20 January 2013

Train from Taza to Fes
Hotel again

Today we woke up to the sound of the rain.. and the water coming in under the door..
We were planning on going further north to Tetouan, but this weather is depressing us. Traveling is just not much fun in the cold and wet.
We have had rain and wind for about a week now, and we are giving in. We have decided to get out of Morocco as soon as possible..
We therefore decide to just catch the train to Fes, with the plan of going online to find out our options for moving on.

The train trip itself was good. We even found two seats together to sit. No window seats though, so no photo’s. The countryside was mostly hills with little streams and rivers running through, flooding with the latest rainwater. At one point we went passed a big barrage. The centre was still clear blue water, but at all the points where to streams go in, the water was coloured brown, beige and red. The colours were actually quite beautiful.

Our hotel

Our hotel

Arriving in Fes was different from last time. For one, we were coming in by train  and the train station is in new town, kilometres away from the old Medina. We were thinking of staying in new town this time, but at seeing it we changed our minds. Fes new town is not any different from any other town in Morocco. and if you are in Fes, why not stay in the more atmospheric older quarters?

A quick trip with a petit taxi got us dropped of back at Bab Boujeloud, the blue gate. We stayed near here last time, but wanted to check out some other hotels. There is plenty on offer and the local people will make sure you know about all of them in about 2 minutes after getting out of the taxi!
Ok, so it was really not that bad. A few people hassling us, but we have been outside of the big tourist cities for a while, and it felt a bit overwhelming. We decided to just make our way back to the pension we stayed in before as we know it has wifi and is pretty cheap with good showers.

This time we took a pretty room

This time we took a pretty room

On getting there we found it was almost booked full. Only two rooms available. One big beautiful room downstairs or the same room we had last time. (The one room we were trying to avoid as it was really cramped.) After a bit of negotiation we got a good price on the good room and booked in for two nights. Moroccans are not shy about money, so after we moved our bags in, this was the first question/demand : Pay now. Unfortunately we did not have enough on us and had to go to a bank first. They were willing to wait, as long as we came back right away and pointed us to an ATM.

And these were the only photos we took :)

And these were the only photos we took 🙂

This ATM did not work, and on walking over to another, we ran into a guy we had met here before. He invited us over for tea and a chat. This shouldn’t take too long, so we agree. He leads us through alleyways, markets and gates and by now we are starting to wonder where we are going. We do arrive after a while at “his nice cafe” a tiny pool hall evidently full of kif suppliers with an average age of 15. Oh well, this is Morocco.. We found two seats in a corner and enjoyed watching the pool games. These guys were good and the tea wasn’t too bad either!

Back to the hotel to pay and go online.
We were/are planning to go into Africa proper, possibly Kenia and Uganda, but the flights are expensive. As most of the cheaper ones seem to go through Egypt, we decided that we might as well book a ticket there. They are willing to give us a visa for a month, and that will give us time to research Africa a bit better. Andrew has been to Egypt before, but as that is about 15 years ago, we are both looking forward to it!



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