Subject: Spain to Morocco
Dear Mark and Ziners,

One time (2000) we went to Tangier from Tarifa on a hydrofoil, independently, for a day trip. It was a nice smooth trip. Tarifa is a charming town compared to Algeciras, and we were quite pleased to have choosen this point of embarcation. Even witnessed serendipitiously the celebration of a first communion--the kids, their families and some musicians paraded around a few blocks before returning to the church. Their pathway had been strewn with rosemary springs. Such a scent and sight brought us to tears.

When you get to Tangier, your passport will be taken for safe keeping. You will probably want to have a photocopy with you.

When you get off the boat, you will be met by educated, well-dressed men wanting to be your guide--at great cost. They don't take no for an answer. As you (manage to) walk beyond them you will note that the guides are less educated and less well dressed. These qualities decrease with distance from the boat. You may be sufficiently badgered by this point that you decide to take a guide so that you will no longer be bothered, like we did. It really stopped the others from approaching us. The guide was a male teenager who knew his way around the medina, natch, and this allowed us to maximize our time on shore. Beware, tho, that the guide will encourage you to visit a particular shop in the medina and will go back to the shop when you're gone to claim his cut. It's a practice not well veiled and the prices of the goods are way out of line.

While the day trip such as ours was an easy, relatively inexpensive way to take a peak at Morocco, the experience was in no way comparable to moving deeper into the country and getting to know the culture in more natural situations. If it had been the only trip to Morocco, we would not have been as enthralled about the country and its friendly people and magnificent sites/sights.

Joan Peterson Madison WI