October 23, 2004

Movin on to Morocco

Saturday was a day of travel (albeit smooth and uneventful travel). We left Granada in the morning, taking a bus to Algeciras. Where we then picked up a ferry that would take us to Tangier, a northern port in Morocco. Where we then picked up a train that took us into Fes, the proclaimed cultural and spiritual center of Morocco.

We had been warned of the touts that tend to swarm the tourists as soon as they disembark. Since Jim and I decided to give ourselves a break and cab it to the train station rather than have to deal with buses, we were ready to negotiate. We used our typical strategy - cut the price they offered in half, showed the book as proof for what the going rate is and disbelieve their lines about places being closed and trains running late, etc. So when the 'petit taxi' driver tried telling us it was Ramadan, we blew that one off as a line.

Well, turns out that one wasn't a line. It is indeed the middle of Ramadan. This really doesn't cause much inconveniece for tourists, as locals don't expect you to be following their rituals (no eating or drinking during daylight hours, being one of them). But there are many places that are closed during the day and things are definitely more 'sparse' than I imagine they are normally.

We arrived in Fes after 10pm and settled quickly into a hotel in Ville Nouvelle, the French district, where we were able to find a number of open restaurants for a light dinner. Whew!
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