. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: July 24, 1999

Saturday, July 24, 1999
Ceuta, Spanish Morocco to Tetouan, Morocco
Spain's FlagMorocco's Flag

Map
Tetouan, Morocco:
Latitude: 35° 34' 16" North
Longitude: 5° 22' 10" West
Altitude: 569 feet
From Seattle: 6069 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hotel Cosmopolita

Map
Today's Travel:
Countries: Spain, Morocco
Regions: Spanish North Africa, Mediterranean Coast, The Rif Mountains
Route: City Bus: Ceuta Port - Border; Grand Taxi: Border - Tetouan
Path:Ceuta, Spanish Morocco - Tetouan, Morocco
Linear:25 miles
Weather: Sunny

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 835
Linear Dist: 154937
Countries Visited: 60
Regions Visited: 238
More stats...
Hotels: 267
Friends / Family: 171
Camping: 118
Hostels: 217
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 3118
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Journal Entry:
Woke up with my shoulder sore but nothing like last night. My foot had swollen considerably but was walkable. Spent the day wandering around Ceuta. It's pleasant enough - very cosmopolitan and definitely European - African only as a technicality. I spent some time shopping - the prices of this duty free haven were not very impressive (one exception - I found a GSM phone that seemed way to cheap - I bought it). I hung out on the beach for a while, but I stupidly left my suit and towel in the luggage I checked at the hotel when I checked out.

Around 4:30 I collected my bag and caught a city bus to the border (no walking today!) The border was strangely subdued - I found out that yesterday King Hassan II died. It only took a little over an hour to get through the Moroccan border formalities, but today they were on the other side of the building - in the sun, with no shade - pure hell. Once in Morocco I waited at the grand taxi stand for a bit before getting fed up with the drivers (trying to talk me into hiring a taxi to myself - and blatantly lying to me regarding the availability of busses). Decided to walk into the nearby village (3 km) to check out the bus schedule, but maybe ten minutes into the walk I was able to flag down a grand taxi with room for me. An hour later I was in Tetouan.

I quickly found my hotel and started wandering. Just outside the medina in the main square (Place Hassan II), in front of the Royal Palace was a huge demonstration of some kind. It was pretty amazing - many thousands of people chanting and singing. At first I thought it was religious but then realized it was some kind of mourning for the king. Shortly after I started watching the entire mob headed down Calle Mohamad V (I didn't know it at the time, but the demonstration was going to march up and down the length of the cities main street all night). I decided to go into the medina. The winding streets were quiet - a very strange state for a Moroccan medina. I'm not sure if it was that, the subtly Spanish architecture (wrought iron balconies off the second floors), the freshly whitewashed walls, or the well maintained and clean flagstones, but the medina is refreshingly different from the others I've been in. Most of the shops were closed - I'm not sure if in mourning, or just because it's Saturday. I set off to get lost and it only took me minutes to accomplish this. There are some amazing tiled doorways and courtyards here. It took me two hours to find my way back (finally walked straight until I found one of the city walls then followed it back to where I started - the long way around it turned out).

Found a small sandwich place on Place al-Jala for diner and sat upstairs to eat. My timing was perfect as the mourning procession was coming back up the street still chanting and singing - it took more than a half hour for all of them to pass through the small square I was looking down on. I wish I had taken a photo, but it didn't even occur to me.

After my long walk of discovery my foot was really starting to bug again so I returned to my hotel. I spent until midnight getting caught up on emails and my journal.


Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Morocco
CIA World Fact Book: Morocco

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