Madrid, El Escorial, Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Tetouan, Chefchouen, Marrakesh, Essouiara, Ouarzazate, Boumaine du Dades, Merzouga, Fes, Tangier, Gibraltar, Toledo
Over Christmas holidays at Princeton, flew to Madrid. Found the city bland – most likely because I skipped two of the best aspects: high end cuisine and nightlife. No money for such trifles. Couldn’t wait to get into cities with a bit more chaos – the ones that wear their history on their sleeve. Traveled to the southern Spanish cities with moorish influence – Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada.
The first time I’ve had a knife to my through was in Al Albacin neighborhood in Granada, while taking a photo. I gave the unseen assailant the 10 euros I had in my wallet. I did not reveal the existence of my money belt, which at that point I still had the energy to wear. But he wasn’t satisfied – he wanted the camera. But I’ve just taken a couple nice photos, I think, irrationally. Eventually I crouch down progressively between the curb and a parked car, and then spin around and run away (with the camera). Next time, I will definitely just hand it over!
Couldn’t wait to get into Morocco – crossed the border at Ceuta at night with no issues. Meeting up with Ian McHenry, who had gone on ahead of us. Enjoyed local hospitality in Tetouan, and then again in Fes. Enjoyed Marrakesh, and especially swimming out to an offshore castle in Essouiara on the coast. The dunes at Merzouga were also unmissable.