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.
Fresh off the boat
Street scene
Yes, vegetarianism adds a whole new level to the adventure.
It took a couple rough days (you should have seen the border crossing!) before I found myself in this this beautiful mountain village.
Chefchaoen Square
Chefchaouen Square
Chefchaouen Boy
Chefchaouen Cat
Chefchaouen Blue White
Chefchaouen Hike
Chefchaouen Clouds
Chefchaouen Hill
Chefchaouen Medina
Chefchaouen Hill
Chefchaouen Castle
Chefchaouen Woman and door
Fez Outside Medina Night
Fez Boy with Load
Fez Women shopping
Fez Cats
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.
Fez Carpet Salesman
Fez Internet Cafe
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!"
Fez Tomomi
Fez textile Shop
Fez Clementine
Fez Mint Tea
Fez Night Market
Fez Stop Sign
Fez Woman and child
Fez Camel Head
Fez Arch
Fez Jonathan
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.
Broken Bus
Met these guys on the bus, had a communication adventure trying to learn Berber and French at the same time.
Berber guys from bus
We finally reached the desert outpost run by "Noriko".  The legends were right, a Japanese-Berber oasis on the edge of the Algerian Sahara!
Merzouga sand dune
Merzouga Boy
Merzouga Desert
Merzouga Jonathan
I always travel with my own spices - very handy when all business close for meat-eating holidays.
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).
Dai in Merzouga
Merzouga Sunset
Tinerhir Camel Warning
The "Grand Canyon" of Morocco.  We had fun getting there on bikes.
Tinerhir Todra Gorge
Tinerhir Todra Gorge
Tomi building up a thirst for another few cups of tea.
Tinerhir Todra Gorge
Tinerhir Todra Gorge
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!
Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna
I ate lentils, bread and chilies for dinner here every night.  The guy on the left spoke Hindi!  Apparently learned from Bollywood movies alone.
Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna Favorite Stall
Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna
Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna Crowd
Marrakesh Jemaa El Fna Hat
Essaouira Cats at Butcher
Rabat Door
The capital of Morocco.
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.
Rabat Reda JC
Last night in Morocco, just about to start the long journey back to Zurich (and my sweet Nina) for Christmas.
Tangiers Man Picking his nose with lots of shoes