/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/001_Fresh off the boat.jpg After traveling overland from Zurich to the south coast of Spain, I took an overnight ferry from Malaga to the African continent. I stepped off the boat in Melilla and took a deep breath of African Air... only I soon found out that I was still in Spain! This one city was a colonial left-over so-to-speak, a tiny dot in Morocco still controlled by Spain. 48 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/006_Street scene.jpg 84 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/008_Butcher.jpg Yes, vegetarianism adds a whole new level to the adventure. 106 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/009_Chefchaoen Square.jpg It took a couple rough days (you should have seen the border crossing!) before I found myself in this this beautiful mountain village. 75 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/013_Chefchaouen Square.jpg 106 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/014_Chefchaouen Boy.jpg 89 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/017_Chefchaouen Cat.jpg 92 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/021_Chefchaouen Blue White.jpg 81 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/030_Chefchaouen Hike.jpg 106 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/038_Chefchaouen Clouds.jpg 67 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/042_Chefchaouen Hill.jpg 102 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/043_Chefchaouen Medina.jpg 71 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/045_Chefchaouen Hill.jpg 79 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/046_Chefchaouen Castle.jpg 91 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/058_Chefchaouen Woman and door.jpg 96 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/062_Fez Outside Medina Night.jpg 51 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/073_Fez Boy with Load.jpg 71 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/075_Fez Women shopping.jpg 84 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/076_Fez Cats.jpg 112 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/086_Fez Carpet Salesman.jpg When he calmly asked if we would like to see his shop and the view from the roof, I thought "Hmmm... carpet scam?". This guy turned out to be awesome and I totally belived him when he said he sold high-end carpets direct to Bloomingdales. It was not so much a carpet shop as a carpet PALACE! It was clear we would not be buying a $50k carpet that day, but the roof view was really nice. 86 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/088_Fez Internet Cafe.jpg 71 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/090_Fez Tomomi.jpg My travel companion for much of the trip. We managed to cross paths a few times before finally meeting. It was a natural fit. Tomi had traveled to this point from his home in Japan over land and sea on a 2-year journey. He also enjoyed leisurely afternoons drinking black tea with mint in the desert.
Update: As of May 2010, Tomomi had made it overland through Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burukina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo(DC&RDC) and was just getting to Angola.
His Advice: "Its not dangerous, you should travel here!"
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/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/093_Fez textile Shop.jpg 73 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/094_Fez Clementine.jpg 100 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/099_Fez Mint Tea.jpg 46 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/101_Fez Night Market.jpg 134 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/102_Fez.jpg 122 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/104_Fez Stop Sign.jpg 77 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/105_Fez Woman and child.jpg 93 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/108_Fez Camel Head.jpg 99 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/112_Fez Arch.jpg 45 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/116_Fez.jpg 66 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/122_Fez Jonathan.jpg 74 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/127_BrokenBus.jpg The bus pulled over and while they were working on it, it began filling up with smoke. After wondering "hmmmm... is this going to blow up or poison us?" we all simultaneously got the idea to get off the bus. We then stood around in this awesome landscape as the bus owner negotiated the price of water with a nearby villager. 84 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/129_Berber guys from bus.jpg Met these guys on the bus, had a communication adventure trying to learn Berber and French at the same time. 92 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/133_Merzouga sand dune.jpg We finally reached the desert outpost run by "Noriko". The legends were right, a Japanese-Berber oasis on the edge of the Algerian Sahara! 88 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/134_Merzouga Boy.jpg 62 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/144_Merzouga Desert.jpg 104 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/148_Merzouga Jonathan.jpg 65 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/152_Curry.jpg I always travel with my own spices - very handy when all business close for meat-eating holidays. 71 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/154_Dai in Merzouga.jpg A great guy we met in the desert - Dai was riding his bike through Morocco (eventually made it to Burukina Faso, but lost the bike somewhere along the way). 57 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/155_Merzouga Sunset.jpg 61 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/156_Tagine.jpg 101 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/162_Tinerhir Camel Warning.jpg 70 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/173_Tinerhir Todra Gorge.jpg The "Grand Canyon" of Morocco. We had fun getting there on bikes. 91 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/175_Tinerhir Todra Gorge.jpg 110 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/178_Tinerhir Todra Gorge.jpg Tomi building up a thirst for another few cups of tea. 102 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/183_Tinerhir Todra Gorge.jpg 77 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/192_Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna.jpg Marrakesh was my favorite city - ended up staying 12 days and got a VIP pass to the international film festival that week! Yes, I was the travel bum at the red carpet event enjoying films from Korea to Egypt -- great stuff! 63 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/197_Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna-Favorite Stall.jpg I ate lentils, bread and chilies for dinner here every night. The guy on the left spoke Hindi! Apparently learned from Bollywood movies alone. 64 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/198_Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna.jpg 83 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/199_Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna Crowd.jpg 107 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/201_Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna Hat.jpg 64 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/220_Essaouira Cats at Butcher.jpg 64 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/232_RATS Bus.jpg 90 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/235_Rabat Door.jpg 129 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/243_Rabat.jpg The capital of Morocco. 97 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/244_Rabat Reda JC.jpg A frend of a friend I had heard about for years - Reda turned out to be one of the most interesting people I have ever met. Great conversation. Here we were at the Goethe Institute Bar - a total culture shock after 5 weeks in Morocco. 52 KB  
/pics/2009/2009-12-23_Morocco/251_Tangiers Man Picking his nose with lots of shoes.jpg Last night in Morocco, just about to start the long journey back to Zurich (and my sweet Nina) for Christmas. 100 KB