficult at best. It was also my first stay in a proper hotel since Oviedo, and though a little quirky, it was in the heart of the city and well worth the price.

I had some company for my first night as a friend from London was in the city as he'd been in Madrid for the Champions League final. We enjoyed a few drinks together, and as he'd spent time wandering around himself, he had plenty of good ideas. I spent two days in Zaragoza just taking in nearly every sight possible. There are a tonne of Roman ruins to see, including a theatre and baths. The cathedral and basilica are also worth checking out, and you'll definitely spend some time wandering those. Other than that, simply wandering the streets of the old town will reveal some secrets. I visited in 2004 and noticed quite the change, particularly in the amount of English spoken!

I knew it was almost my last night in Spain, having enjoyed the relatively cheap prices compared to France (and upcoming with Italy) so spent a last night in a bar, watching England v Netherlands with a few English guys who were doing their own European trip.

My overall thoughts of Spain:

Beautiful country. Friendly people. More English spoken than I expected. Plenty of free motorways, and all roads are in pretty good condition. Every city I visited had plenty on offer, and more Roman ruins than I thought there would be. Don't like paying for cathedral entry, though when you compare the state of those in Spain to France, I guess that explains why (though then there was the French revolution...) I'll never tire of eating tapas, and barely ate a proper meal while I was there. Beer is ridiculously cheap at times.

Andorra is a tiny country nestled in the Pyrenees Mountains. The only country whose official language is Catalan. And it is absolutely gorgeous.

The drive from Zaragoza was simple and provided an absolute tonne of scenic views. Entering Andorra was rather amusing, having read I could be stopped on the way, but the guy at the gate barely looked at me as he waved me on. I would have thought driving a UK car would have provoked at least some sort of reaction!

I'd booked a hotel for my two nights in Andorra, a village called Santa Coloma, which is a brisk walk away from Andorra la Vella. And, as I only had one full day in the country, I decided to book myself a tour. My first night of two was spent enjoying a couple of beers in the very tiny old town, but having read one or two horror stories, I was pleased to see the price of beer was roughly the same as Spain.

The tour I booked took our group north of Andorra la Vella into the mountains. Given the country is tiny, it wasn't a long bus ride to the first stop, a museum dedicated to Russian dolls! Rather amusing, but apparently it's a private collection, unrivalled outside of Russia. Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but it was impressive even if unexpected. But the tour was mostly about hiking the wilderness, and though we did take in an old church or some other sight here and there, most of our tour was spent hiking. The one sound I remember is of running water, and the water in Andorra is some of the best I've had to drink...

Also made a friend during the tour, and she proved rather helpful translating, given our group spoke Catalan, Spanish, French and I was the lone English speaker. After the tour, I met up for a few drinks with my new friend at the same bar I'd been before, and we must have spent a good few hours chatting away, sharing life stories, mostly about our travelling, and I was left impressed by her breadth of knowledge. She was quickly added to Facebook so we could keep in touch.

And that was the end of my trip to Iberia. Plenty of good memories made during the few weeks I spent travelling Spain and Portugal. Not sure I want to pick a favourite sight or city out of all those I did visit. Let's just say I wasn't left disappointed by most sights, and any disappointment felt was minor compared to the excitement of so many new cities to visit. It's little wonder so many people head to Spain, particularly at this time of year. Great weather. Beautiful cities. Friendly people. And, compared to some parts of Europe, relatively inexpensive. As for Andorra, if you love the outdoors, whether during summer or winter, just go. You'll love it.

But it was time to return to France. First stop, Toulouse.

Crap, I haven't spoken French since Bordeaux. Bet I end up speaking my meagre Spanish by accident...

Posted by benjamin2981 12:28 Archived in Spain Tagged hiking history alhambra spain granada roman avila zaragoza roman_ruins city_walls salamanca andorra guided_tour andorra_la_vella Comments (0)

Morocco

Two weeks in North Africa. During Ramadan. Interesting times. This will be a long post!

sunny

I've taken a week to get my thoughts into order, as if I'd written this immediately after leaving Morocco, I'll admit this post probably wouldn't have been completely objective regarding certain elements of my two weeks in the country.

I guess things didn't help the day we were meant to depart when our ferry was delayed. Leaving Gibraltar was a breeze, and the drive from there to Tarifa barely took half an hour. I'd already organised parking, so after leaving my car, my friend and I wandered down to the docks, already aware we might be in for a delay. Upon arriving, we were told there was no news, and just to wait, so we headed for a nearby cafe for breakfast, then another bar for a beer, waiting until noon before returning. With still no news, we walked to a nearby ticket seller, and they told us there would be no sailings for two days!

With accommodation already organised, my friend and I agreed we would be getting to Tangier, one way or another. So we walked to the bus station, eventually boarding one for Algeciras. Upon arriving there, our day was made even better when, trying to change our tickets, we were informed that the dock at Tarifa was now open, and that a bus would arrive soon to take us back. Argh!

We eventually boarded at around 17:30. The sea across to Tangier was rough, and I'm glad I don't suffer from sea-sickness. But we made it to Tangier without a problem, and the docking and immigration process was a breeze.

First impressions were, admittedly, pretty good. Sure, the roads were absolute chaos, but the people appeared friendly, and our riad (Kasbah Rose) had organised a taxi to pick us up. I learned something very quickly when, enquiring about the price, he simply said, "Whatever you like, just include a tip." We made it to the riad in one piece, having driven through the utter chaos that was the medina. Again, first impressions were great. We were offered mint tea, which my friend and I soon grew to absolutely love, our room was pretty damned good, and our host, Mohammed, had plenty of good advice about where to eat, and also organised a tour for us the next day. We ate at the Rif Kebdani, which had some terrific reviews on TripAdvisor. I tried a tagine, which is a staple of Moroccan cuisine (apparently) and some kebabs. We were stuffed by the end.

Our one and only day in Tangier had my friend and I taken by private drive on a tour around Tangier and the local region, taking in plenty of the sights. The highlight was probably the Grottes d'Hercules (Hercules Caves). We were taken to numerous other spots, including the exact point where the Atlantic and Mediterranean apparently meet, but the caves were the highlight. Once that tour was over, we wandered the medina and the city itself, particularly the main road skirting the beach.

The next stop on our itinerary was Chefchaouen. I can say, hand on heart, this was my favourite stop on our tour. Firstly, because it was just utterly gorgeous. Secondly, the people are genuinely friendly and helpful. After only a couple of days in Tangier, I knew I was already wary of certain folks. I organised a guide for us the one day we were in town, and he was fantastic, taking us through all the districts, explaining the history, while also taking us to the Spanish Mosque, which gave us the most spectacular views of the blue city. Things like that live long in the memory...

I will be honest. We knew that travelling during Ramadan would make certain things awkward, like finding a place that sells beer. But Chefchaouen was practically dry, only one hotel selling, and it was a dreary old place, not a particularly appealing place to sink a bottle or two. Not making a complaint at all, two weeks sober would do anyone good, just an observation! Being honest even further, if everywhere else had been like Chefchaouen, as the only annoying people were those continually trying to sell hash, then memories of our time there would be fonder...

The third stop of our Moroccan adventure was Fez. Straight off the bat, I will state that our riad, Dar Hafsa, was absolutely fantastic, the owner, Abdul, went out of his way to help us and his house mouse, Mohammed, was nothing but friendly. A definite highlight. Abdul organised a tour of Fez for our first day, and then a tour to Volulibis and Meknes for our second. Volulibis was superb, some of the best Roman ruins I've seen, and I can only recommend the place to visit if you're ever in Morocco. Meknes... eh, it wasn't as bad as Fez...

But it was in Fez that my opinion of our adventure started to change. I like to think I'm a generally open minded person and take people at face value. Probably makes me a sucker at times, but hey, that's life. But Jesus wept, Fez almost had me ready to head back to Europe after just a couple of nights. Let's list the annoying people:

False guides - the amount of men wanting to guide us to a riad, hotel, hostel, or some sight or other beggared belief. And saying 'No' didn't always work. And, unfortunately, using certain colourful language to tell them to go away would only escalate the situation.

Bulls*** artists - here's an example. My friend and I were returning from dinner, just about to turn down the street towards our riad, when a young men told us the medina was closed. This was despite that all the lights were on, shops were open, and our street was well lit with people coming in the other direction. The amount of times we were told certain things were closed meant we just ignored everyone (and once or twice they were not lying!)

Con artists - the number of scams being run, not just in Fez, would make your eyes water. Don't get me wrong, most Moroccans are honest, friendly, hard-working people, just like everywhere else. But, strewth, there were plenty we met who saw us as nothing but walking ATMs. If you want to know what wandering the Fez medina is like, take a look at some of the horror stories on TripAdvisor. I honestly think my friend and I were lucky, particularly our first day when we had a guide. If not, I'm sure we'd have been ripped off more than once.

After Fez, my friend and I were rather distrustful of nearly everyone. We were catching a train to our next destination, Rabat, and being ripped off by the taxi driver didn't help our moods. As I said at the time, it's not the amount, no more than a few quid, it's the principle of the matter, particularly when you know you're already being charged 5x more than a local to begin with.

Travelling first class to Rabat was interesting, and it was certainly far cheaper than doing so in Europe or the UK. We'd been asked more than once 'Why Rabat?' but, after visiting the city, I'm glad we did, as there was certainly enough to keep us entertained. Unfortunately, while my stomach has coped with everything up to then, as I'd been generally cautious what I ate and drank, I was hit hard during our second day, which meant I didn't really leave our room. Lesson learned, and it took a day or two until I felt well again. I had entertained the though of heading to Casablanca, but from what I'd read, it was even less interesting than Rabat. To be honest, the only reason I wanted to go was because of the movie. There is a 'Rick's Cafe', nothing but a tourist trap offering overpriced food and drink. Best avoided...

It was another train, again first class, to our final stop, Marrakech. Our train ride there was great as we were joined by fellow travellers, and a couple of locals, the three or so hours flying by as we shared stories, mostly about travelling, while the locals shared their knowledge of the country and also of our final stop.

I still wasn't feeling great during our first full of three days, so that was a write off. Our second day was taking in most of the sights... except most of the medina and souks. There are a couple of reasons. One, neither my friend or I were interested in shopping. I was carrying a backpack and small bag, and both were heavy enough without adding worthless junk. Two, my friend loved reading TripAdvisor reviews and admittedly the horror stories really put him off. After our experiences in Fez, even I wasn't particularly bothered about heading in and getting lost. It's known that traders in Marrakech are even more aggressive than Fez, and if the horror stories are true, I knew one of us would have probably blown our tops by the end.

So, as a relaxing break, for the third day, I booked us a tour to the coastal town of Essaouira. Fantastic decision, even if I say so myself. Laid back, quiet, peaceful, gorgeous. Didn't take many photos, I didn't have my phone out too often in Morocco as a whole, but it was nice to wander the old town and not be harassed constantly. We had a guide take us around for around an hour, then had a couple of hours to wander ourselves, grab a bite to eat, then got back on the bus back to Marrakech.

My friend was flying back to England from Marrakech. As my car was still in Spain, I had to take two trains. I grabbed an early train that returned me to Casablanca, and after a ninety minute wait, I took one of the new Al-Barouk TGV trains to Tangier. I'll put it like this. It took longer for the train to go from Casablanca to Kenitra, than from Kenitra to Tangier, the train hitting 320km/h in sections. (Morocco has high-speed rail. What are you doing, UK????)

I had a final night in Tangier, and after two weeks, I'll admit I'd enjoyed most of my time, but I was ready to head back to Europe. I was tired of what I would call subtle harassment. People always trying to sell you things. From men standing outside restaurants. You couldn't walk along the street without taxi's constantly beeping, offering rides at 5x the cost. I'd grown so distrustful that people being genuine trying to help I virtually dismissed out of hand. Am I to blame for that? I guess it's for others to decide, but until you've experienced some of what goes on, I will say that you cannot judge.

So, I'll happily admit, my final day in Morocco, I purchased a ferry ticket for the first one leaving, and stayed by myself in the hotel I'd booked, only a stones throw away from the docks, until the next morning. I'd enjoyed more of Morocco than I hadn't. Some of the sights I'd seen were unforgettable. Every single riad was great, most of the owners or those who worked within them being fantastic, nothing but helpful or just genuinely friendly. I'm also glad we were there during Ramadan, as it provided a look into a culture so completely different to our own.

I don't miss the Adhan, no matter how beautiful it can sound... And I most definitely don't miss haggling over everything. Just name a price, and if it's reasonable, I'll pay it.

Overall, my impressions of Morocco are a mixed bag. Our first few days were fantastic. Tangier was a welcoming eye-opener into a new culture, and Chefchaouen will live long in the memory. And Rabat was a pleasant surprise after hearing so much negativity. Fez is the first city in all those I've travelled to which I know I will never visit again, not even with a gun to my head. Marrakech wasn't as bad, simply because we avoided the medina and probably the worst aspects. The only reason I'd return there is to see what's it like outside Ramadan. And if I did visit Morocco again, I certainly wouldn't stay anywhere near a medina!

Anyway, the ferry back to Spain left nearly on time, and I was back in Europe around noon, ready to restart my European adventure.

Posted by benjamin2981 13:17 Archived in Morocco Tagged history morocco essaouira ferry ramadan medina riad chefchaouen scams souks touts Comments (0)

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