Morocco

Everyone told me not to go to Morocco alone. But I wanted to go and it was November and my friends all had jobs. And I wasn't gonna not go just because people told me I shouldn't. So I went. And it sucked sometimes, but overall was a great trip. The guys expected me to be a whore and wanted to either sleep with me or marry me, or I guess both, and were really persistent. That got old fast, but was definitely an experience. Overall, people were incredibly friendly and helpful and generous. It's beautiful, the food is good, I learned some French and some Arabic. Good times.


On the boat from Algeciras, Spain, to Tangier.



Tangier

Beautiful, but look at all the trash.





The hand of Fatima. Fatima was Mohammed's daughter; the hand is supposed to ward off evil spirits and is on doors all over Morocco.


People take dough to public bakeries to have their bread made.




The first of many unsolicited tour guides.







Chefchouan

Little town in the Rif mountains that's bluewashed instead of whitewashed.




On the bus from Chefchouan to Fès



Fès

Fès is a mosh pit, a labyrinth, a snake pit. I didn't do a great job of photographing it. Picture a thousand little alley streets (actually I think they claim there are something like 7000 streets in the medina) packed full of people, donkeys, carts, cats; it teems with humanity. They sell goat heads in the streets. And everybody wants to be your tour guide. It's like a carnival ride that you have to just give in to.







Everyone in Morocco has satellite TV. People who don't have plumbing or floors in their houses have satellite TV. It's the first thing they show you when you go inside.



Leather tanneries









Marrakech



More satellite dishes



Huge central square with food, music, storytellers, snake charmers, gropers. And freshly-squeezed orange juice for about fifty cents.



Chez Rabia: In case you were wondering what became of Vanilla Ice



Erg Chebbi

I did a four-day camel trek through the desert. The night I got there it poured rain. Whatever.

Hotel Sahara



Ali, my guide



The rain was the first they'd had in ten years. We had to go almost to Algeria one day because the camel refused to cross this little steam that the rain made.



My vehicle





It takes a lot for me to like a kid, but this little nomad was cool as hell. We didn't come close to sharing a common language, but had fun taking pictures.













This is a well.







The last night in the desert we stayed in what they call the African village (Africa in Morocco means sub-Saharan--this was a village of about a hundred people who came from I think Senegal) and heard gnawa music. You can do a lot with three strings, a drum, and some krakebs.








Essaouira

On the Atlantic coast. The opening sequence of Orson Welles' Othello was filmed here.





Casablanca

For being so famous, there's almost nothing to do in Casablanca. But it does have the world's third largest mosque, one of the few that tourists are allowed to visit. (For a fee, of course.) Was built for the 60th birthday of King Hassan II (father of current King Mohammed VI) and paid for by a universal police-enforced tax. It's good to be king, I guess.











I got to sneak into this church because the guard thought I was part of a tour group.



With Rajaa, my host in Casablanca






Tunisia

After three weeks in Morocco I went to Tunisia for two weeks. In retrospect I probably should have gone to Egypt. C'est la vie. Tunisia is a lot like Morocco, and doesn't have pyramids.

Carthage

The ruins at Carthage were pretty cool. It's an absolutely beautiful place; I guess that's why everyone was fighting over it way back when.







What's left of the Roman baths.



Mosaic floors





They sacrificed children here.











American World War II cemetery. I'm a sucker for WWII. Made me homesick.



The guard at the museum in Tunis made me climb under the barrier and pose with this old stone thing.



Tataouine

In southern Tunisia. Close to where they filmed the first Star Wars, and where Luke Skywalker's hometown was named after.









And this wasn't even the worst toilet I had to use. The hose on the wall replaces toilet paper.



Gabès

Near the Libyan border. I wish I'd taken a photo of the sign for Tripoli.



The guy on the left wanted to marry me. That we didn't share a common language bothered him not.



Tozeur

Near the Algerian border. It has this nice palm oasis, but you can't look too closely because the oasis (like most of North Africa, unfortunately) is full of trash.











Hotel courtyard. Was a bad tourist and spent an afternoon reading the newspaper here.



Bizerte

Little fishing village at the top of Tunisia. Northernmost point in Africa, I think.



Sidi Bou Said

The highlight of the Tunisia trip, this little village outside of Tunis was soooo cute.













View from an outdoor cafe