Morocco, an exotic destination! Morocco for motorcyclists it is a conquest I think. It's great thing to drive in Sahara desert!
A duration of 20 days trip was good to explore Morocco. Not all the days for Morocco, because we needed 4 days from Greece to reach Morocco, and another 4 for our return. So, 12 days in Morocco were.... just OK!!! A trip full of dust, heat and 7.600 kilometers.
A company of three couples on three motos, we started to organize this trip a few months before the start. Tickets for the ferry from Greece to Italy, information about Morocco, the ferry from Algeciras to Ceuta (Gibraltar straits) and more.... We had made some trips together, before this trip, so we knew each other how to drive and there were no problem. We started our trip on the 10th of June 2008. George & Vasiliki, Othon & Ageliki and Vana & I, we embarked on the ferry in the Port of Patras to the Port of Ancona, Italy.
From Ancona we crossed Italy, and we stopped after 750 kilometers driving in Cannes, France to stay overnight. The next day we left for Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city. It was a day full of kilometers. We covered a distance of 975 kilometers. The City of Arts and Sciences complex was impressive! The ancient district of the city was a must visit! We didn't have enough time in Valencia to see more, because we arrived late and the next day we had to leave. Our next station was Seville, 660 km distance. Our last stay in the European continent before entering in Africa. The fourth day of our trip we crossed the straits of Giblartar from Algeciras to Ceuta. We were in Africa!!! We stayed one day in Ceuta and the next morning we were crossing the Spanish - Morocco borders. We drove to Fes, Morocco. The terrain had changed a lot in comparison to the terrain we were driving in Europe. When we arrived in Fes, we met a guy with a motorcycle who was wiiling to help us. He guided us to a hotel, and another young man guided us(with a fee) in the city. Fes is Morocco's oldest Imperial city and its "old town" is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Medina (old town) is behind its high walls is a magical, medieval city just teeming with life in every one of its 9000 narrow streets. Fes is the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco. After two days stay in Fes, we left for Merzouga. We crossed the Middle Atlas mountains, and the cities El Rachidia and Erfoud. The temperature was 42 to 43 degrees of Celcius.... We found our hotel using our GPS to find the coordinators.... No address! The hotel was just PERFECT!!! We stayed two days in our hotel and we left to an oasis where we spent one night. We drove to the edge of Sahara dessert and we went a two hours trip on the back of camels to a Berberian oasis ( Auberge Oasis Merzouga ) close to Algerian borders. We ate traditional food cooked there, and we slept in tents in a full-moon night. The next we woke up early to watch the sunrise, and afterwards on the back of the camels we returned back in our hotel to pack up and we continued our exploration to Dades Gorge, 250 kilometers away, in the heat of the day (43° of Celcius). We enjoyed driving in the Dades Gorge pass! We had a tea in a cafe there and little after we drove to the city of Ouarzazate. We had a problem there with the battery in George's motorcycle, but we had a lot of help to replace it, from a French guy (we met there) and his coleague, a KTM technician. We stayed two days there, and George got a new battery. We continued our exploration driving north, visiting Atlas Studios Ouarzazate, crossing the High Atlas mountains, to arrive in Marrakech late in the evening. We explored the imperial city of Marrakech which is large, noisy, polluted and smelly. We spent our dihrams at the souks buying some memorabilia.... Shopping at the souks is a cultural experience which a visitor wouldn't want to miss. We ate food in the large central square in the old city (Medina) from food stalls and it was fun!!! After a three days stay in Marrakech, we left to visit Casablanca and Rabat, the capital of Morocco. After a short visit to the Royal Palace in Rabat we drove towards the Morocco-Spain borders. We went through the customs and we spent our last night in Africa, in the city of Ceuta. We crossed again the straits of Gibraltar and we stayed in Granada, Spain. The Alhambra, listed under the World Heritage Sites list of the UNESCO is indisputably the most well-known monument of the city and one of the most visited in Spain.
The next day we drove 580 kilometers to a small town in Spain, Castellon de la Plana. Our next station was in the beautiful Montpellier in France, 620 kilometers away. Our last stop of this trip was Florence, in Italy. What a perfect way to close this exploration?
This was a kind different trip from the others I had done before. A trip to a different culture and to a totally different land. Great company, a lot of kilometers driven in 20 days, the most of them in another continent, in Africa!!! I'm looking forward to drive there again....