Morocco Part 1


During the Easter holidays, my boyfriend and I decided to embark on our first ever trip out of Europe! As we were in the South of Spain anyway and Morocco was just a leap across the water away, we booked our bus and ferry tickets and counted down the days with glee.

When the day arrived, we marched off to the bus stop early in the morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with our cases in tow and caught the bus down to Tarifa, Spain. We re-fueled with toast and fresh-orange juice, (just what the Doctor ordered) then checked-in. Bearing in mind we'd planned our journey relying completely on public transport, we'd made sure to leave some extra time to account for any delays, but surprisingly we arrived a few hours ahead of schedule and instead of waiting around for our ferry, the lady at the desk asked if we'd like to jump on an earlier boat. Of course we said yes and before we knew it, we were excitedly boarding the ferry!

We whizzed across in no time at all and amused ourselves by gazing out of the window in anticipation, which backfired when we got there because, after attempting to go through passport control, we were turned back because apparently we were supposed to get our passports stamped on consequently we had to go back to do it! Oops! ....So THAT was why all those people were queuing up and waiting in the corner!!
After a thorough passport stamping, a man miraculously appeared as soon as we stepped off the boat and whisked us away to a taxi... We had no idea who he was or why he was being so kind and caring. When we got to the taxi, we thought that he would say his goodbyes, wish us a nice time and then be off, but to our surprise, he jumped into the front, passenger seat. Ian and I exchanged extremely confused faces. Why was he coming with us to our hotel? Instead of asking, we both sat contently in the back as he told us historical facts and recommendations about Tanger, Morocco. We paid the taxi driver then went into the hotel and checked-in. Before we made our way up to our room, the man said he would be downstairs (implying he would wait for us). We mumbled a few confused grunts then ran upstairs to explore our surroundings and more importantly; try to find out what the hell was going on! There was only one thing for it, Google! A quick search revealed that he was, in fact a guide! The reason he was being so helpful and caring was because he wanted us to pay him for his services.

By the time we'd freshened up and were ready to explore the city, we timidly came downstairs expecting to see our 'guide' and, being typically British, dreading the awkwardness of telling him that although he was really nice, we wanted to look around on our own, he was gone! Just as well, although we would have given him a bit of money if we'd have known the etiquette beforehand. Anyway, with our new 'guide' knowledge at the forefront of our minds we wondered off into the unknown and got lost in a delicious, ferocious sea of markets, spices, clothes, leather, animals, beautiful scenery and of course guides!

 Various birds were stacked in cages outside shops. Many places crammed in as many birds that would possibly fit in, which was sad to see.
 The gorgeous beach had creamy sand and tasty, turquoise blue water. Shame about the weather though!

One of the abundant spice shops that lured you in with it's aromas and strong scents.

Whilst walking around,if you stop even for a few seconds to contemplate which direction to take, there is always someone who magically appears to show you the way in exchange for as much money they can persuade you to give them...which is where you need to be quite to the point. If you really do not need/want any help then you have to be very persistent when saying no. Even despite your decline, they will still try to convince you by telling you facts and recommendations, if you remotely respond or seem interested then they will indulge you more and more, before you know it you're arranging to meet them for breakfast, guided tours and camel rides on a desert...which is exactly what happened to us on the second day.

To be Continued.....

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