This weekend I went to Morocco with nine other people from our group. We went to Tangier, which is one of my top places that I want to see this semester. It did not dissapoint. It was so beautiful and everything was amazing.
We left at 3 am Thursday night for Algeciras. It was an eight hour bus ride. We got there and got on a ferry about ten minutes later. We got to Morocco about an hour after that. It turns out there are two Tangier ports. We ended up at the one that's 52 km (about 30 miles) outside of the city. We took a taxi to the city. The ride was amazing we saw mountains, really green grass and all the people and animals. It was worth the trip. Of course the other Tangier port is right outside of our hotel, but everything was ok.
We got settled in early afternoon on Friday. We went out to explore the city. Immediately we were heckeled by tour guides and shop owners. After wondering around for awhile we found a restaurant where we sat down for awhile. The owner came out and offered us good deals on food, tea and henna tattoos. We were there awhile. All of the people in the city are nice, just a little pushy. When we were ready to leave he convinced us to let his son show us around. He wasn't an official tour guide. He took us to see the Mediterranean and to shops of their friends and family.
We went to a spice shop. The owner showed and let us try everything. We sampled lotions, perfumes, spices, teas and a thing called green lipstick. The color corresponds to the temperature of your body. It was really cool. He offered us some good deals. I bought some mint tea, which they call Bourbon without alochol because everybody drinks it so much. We tried some at the restaurant, it was delicious.
We also went to a carpet shop. The carpets are made out of camel hair and wool. They were amazing! A few people in our group actually bought a rug. They were pretty cheap. You can barter with them until you get the price you want, most of the time they wil give you want you want. Their money isn't very strong (1 euro= 10 durams). Everything was cheap and good quality.
After an awkward ending with our tour guide, we were lost and he wanted money, we got some kous-kous and then straight back to the hotel.
Saturday we left at a decent time for more shopping. We walked through the market to get some bread and fruit. It was very crowded and there was a lot of raw meat hanging around, but the produce was very fresh and the people were nice. We got some strawberries and cinnomon bread that tasted amazing.
We also went to the beach. The wind was strong and the water was cold. There was a camel on the beach and the water was blue. It was the highlight of the trip for me. How many times in my life will I see a camel just chilling on beach like that? We were there for quite awhile.
After that we went back to the hotel and got ready to go. We got on the 4 pm ferry like we planned to make our bus at 7pm (there's a time change). The ferry didn't leave until 6pm, so we missed our bus. We had open tickets, so we thought it wouldn't be a big deal. It turns out the next bus didn't come until 2pm the next afternoon. Luckily, the lady at the counter was really nice. She exchanged our tickets for tickets to Sevilla. We got there around 11:30 pm and our bus for Cáceres was scheduled to leave at 7 am. Nothing in the city (except for discotecas) was open. They wouldn't let us into the bus station, so we slept outside. It was horrible. It was very cold and the ground was really hard. They let us in at 4:30 am, but then opened all the doors, so it wasn't much better. We manged to get some sleep and we got on the bus and made it home ok. My roommate and I are very sick now, but our host parents have a lot of sympathy and have been making us stuff like paella, hot water with lemon and honey and pudding all day.
Even with all of our travel adventures it was one of my favorite weekends so far this semester. It was amazing to see. And now I can say I have been on three different continents.