19 January 2013

Train to Taza

More comfortable than the bus...

More comfortable than the bus…

We dragged ourselves out of bed and into the coffee shop next door. Maybe a bit of caffeine will get us going. The station was easy enough to get to, but on arrival we found out we had just missed a train. The next one is not for about 4 hours..
Not a problem. We pass the time in a cafe with a book. The weather is clearing up and the sun is trying to break through.
We go passed Guercif as we visited this town before and head on towards Taza. Some nice views of the Rif along the way.

Trying to outrun...

Trying to outrun…

... the grey clouds

… the grey clouds

We want to stop here for two reasons : First of all because we don’t want to sit on the train for all of the day, and second because there is a famous cave. With our experience is Taourirt, we do not have high hopes of being able to get out to it, but we have to give it a try.
The Friouato cave is about 20k out of town and is supposed to be the deepest cave in North Africa. A big pothole in the ground with about 500 steps to get back up..
Taza town is set up a bit differently. The old Medina is about 2k away from new town and the train station. We pick the one hotel right across from the station. Nothing special but convenient for when we want to move on. The rooms are all on the ground floor around an open courtyard with banana trees.
Again the weather is bad and there are not so many cafes around this area. We opt for take away from the big Marjane supermarket at the corner. This is our first big supermarket in Morocco.

Cheese, Glorious Cheese!If you want the processed stuff.

Cheese, Glorious Cheese!
If you want the processed stuff.

We have been buying our supplies from the little corner shops that are everywhere. We have seen the big chain supermarkets around, but as they are almost always on the outskirts of town, we have not had the opportunity before to explore them.
Amazingly, they sell just about the same as all the small shops, but with more brand options. Big displays of processed meat and processed cheese. We couldn’t possibly imagine there were so many different flavours in Laughing Cow Cheese!
We “settle” for salmon and Camembert for dinner.

plan for cave

Alleyways are good to hide from the wind and rain.  Just not the rivers of water

Alleyways are good to hide from the wind and rain. Just not the rivers of water

So plan for today is to see the cave! We ask at the hotel and the manager knows about the cave and does not look surprised that we want to go there. We just have to take a petit taxi to the taxi stand in the Medina to catch a grand taxi to the cave. We have our morning coffee across the street first, and ask about the cave again to double check. Again everybody seems to understand what we want to do!! (Sorry, after Taourirt this just seems to be too easy.) The cafe manager even offers his cousin with car to take us out and back, but the price is too steep for us and we pass on his kind offer. A petit taxi up hill to the Medina is easy enough to find and winding up the streets we get great views of the old walls. On arriving at the grand taxi stand though, the universe takes it out on us once again.

Just because we can...

Just because we can…

Don’t know what we did to pee off the weather gods, but they don’t like us at the moment. The sky has turned black within one minute. Literally black! We look up and think about possibly changing our plans for the day as we cannot do the cave in the rain, when the skies open up! We hide out under cover for the worst too ease up, and decide to hang out in the Medina for a few hours, till it clears up further. The Medina of Taza is very old, but we don’t get to see much of it. In stead of the weather easing up, the wind picks up and the raindrops get heavier. We duck into a cafe and spend the next hour over one coffee watching the horizontal rains outside and a Dutch soccer match inside. (Zwolle against PSV, but they changed the channel before the match was over, so we don’t know who won. The referee seemed partial to Zwolle.)
As we can’t do the cave in this weather, we head back to the hotel and drown our sorrows in cheap Spanish vodka..



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s