September 3, 2005

9/3/05 Tetouan Morocco

I hate being a tourist

What a long day!

This morning after breakfast, we loaded onto the bus for a trip across town to the old quarter to visit the medina. It was an amazing two hours of walking, sometimes single-file through the narrow streets full of people selling and buying everything – fish, lamp, spices, shoes, clothing, vegetables, candy ad gifts. It was as if you stepped back in time. Only when our guide pulled out his cell phone did you remember we were in the 21st century.

Walking through the medina


Amazing sights and sounds


I wonder what he thought of us


Sewing on hand braiding


One of our group in traditional dress

We were hot and very tired when we stopped at the Berber Cooperative. They made a big show of the various carpets they sold. I said I was curious about one, and the next thing I know is that I bought it. Not happy about it even though it probably is a good deal. I believe I was taken advantage of. They wouldn't let me go without wheeling and dealing. Very, very high pressure and I think they picked me especially because I was older. I hate being a tourist.

At the carpet sellers


Ho ho silver!

We had lunch, then loaded back onto the bus for the drive to Tanger. We stopped at the oldest lighthouse on the North African Coast before heading down to the old quarter of Tanger. A lot like that in Tetouan but I really feel like we were on display. Everyone stared. I hate being a tourist.

Tanger

Then we finally drove back to Tetouan. After dinner and a swim in the pool, I felt a little better about the day. But I hate being a tourist. The bright part of the day was getting to know Hilary. We spent the day looking after each other in the tight busy streets, and talked on the bus. Another person I'd like to keep in touch with.