246 Kms from Fez
The experience at the airport was tiresome but our jovial driver Haji, made up for it with his good humor during the long drive. Being the biggest city in Morocco, Casablanca is gritty. I’d say a confluence of Cairo’s Arabic essence and Mexico City’s energy. It is also well known as the city encircling the famous Hassan II Mosque.
299 Kms from Fez
Turning right out of Gaucin onto the A369 leads straight to the crown jewel of the Malaga province. Built atop a canyon that is hundreds of feet deep, Ronda’s three scenic bridges are world-famous. There are ruins of a fortress and a beautiful 16th century church, but Ronda is perhaps best known for its famous visitors. Ernest Hemingway, who spent much time in Ronda, claimed that if one were only to see a single bullfight, Ronda would be the place to do it (I’ll pass on that). Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (about the Spanish civil war) is said to be based on the executions of Nationalists who were thrown off the hills of Ronda into the canyon below. Orson Wells, Rainer Maria Wilke and the English writer, George Eliot also spent time in the spectacular town of Ronda. Several charming hotels and B&B’s are available in Ronda, so if you have the chance, stay the night.
202 Kms from Fez
Tangier is a crowded city with a small but nice Medina (means city, the old city) close to the coast and a great spot called Hafa Cafe with the Mediterranean sea in front of you while you drink a cup of mint tea. From the CouchSurfer living room we were staying in ,we were pretty fortunate to look at this beautiful view of Tarifa (Spain) and Gibraltar in front.
288 Kms from Fez
We visited Malaga very briefly, mainly to enjoy a “fishy” meal by the beach. Like people tend to do in Europe when their pockets are tight, we went to a beach destination… but in the middle of December! Who cares about high season! The beach can also feel great on winter days. According to some, Torremolinos is the place that “used to be” but no longer is. But allow us to disagree. Although the majority of the people in town were old couples in search of a ray of sun (we could tell most of them were from Northern Europe) Torrremolinos is still a place that is “in” for the simple fact that it is a very pleasant sea-side town. You can easily fill your time taking walks, dipping your toes in the Mediterranean (but not much more than the toes this time of year!) and eating the typical fritura malagena, which is a traditional local dish consisting of assorted fried fresh fish.
54 Kms from Fez
Known as a good side trip from Fes, Meknes was the next spot on our schedule. It is also renowned for the many creations of Moulay Ismail, the most popular of them being Bab Mansour, which is a great gateway.