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Trip 8 -- Morocco and Southern Spain

Entry #1: Edinburgh-Malaga-Algeciras-Tangier-Rabat-

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

And so began the seven-part journey from Edinburgh to Tangier. The 3:00 a.m. bus was mostly full with chattering partygoers heading home to Glasgow. I slept most of the ride, awakening at 4:00 to find Glasgow teeming with people on the main pedestrian way, Sauchiehall Street. There I spent a productive hour calling my parents, taking in the scene, and witnessing what must be a quintessentially Glaswegian custom of throwing a styrofoam platter of chips against the roof of a bus shelter to add to the accumulating litter on the ground.

The 5:22 number 9 bus to Paisley was jam-packed with people, so much so that we spent about ten minutes at one stop while dozens of drunks boarded and fumbled for money to pay the fare. I had already staked out a window seat and was surrounded, interestingly, by emotionally fueled people communicating only in sign language. One of them used her finger to write, in the condensation on the window: "Paul is a 1st class asshole." I was next to Paul.

Even if I was surrounded by non-talkers, the decibel level on the bus was high. One person called out from the back, "How many people here have taken drugs tonight?" Paul erased the message on the window and the girl wrote, "Prick."

Paisley was as close to Glasgow International Airport as the First Glasgow bus company could get me at that hour. I left the bus and completed a reasonably straightforward two-mile walk north to the airport, where I picked up my ticket for the Glasgow-to-Malaga flight on the obscure-sounding carrier Air 2000. Obscure it may have been, but the flight was comfortable; it left ten minutes early, and I slept almost the entire three hours, semi-waking to ingest a suspicious-smelling egg-and-ham breakfast. The flight was nowhere near full and consisted mostly of people in their later years, who I assume were on a package tour of some sort.

I took the 11-minute train ride into Malaga, bought a �9.33 ticket for the 13:45 bus to the southern port of Algeciras, almost two hours away, and had enough time to enter a Wal-Mart-sized supermarket and procure some pate and bread and an orange for the journey. I'd forgotten how seriously the Spanish take their ham. There was an entire aisle devoted to it, and they loomed large, hanging whole from high racks. I slept most of the ride to Algeciras.

Timing was good: The next ferry for Tangier left at 16:00. The ticket cost �23.50. The ferry was comfortable and had more amenities than I'd expected: a duty-free shop, a pub, a snack bar, slot machines, a mosque, and several lounge areas. I spent a good bit of time on the upper deck, taking in the sunshine - it was around 70 degrees - before claiming an oversized chair and sleeping the rest of the way.

Most Moroccan cities of any size have several components. First, there's the medina, or walled old city, with stately gates, thriving markets, and narrow lanes, which formerly assisted in thwarting attacks by enemies and now assist in keeping the streets cool in the summer. Adjacent to the medina, or perhaps part of it, is the kasbah, a fortified area originally used for military purposes, but now assimilated into the city. Then there's the French-built ville nouvelle, the newer part of the city, with larger buildings and roads suitable for cars. Both Arabic and French are spoken (as well as Spanish in the north). I speak neither, though I've started to whip out the teach-yourself-French book I bought a few months ago in preparation for our Paris stint. I can get by on a few sentences in French. When I don't know a word in French, which is still most of the time, I use the Spanish equivalent but with a French pronunciation. It works more often than you'd think.

Tangier was a good introduction to Morocco, because its medina is big enough to be exciting but not so huge that you lose your way easily. All newcomers to Tangier have to deal with aggressive touts who assume that they need to be escorted around and that all they want to do is buy carpets. My tout was Abdul. As I didn't quite succeed in arriving in Tangier before dark - the sun set just as we arrived - I didn't try too vigorously to shrug him off.

Abdul showed me to the overpriced Olid Hotel, where I got a small but reasonably clean room for 80 dirhams (about $9) - no doubt he got a commission of some sort, but because of the hour I didn't feel like investigating other accommodation possibilities. The hotel did have attractive tilework, and my room even had its own toilet and a decent view. Abdul then showed me the main streets of the medina, making an obligatory stop at a carpet shop. The storekeeper welcomed us with mint tea and launched into a hard sell, showing me a dozen or so carpets and asking me to name my price. The thing was, the carpets were beautiful. I could see myself buying one eventually. But not during my first hour in Morocco.

Abdul then suggested two places to eat, one completely empty, one nearly so - both no doubt with good traditional set menus, but I wanted to pick my own dinner. So he took me back to the hotel, where he demanded Dh200 (about $22) for his services.

I'd expected to tip him for guiding me around for an hour, but I was shocked at his demand. I was prepared to offer Dh20, no more. "What is this?" he asked, insulted. He said he normally gets Dh200 as a guide, and some people like him so much they give Dh500. I said all I'd wanted to do was find a hotel, wash up, and have dinner, and I never asked him for anything beyond that - or anything at all, really. We had reached an impasse. He started to get aggressive: "Are you asking for trouble?"

"Do you want me to get the tourist police?" According to my guidebook they can be effective.

Abdul muttered something to the hotelier, no doubt the Arabic equivalent of "Can you believe this schmuck?"

He lowered his price to Dh150, then Dh100, and then Dh50, but I stayed firm, holding out the Dh20 note, inviting him to take it or leave it. Eventually he grabbed it, waved me upstairs, and stormed off.

Incidentally, the dirham is the most convenient unit of currency I've ever encountered. There are currently about nine of them to the dollar. The smallest coin in regular use is the half dirham, equal to about 5.5 cents - a very practical smallest unit to deal with. You don't have to deal with decimal points or carry around useless pennies, like you do in the United States, and you don't get flustered with masses of zeroes, like you do in Romania and Turkey. Every calculation is instantly manageable.

Now vaguely familiar with the main streets of the medina, I headed out in search of dinner. I also realized I needed to buy soap and toilet paper, since the hotel supplied none. I found some a couple of blocks away, and I started back down the narrow lane. Immediately thereafter the power went out in the medina.

This was a tad creepy, mainly because I wasn't sure who else was in the alley with me, and also because I knew there was at least one man in Tangier who wasn't altogether fond of me. But gradually I grew accustomed to the pitch darkness, and, remembering I was a few steps away from the small Restaurant Andalus, I thought, well, I might as well dine here.

It turned into a most romantic experience. The restaurant - a true hole in the wall - obtained candles and stuffed them into soda bottles. They served up a huge, delicious swordfish steak, with chips, rice, and salad. By the time I finished, the lights had come back on, and, after exploring some sweet markets and buying some walnut-stuffed dates, I stumbled upon the Salon de Th� Excelsior, a light, airy place, where I sat with my mint tea - a giant glass of sugary tea stuffed with large sprigs of mint leaves - and watched the street life.

In the morning I checked out of the Olid and walked a few doors down to the Pension Victoria, where the room was only Dh40, albeit with a shared bathroom, but at least it was a place of my own choosing. It was clean and friendly, though on one occasion two girls exited the place and gave me a curious look that suggested they might be interested in earning a few dirhams in exchange for acts of which Erica would not approve.

Tangier's kasbah is supposed to have an interesting museum, but it was closed that morning. A man told me it would be open at 15:00, but when I went back I learned that it had in fact been closed for restoration for about two years and no one had any idea when it might open again. I did visit two interesting museums in the medina, though. The Mus�e de la Foundation Lorin contained a collection of old photographs of the city, and the Old American Legation Museum contained a bunch of antique maps and memorabilia from the old U.S. diplomatic mission to Morocco. One map, dating probably from the 1700s and called "The Turkish Empire in Europe, Asia and Africa," had a bunch of those wonderful annotations unique to old maps. Of Algeria, it said, "This Country is Famous for Lyons, Ostriches, Porcupines, Wild Boars, Camelions, Leopards, Apes &c. and furnishes Caves for a vast number of Wild Beasts and is inhabited by People that wander up and down with their Tents." Of the Arabian desert: "Those that travel these Deserts must carry Provisions with them and direct their Course by the Stars, A Country that has neither Men, Beasts, Birds, Trees, Grass nor Pasture, and nothing but sands and rocky mountains."

The best item, however, was a letter sent from U.S. consul Thomas Carr to the Department of State in 1839, in which he explained an unusual circumstance. Moroccan chiefs, at the request of the sultan, had delivered two lions to Carr for the American people. Though it was against policy to accept animals as gifts, the chiefs would have been beheaded if they had not followed the sultan's orders. Carr was forced to keep the lions in the consulate, where they were creating something of a nuisance. He had also been told that a few horses were on their way. What a predicament!

I spent some time in the ville nouvelle, most notably in St. Andrew's Church, which beautifully melds Moorish design with the essential church elements. When I first walked by someone had been asleep and I didn't have the heart to wake him up to let me in, but when I came back later (after my second attempt to visit the Mus�e de la Kasbah), the lively caretaker was there and was happy to show me around.

I then spent an hour or so getting blissfully lost in the medina. The whole medina experience is the one I'll remember most about Morocco: winding my way through narrow alleys, getting embarrassed when I came to a dead end, peering into doorways and watching old men hand-sew clothing, seeing kids playing on the street with a makeshift soccer ball constructed from a plastic bag stuffed with plastic bags, turning a corner and finding myself in a little square with a few fruit and vegetable stands and someone selling undercooked-sausage sandwiches. And the cats - Morocco is overrun with strays. Tangier's medina was small enough that I could get lost without really worrying whether I'd ever find my way out, and it also had a wonderful food section. I stocked up on cheap olives (there were various varieties, the most expensive of which were only Dh20 per kilogram), cheese, and fruit, even though I didn't really have anything to stock up for, simply because it was such a pleasure to shop in that environment. I wasn't hungry enough for a full dinner, as I'd been snacking all day, so I grabbed some harira (thick chickpea soup) and headed back to the Excelsior for a while, this time sitting inside and watching television in Arabic with all the other men. (Women rarely venture into these places, at least in cities as conservative as Tangier.) I couldn't understand anything, of course, except for Bush's speech: "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him." Abdul, my aggressive tout from the night before, had been the one to tell me of the capture of Saddam Hussein.

I took an early train to Rabat the next morning, but there wasn't much to see in the capital. The main attraction was the Hassan Tower, a 44-meter-high minaret built in the late 12th century - the attached mosque was destroyed by an earthquake, though a few pillars of it remain. King Mohammed V's mausoleum is also there, richly decorated, protected by several guards, and surrounded by throngs of Japanese tourists. The museum at Rabat's kasbah was open and had an interesting exhibit on the connection between the ancient cultures of southern Spain and northern Morocco, giving me some idea of what to look for when I visit Andaluc�a next week. The most interesting attraction in Rabat was the necropolis of Chellah, which contains the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Sala Colonia and the ruins of an old mosque and medersa (theology school). Like most of Morocco's cities, the Chellah was infested with stray cats, who ran up to me every time I tried to snack on my olives.

I had a decent chicken pastilla (filled pastry topped with cinnamon and sugar) for dinner at La Clef, a restaurant whose name, I thought, made it appropriate for a musician, and then searched for something to do at - but found nothing of interest in the ville nouvelle. Rabat's small medina, however, was full of life, with smoke emanating from the food stalls and kids playing in the street; it made a pleasant stroll to finish off the night.

An hour's train ride brought me to Casablanca, a big, sprawling city of more than three million, but little else. For six years, from 1987 to 1993, King Hassan II had the world's third-largest mosque built in Casablanca, mainly so Lonely Planet would have something to fill its pages on Casablanca with. It's one of the few mosques non-Muslims can visit, and while the obligatory guided tour cost a hefty Dh100, the building was stunning. The main prayer hall alone is 200 meters long, 100 meters wide, and 65 meters high and can accommodate 25,000 worshipers. There's a sliding roof and an electrically heated floor. All the decorations are of the utmost refinement and elegance, and nearly all the building's materials - cedar, stucco, tile - came from various regions of Morocco.

I spent two nights in Casablanca. On the first I dined at the Restaurant de l'Etoile Marocaine, where I had an excellent pigeon pastilla. A group of five English speakers came in right after me and it was all I could do not to overhear everything they were saying. From what I could tell, they were British, the daughter hadn't seen her father in a while, and her mother and two of her friends were also there. The conversation consisted of talk of the night's cuisine and all their travels, using the most amusing pretensions: "It's not so reliant on coriander." "Is Syria still your favorite place you've been?" "No, I think it's Jerusalem." "These are just like the pastillas I make, but mine serve eight." These last two examples were uttered by the 17-year-old friend, who had also stated, with calculated innocence and evident delight, that she had wondered why all the Indian men in Goa had given her so much attention on the beach. ("Were you wearing your skimpy black bikini?" asked her friend.) They occasionally looked in my direction, as if inviting me to partake in their conversation, but by the time that happened I couldn't say anything without making it obvious that I had been eavesdropping on their entire discussion, even if such eavesdropping had originally been unintentional. My only alternative would have been to say something meaningless, such as "So what brings you to Casablanca?" - but I don't think that city is quite off the beaten track enough to warrant that kind of opening, and it would have been such a letdown after their wonderful discourse. So the tension increased a bit, with me listening, and them very aware that I was listening, and none of us could do anything about it, because there was no convenient ice-breaker. I left first, and the father and I exchanged "Good night."

I wanted a beer after that, so - after the obligatory mint tea and a stop for ice cream - I stumbed upon a bar called Maharaja, run by a lively, talkative guy named Aziz, who spoke excellent English and had lived in New York City, among various places around the world. When we weren't speaking, I read Paul Theroux's Dark Star Safari, trying to deter the few prostitutes in the bar from joining me at my table.

Toward the end of my second day in Casablanca, I headed for the wealthy suburb of 'Ain Diab, to see how rich Moroccans live and play. By my unintentionally roundabout route, it took me almost two hours to walk there. It was quite intriguing. The Boulevard de la Corniche reminded me of Miami's South Beach - a broad drive flanking the Atlantic Ocean, with posh, exclusive restaurants, clubs, and hotels on each side, among some fairly mainstream eateries. It began with the Megarama movie theatre, where I might actually have been interested in seeing something, except everything was dubbed into French.

I'd remembered from the guidebook map that one of Africa's best restaurants, perhaps the best, A Ma Bretagne, was nearby, so I wandered off in search of it. The Corniche ended and I turned right to continue along a well-lit highway with a broad sidewalk and well-dressed Casablancans. There was a Hyundai dealership and a KFC, but that's about it as far as the eye could see. It was only then that I rechecked the guidebook and noticed that it said, "A few kilometres south of the 'Ain Diab beaches...."

But I'd come all this way; I might as well walk the last stretch along the beach. After a dreary half hour I found the restaurant, but even though it was after 19:00 I was the only one there. The decor wasn't that splendid and the food options didn't quite grab me, but the menu was hilarious for the English. It was clear that the French had either been looked up word for word or been sifted through one of those on-line translators; nothing made any sense in English. "Riz aux petits l�gumes" became "Rice to the small vegetables." Anything that couldn't be translated was just left as it was, so "Quenelle de bar au lyonnaise" became "Quenelle of bar to the lyonnaise." My favorite, "Fromage de ch�vre au cerfeuil sur nid de roquette," was rendered as "Cheese of goat to the chervil on nest of rocket."

So I walked the half hour back to the main strip of the Corniche, where I looked at a somewhat bland-looking hotel restaurant and a fancy-looking place called La Reserve, which had a big sign saying "Restaurant" but was in fact a nightclub, closed for a private party. Up and down the Corniche I walked, nothing quite hitting the spot; finally, having walked for about four hours, I settled on an elegantly decorated place called Bismane, which had pleasant live music played on string instruments and drums.

I wasn't walking back into town after all that, and I'd missed the last bus, so my only recourse was to take a taxi back to the hotel. The cabbie said I should pay him whatever I wanted; I offered Dh70 and he couldn't change my Dh100 note, so the fare had to be lowered to Dh50. I'd told Aziz I might come back to the Maharaja and chat for a while, but I was so tired after all that walking that I fell asleep instantly.

In the morning I took a train to Marrakech, probably Morocco's most heavily visited city. I'd saved Marrakech and F�s for last because they have such a reputation for aggressive touts and enormous medinas; I wanted to hit the manageable cities first. After finding a hotel, which took some effort as it's such a big tourist city, I visited the small Maison Tiskiwin, a home-turned-museum displaying cultural items of the northern-African peoples. Then I proceeded to the Dar Si Said, an absolutely gorgeous palace that now houses a museum focusing largely on various types of Moroccan wood (well, why not?), doors made from such wood, and ancient folk objects, including a wonderful, if small, assortment of musical instruments.

Marrakech's most famous location is probably the central square of its medina, Jemaa el-Fna. At night the square is home to about 200 food stalls, surrounded by vendors selling fresh orange juice, nuts, cinnamon tea, and pastries, themselves surrounded by street musicians, storytellers, snake charmers, fortune tellers, and so on, as well as a fair number of beggars. The whole square is flanked by restaurants and cafes with high terraces, from which you can watch the action - the mayhem, the lights, the huge cloud of smoke rising from the food stalls. All the food is cheap, delicious, and eaten without utensils. It's hard to imagine a more convivial ambience. On this first night, I sampled sheep's brains - served with a couple of other innards that I consumed without thinking too much about them - and snails, served in a cupful of their own juice, which is then drunk as a chaser.

I took a three-day tour out to Merzouga, to see the giant sand dunes of the western Sahara. The group consisted of 22 people, in two vans; mine included two brothers from Toronto, two sisters from New Zealand, a brother and sister from Grand Rapids and Chicago, an American couple, a lone traveler from England, and a lone Japanese traveler, whose name was Jun, though all the Moroccan guides referred to him simply as "Japan." Our driver, Jamel, was perhaps the most reticent guide I'd ever met; it took prodding just to learn his name, and he never provided any information on the places where we stopped.

The two hours just east of Marrakech were perhaps the most grueling I've ever spent on a good road. I've spent many hours on grueling bad roads; this one was well-maintained, and Jamel drove safely, but it was nonstop hairpin turns as we wound our way through valleys and over mountain passes. The scenery was pretty enough, but it didn't make up for the constant lurching - or the ever-present stench of the van's exhaust system.

We made our first scenic stop to see the kasbah at Ait Benhaddou ("Forty-five minutes' walk," Jamel said, not bothering to name the place we were visiting). It's a beautiful kasbah in terrific condition, with sharp crenellations and niches and trapezoidal towers vaguely reminiscent of the Potala Palace. To get there, we had to ford a small stream or - much more interesting - pay the locals Dh20 to ride across on their donkeys. Once across, a boy named Mohammed, who claimed to be 13 but looked much younger, showed me around the kasbah and then into his house, that of one of ten families in the village. I met his little sister and brother and his father, who served us tea and bread and was attempting to fix a remarkably dilapidated stereo. Mohammed's room was completely bare except for a pillow on the floor, three touristy postcards on the wall, and a hanging calendar from a ferry company.

We drove a further 30 kilometers or so to Ouarzazate, where we stopped just long enough for lunch - not long enough, sadly, to check out the town or its splendid kasbah. The rush was on to get to the Dad�s Gorge before sunset, and the drive was splendid: We passed through a lunar-looking landscape with red rocks looking like large boils, and this gave way to rounded rocks all intertwined, like giant brains. In the valleys below, Berber villages (the Berbers are the traditionally nomadic people who came to Morocco for its temperate climate) were made out of the same rocks, the same color, blending perfectly into the landscape.

We stopped for the night at a hotel in the Dad�s Gorge, arriving just before sunset. A banquet was set up, with large communal vegetarian tajines, plus boiled chicken. There wasn't much to do after dinner but play cards by candlelight, as the electricity, powered by noisy generators in nearby buildings, was turned off at 22:30.

The next morning we were off to the Todra Gorge, another breathtaking landscape of tall massifs and red brilliance. En route we stopped at the Berber village of Ait Hajali, where a more personable guide, Mohammed, led us through farmland, explaining how the river is diverted into various villages' wheat and corn fields using canals that are open and closed on a fixed schedule set by the villages' chiefs. He then led us through Ait Hajali's winding kasbah and to a hut, where we could watch the carpet-weaving process in action. The ultimate goal, of course, was to make a sale - and a man named Hassan showed us carpet after carpet while a woman demonstrated the time-tested technique of cleaning and straightening wool by hand, using a wooden brush, and then weaving it on a loom. (What a far cry this was from the noisy, giant textile machines at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester!)

And, by golly, I bought two camel-hair carpets, one large and one small. I'd thought about ultimately acquiring one in any case (I've had an apartment for three years that I've never bothered to really decorate), and better to buy direct from the creators than from the aggressively touting salesmen in the medinas of Marrakech and F�s - the prices were better here, too. The carpets really were beautiful, and Hassan explained all the symbolism in their design: the pyramidal shapes representing the Berbers' nomadic life in the mountains and in their tents, a group of nine squares representing the nine planets.

A long afternoon drive took us to the highlight of the tour, the Erg Chebbi, the enormous dunes near the town of Merzouga. Reaching our campsite required an hour's journey by camel: three caravans of seven camels each. I got on. The camel stood up. I said to the person behind me, "You know what I just realized? I'm really quite terrified."

I've never been fond of heights, especially those that involve a creature with a mind of its own. We started off in hard-packed sand, and the docile camels plodded steadily. Each step - easy enough for the camel - resulted in my enduring a back-forth lurch with which my inner legs were none too happy.

The sun was setting. As we continued, the sand became softer, and I began to make peace with the experience. We ascended and descended the dunes, often proceeding along the ridges. Going uphill was satisfying - it was never comfortable, but the strides were small, and I felt as if I had the best grip on the metal handle, my only source of stability. Going downhill was grueling, because the camel would step and then slide forward, causing my body to jerk forward as if I were going to plunge. A gentle incline was best.

At times, much to the amusement of the person in front of me, I'd talk to my camel: "That's it. Tough hill. Good job. Good boy." They were all male camels.

We rode for an hour, by which point I could barely see the camels in front of me; I could only make out their long legs and stretched necks. They looked like something prehistoric.

We arrived at our campsite, where we separated into tents of about seven people each. One of the guides played Senegalese music on the bongos, and he taught us a folk ballad. It had been warm because of the cloud cover, but steadily the clouds slid away, like a curtain, revealing the stars and giving us a chill.

Dinner appeared an hour or two later: four-person tajines eaten with bread; there were no utensils. After the obligatory tea, a few of us played cards until it became a reasonably appropriate hour to retire. It took me an hour to fall asleep: I'm not used to bed before midnight.

We were woken up at 6:30, and we were off a half hour later, back on the camels. We rode around the biggest dune, down which some American tourists were sand-boarding. It was just after sunrise, but as the sun was at our backs it wasn't very impressive - at least not until the end, when we turned and the sun was to the left, giving the camels' shadows twelve-foot-long legs. By now the dunes were closer together, in varyingly skewed pyramidal shapes, giving the impression of cake frosting.

As a guide helped me off my camel, he noticed we had exactly the same kind of wristwatch.

After breakfast, we drove the 11 hours back to Marrakech, including an attractive lunch stop and those two hours of hairpin turns, which seemed even more endless after such a long journey.

Seven of us - the two New Zealanders, the Midwestern brother and sister, and the American couple - had become rather good friends at this point, and we stuck together the next day. We hired a guide, Mustapha, to show us around the souqs, the medina's bustling market maze. We saw men and children hammering iron into useful objects; we saw leather workers cutting soles for slippers; we saw live chickens crammed into cages, awaiting their turn to be slaughtered and fed into an ominous grinding machine that removed the parts consumers would just as soon not acquaint themselves with. And then, of course, were all the items for sale: pottery, lamps, slippers, and the ubiquitous carpets, among other things. Motorcycles, bicycles, donkeys and carts, beggars, sneaky children, and old men with canes crowded the covered alleyways.

Part of what made the experience pleasurable was that nearly all the items for sale were functional. There were plenty of schlocky souvenirs, but the vast majority were things I'd consider taking home with me. The incorrigible and entertaining Mustapha, who consistently made fun of his rather large size, seemed to know everyone in the medina; he was frequently shaking hands with people and introducing us to his favorite shopkeepers, giving guidance on how much things should cost: There are no fixed prices in the souqs (except for food); everything requires hard bargaining skills.

Mustapha also took us to the Museum of Marrakech, noted more for its regally decorated interior than for the temporary art exhibitions it house, and to the Ali ben Youssef medersa, a theological school built 600 years ago. To be accepted, students had to know the Koran by heart, and then they spent seven years in the school, living in austere cell-like dormitories, two or four to a tiny room. We also were given an explanation of the beautiful Koutoubia mosque, which can hold 20,000 people. Marrakech's oldest mosque, it was finished in the late 12th century, after an adjacent mosque was torn down when it was discovered it wasn't pointing toward Mecca. The architect of the former mosque was duly executed.

Some of us also took a walk into the ville nouvelle to buy tickets for tonight's midnight bus to F�s. We all happen to be on the same schedule, so we're sticking together for a couple more days. F�s has a notoriously enormous and labyrinthine medina in which I can't wait to get lost.

Go on to entry 2