1. We ferried into Morocco, via Tangier, arriving as dawn broke. We had just taken one of those all-night bus trips from Madrid to Algeciras, where we boarded the ferry.
2. After a long train ride to Marrakesh, we went to the center of town and hung out in the town square (Jemaa el Fna) and the souks. Here, we're greeted by one of the many snake-handlers.
3. Sparky the snake is real.
4. Chris gave the fez back.
5. The mosque in Marrakesh.
6. The Jemaa el Fna bustles at all hours. At night, local musicians and storytellers come out to replace the snake charmers and henna tattooists.
7. Chris by the High Atlas mountains.
8. Berber village.
9. Part of a huge casbah south of Marrakesh.
10. Our guide, Turik, passing on blessings to all.
11. Local Berber window.
12. Boys playing soccer (or waiting their turn) on a rockfield. As you might expect, Morrocans are into their football.
13. Amazing gorge we slept by one evening. Fantastic rock climbing. People from across the world were there to climb.
14. Chris, preparing to go deep into the Sahara.
15. The Gateway to the Sahara.
16. Yes, it's everywhere, and popular.
17. The "Black Sahara," where the sand is gray to black on the top. It makes way for the traditional sun-baked Sahara with its huge dunes.
18. A very nice camel. We rode camels into the Sahara for 2 hours to get to camp.
19. Camel-cam. Looking back to Chris (looking great in his jelaba and head covering!).
20. Hanging out at Maison Toareg, a Berber tribe. We all got dressed up for the occasion.
21. So many carpets to choose from! I bought a traditional Berber carpet, which is much more fuzzy and of simpler design than most rugs. It's somewhat like the main rug hanging in this picture.
22. This kind of thing happens all the time in Morocco. We hit it off with our cab driver on the long drive from Rasani (in the Sahara) to Meknes (where we caught a bus to Tangier to catch the ferry to Algeciras so we could train to Madrid, Barcelona, Geneva, and then finally to Italy!) . Our driver, Salaam, is in red on the right. When he found out we had a few hours before our bus to Tangier, he took us to hang out with his friends. We had a fantastic time. The unemployment rate in Morocco is very high, and half of the population is under 25. At the same time, education is free, so we talked with law students, German students, journalists, French teachers, and musicians, all in this little group. Many of them are also on the local volleyball team, too!
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