Morocco and Spain Trip Recap

"Travel Loot" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: SONY SLT-A77V, 35mm, f/4, 1/20 sec, ISO640
“Travel Loot” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Well, I finally finished up with all my back posts of our trip! The photo above shows a few pieces of the loot haul, and in the dish is a small stone that I picked up from the water at Barceloneta beach. I don’t even know if it is imported or not, but the authenticity isn’t important. It’s the memory that it represents that gives it value. One of my favorite movie scenes explains what I mean.

Anyways, here are a couple lists I made about the trip.

Total miles traveled: 12,905

  • Plane: 11,273
  • Train: 921
  • Boat: 29
  • Bus/Taxi: 682

Highlights/Bucket List

  • First trip to Africa – That makes it four continents for me!
  • Crossing from Africa to Europe by ferry – The so-called Strait of Gibraltar have been one of those mythical things since I was a little kid
  • Touching the Mediterranean – Again, like something out of a dream. Isn’t this where the Greek gods/heroes used to play?

Top Food

  • Boquerones tapas (fried sardines)
  • Tagine
  • Papas bravas
  • Almejas tapas (clams)
  • Jamón bocadillos

Post Index

Since I posted my trip entries after-the-fact, here’s a list you can use to easily access each one:

Fes to Tangier

"On the Train" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/800 sec, ISO200
“On the Train” Fes, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today we caught the train from Fes Station bound for Tangier. In the previous post, I mentioned buying first-class tickets to enjoy the air-conditioned cars. But unfortunately, our train’s a/c wasn’t working consistently, so it was hot! And btw, Fes was a lovely 40&deg C/104° F! Ugh… 😣

We finally reached the northern port city of Tangier in the afternoon, and headed to our hotel, the awesome Mnar Castle Apartment Hotel. As you can see from the photo below, we had a nice view of Europe across the strait! It was great to see the sunset from our balcony. I have to say, the staff at the hotel was great, and super helpful with their advice on ferries, and secured a taxi for the next morning. What a relief to know that it was all taken care of!

"I See Europe" Tangier, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“I See Europe” Tangier, 2017

We didn’t really have time to explore the city because we arrived late, so we just took advantage of the apartment’s washing machine to do our week’s worth of laundry. Everything dried out nicely in the warm Moroccan breeze. 🍃

"Laundry Time" Tangier, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Laundry Time” Tangier, 2017

After a dinner at the hotel restaurant of tuna pizza, beef tagine, and pastille (Bay loves that), it’s time to get some rest.

Hope you had a great day!

またね~

Afternoon in Fes

"In the Medina" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“In the Medina” Fes, 2017

Today was another day of travel, but first, we enjoyed another yummy breakfast at Riad Meftaha before heading out to catch our train.

The journey to Fes was long, but pretty comfortable because we bought first-class tickets for the train. I recommend always paying the extra money which will get you assigned seats in air-conditioned compartments. And it is only a few dollars more than a second-class ticket. Well worth it in my opinion, especially in the summer!

We arrived in Fes in the afternoon, and unfortunately, there was a problem with the room we had booked at our Riad, but we were offered a room at another Riad (same owners) which turned out great. The hosts at Riad Tahra were friendly and helpful, and when they found out we were only in Fes for half a day, they recommended we hire a guide to take us to the main sights in the Medina, and we agreed to do so.

The guide was an older gentleman and was part of the official tourism group, and the price was set at 250 dirhams (about $25). The Medina in Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage Center and a real maze of winding streets and endless shops. So, the guide was invaluable! Not only did he take us to the top sights (with great explanations and information), but he shielded us from the more aggressive vendors. It was such a pleasant tour that I’d say it was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

After the 3-hour tour, we returned to the Riad to rest, shower (Mariko had a massage and hammam), and have dinner of delicious beef tagine, pastille, and couscous dish.

Even though we only stayed a half-day in Fes, it was a wonderful experience!

"Shop" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Shop” Fes, 2017
"Tannery" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/300 sec, ISO200
“Tannery” Fes, 2017
"Cooling Off" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO250
“Cooling Off” Fes, 2017
"Tagine and Cat" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Tagine and Cat” Fes, 2017
"University of Al Quaraouiyine" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/220 sec, ISO200
“University of Al Quaraouiyine” Fes, 2017
"Train Station" Fes, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/1250 sec, ISO200
“Train Station” Fes, 2017