Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Russia, Moscow
At the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, the ferry sails between the famous Pillars of Hercules - the Rock of Gibraltar in Europe (Gibraltar) and the rock Jebel Musa in Africa (Morocco). Feelings are overwhelming when you see from different sides of the ferry the two continents at once.
We went to the port of Tangier all the necessary formalities and changed euro into local currency - Dirham. Immediately large amount, because currency exchange can not be found anywhere and on Saturdays banks are closed. Dirhams can not be exported out of the country, so at the end of travel remaining dirhams can be changed back to its original course, upon presentation of the receipt.
We did not stop in Tangier, and went to the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco - Rabat.
The first impression of the country - a big garbage. On both sides of the highway. periodically we saw huge fields of garbage, in the cities too - much garbage and dirt. Near the walls, that surround the medina (old town), the locals made not only small, but also a great need in front of everyone, everywhere smells bad. Traffic on urban roads are chaotic, rules are not followed, on the roads of cities drive not only cars, but also mopeds, bicycles, carts with donkeys and horses, walking people, and very often they go and go in the opposite way, or dive under your wheels.
So, Rabat. This is our first Moroccan city, the capital . We checked into a nice hotel in the medina and went for a walk. And immediately been caught by one of the local "catcher of fools". We read a lot about it, and so it seemed that we had already not fooled. But he did it very intelligently and unobtrusively …. We just went away from the hotel for 100 meters and stood, staring at the balcony of a house, when well-dressed Arabian man, on good English asked if we knew what kind of house? And so it began .... "Come, I'll show you an interesting ancient gate ... and here, sister, look at this ancient carved passage between homes, brother - you have to take a picture into this keyhole (and indeed there has a very interesting hallways houses). My brothers, my sister, you want to see a real palace, I'll show it to you now! ". Soon, we began to realize that it is not just hospitality, and we would have to pay money. But arabian man is really very interesting told and showed us places, that in single mode we would have never seen: for example an awesome old riad (traditional Moroccan house-palace with an interior garden), which is currently under restoration. As a result, we gave 15 euros per person to riad worker (certainly a good friend of our guide) and our guide at the end of few hour excursion, asked us 30 euros from person! It is VERY expensive for Morocco! Helge gave him the money at once, but we were not happy with Robert about prospect of losing another 60 euros, in addition to already given earlier 30 euros in Riad. Half an hour of coaxing, listening the stories about 4 hungry children - we were able to bring down the price to 40 euros only. But in any case we do not regret - it was really very interesting and informative time.
In the morning we had to try to get out of the hotel "parking"
Casablanca. In the town is nothing to do, but we came because of the mosque Hassan II, which is one of the biggest in the world, with the tallest minaret - 200 meters. Unfortunately, right in front of us the mosque was closed for excursions, so we were satisfied just by visual inspection.
From Casablanca, we went on the highway to El Jadida, but Helge afraid to break the speed limit, and Robert could not stand to go on a great highway at 130 km. /hr, so Helge first behind us, and then we lost him from the view. Robert and I came to El Jadida and waited Helge, and periodically try to call him. Robert even decided to freshen up quickly - the first swimming in the ocean.
Finally, we phoned Helge. He decided to catch up to us and while overtaking a truck was caught on police radar at 150 km. /hr. Accordingly, next police patrol had to stop him, as most of road police working in couple - first one policeman catches you on the radar, and after a few kilometers his partner tries to pull you out of traffic. Helge, hiding behind cars, slipped a second policeman, accelerated, and on emotions drove past the turn to El Jadida. We decided to meet with him after 150 km. in Safi, where we went on a scenic road along the ocean.
Safi. I do not even know how to write more tolerant .... We met Helge and decided to stop for the night in this city, we put bikes to the secure underground parking next to the hotel and went for a walk. The town has no beach, there is a crap promenade with hashish smoke-filled people, one of them even wanted to snatch the bank with Fanta out of my hands, but from a terrible roar of Robert he stopped. In the morning we discovered that someone had stolen the cover from our motorcycle and cut down toy "angry bird" from topcase lattice. The security guard was trying to say that he does not understand anything, but Helge knowing little French, started yelling at him, so that even I was ready to give all our money Helge. The guard gave 200 dirham (about 20 euros) and we left this "pretty" city.