20/06/2019: Quazazate
Km travelled today/sum: 172 km / 6799km
Sun shine, 28 degrees, country road

The temperature in Quazazate, our next destination, should be below 30 degrees, so we could leave a bit later. Here is Sigrid in front of our accommodation.

It was an easy ride and we arrived just after lunch time. Ait Benhaddou, a famous fortified village, was another 15 minutes from Quazazate, so we opted to get there in the afternoon. This village was the backdrop for a lot of famous movies, for example: Laurance of Arabia, Indiana Jones, Gladiator and Games of Thrones. Here are some pictures of Ait Benhaddou and its surroundings.

 

 

To our surprise, there are still some families living here. This is one of the occupied houses, with a beautiful door and stained glass window. The dry river bed is used by the locals as a road.

 

On our way back we decided to stop at the ‘Atlas Studios’, one of the three film studios here.We learned that Quarzazate is called the ‘Little African Hollywood’. We tried to get a tour but we were too late, so we took some pictures from the outside.

After a long day, we sat down and had dinner the restaurant in our hotel. It was opposite the bus terminal, so we had plenty of enterainment.

Tomorrow we will ride over the ‘Tiz n Tichka’ pass to Marrakkech, which would be the last place where we have to worry about the bike and high temperatures. The temperature at the coast beyond this should remain below 30 degrees.

19/06/2019: Tinghir
Km travelled today/sum: 201km / 6627km
Sun shine, 38 degrees, country road

We got up really early to avoid the high temperature during the day, especially after my bike had the issues with heat some days earlier. So we packed before sunrise and started to ride during dusk. 200 km is not too much but, on the roads and with the traffic here, it can take up to 4 to 5 hours without any breaks. When we took off, the temperature was 26 degrees.

The roads lead us through the town gates, which look quite impressive, particular in the morning. They were also in good condition and easy to ride especially given the stunning views.

When we came over a mountain range, the landscape started to look like the Australian outback. At some stage we thought we were in Coober Pedy. Small earth mounds left and right of the road. It turned out that the people here were digging for fossils not opal, but it’s still quite similar!  J

We noticed that the temperatures were varying drastically, depending on if we were in a valley close to a body of water (19degrees) or on a desert plain (30 degrees). Around the 30 degree mark I got a bit nervous, but the bike didn’t miss a beat. We arrived at our accommodation close to the Toudgha Gorge again very early. So we parked the bikes here, hopped onto Sigrid’s bike and went two-up to the Gorge.

We walked a bit along the gorge, took some pictures. As usual, it is hard to try to capture the real size and beauty of it. Behind Bjoern is a house build into the gorge, on the left picture you can hardly see it and zoomed in you get an idea of the sheer size of the cliff.

 

We had some lunch at a restaurant nearby and went back to our accommodation to settle into our room. The common area looked really nice and so did the pool and the rest of the outside area. Sigrid had to try the pool J

Our host gave us a small map of the surroundings to explore. So we had to cross the ‘river’ and walk through a nice green mountain trail. We evensaw some chipmunks, aren’t they cute?

And then we arrived at the Kashbah, an old uninhabited fortress. The French tried to build a road on this side causing the hill to collapse, so they decided to build the road on the other side of the mountain, which worked. It is the road we were arriving on. The people in the Kashbah felt it was a long way to the road which guaranteed supplies, so left this place and moved to the other side of the road. The new houses can be seen just behind the ruins. On our way back to the hotel was saw a donkey strolling through the bushes!

 

 

We also found a nice tiny lake with some fishes and a restaurant. If you didn’t know where to look for the pond, we would have missed it.

After our excursion, it was time for dinner. This time it was part of our accommodation deal

We got more confident that my bike is reliable if the temperatures are below 30 degrees. So tomorrow we will have a look at ‘Ait Benhaddou’, an ancient village used as background for multiple Hollywood movies.

17-18/06/2019: Merzouga
Km travelled today/sum: 96km / 6330km
Sun shine, 32 degrees, country road

We both didn’t sleep too well this night. Both of us were up really early, in anticipation of what would happen today. Here is the view from the roof top terrace at sunrise.

Some people on the way to work, on vehicles that work well in the heat..

 

My theory worked! Lower temperatures and the bike started. We arrived in Merzouga really early and relived, not getting stranded in the desert was fantastic. The bike worked without any problems. Our hosts were extremly nice and didn’t say a word about the fact that we were there that early (around 9AM), they just gave us the room. When we were sitting by the pool, Mohamed approached Sigrid. Via the intenet we had enquired about the desert camp with camel ride but mentioned that we had problems with the bike and didn’t know if we would make it. So when 2 bikes arived very early Mohamed assumed rightly that this must be us. We agreed on the price and paid for the camp. I took a picture of Mohamed and Sigrid. Looked like everything was working like a charm today!

The temperature during the day did go up to 41 degrees, so we were apprehensive about sleeping in the desert. Oh well, already booked now!

We were picked up around 6PM, when the temperature had cooled down a bit. Surprisingly as soon we were in the desert, there was a slight breeze, which made the whole experience quite nice. Some pictures from the camel ride in the desert.

 

Here our guide took a picture of us at sun set.

We were blown away when we arrive at our camp. Luxury pure! We had a double bed and our own bathroom with a toilet and shower. This was a better accommodation then we had in some cities!

We met a nice couple from Argentina, Yasminka & Rod. They were on a short holiday in Morocco before visiting their son in Switzerland. During the evening we talked a lot about their and our travel experiences. And after dinner there was a bonfire with Berber music, which included us dancing! We really enjoyed the day.

Next morning we had a look at the sunrise, which was not as pretty as our sunset, but the dunes with their shades still looked impressive.

After a great breakfast, we hopped into a 4WD and our driver showed us how driving in the desert is REALLY done J. Back at the accommodation, we were lingering around the pool the whole day, oh so nice. After dinner we had a last dip in the pool.

Tomorrow we would start really early again. We figured that we had until lunch time before the temperature would be over 30 degrees and we would need to cover a bit of over 200 km.

15-16/06/2019: Maison Vallée Du Ziz
Km travelled today/sum: 359km / 6226km
Sun shine, 35 degrees, country road

Okay, so we decided to do this whole riding in the desert thing.  We live in Australia, how different can it be?

Off we went in the morning. We took a picture before we left Meknes through one narrow gate.

We crossed the High Atlas and on the other side of the mountain range, we could feel that we got closer to the desert. The landscape started to get even barer and the air got dry. The temperature was not too hot, around 28 degrees, which was still enjoyable with our gear on and the vents open. The landscape was just breathtaking. Here you can see the High Atlas on one side and in the far distance the Anti Atlas.

We arrived at a nice accomodation with pool. So the decision to stay here was easy, involving us bringing the luggage to our room and jumping straight into the pool. Nice and refreshing!

The accommodation was in the typical Moroccan style, all walls are tiled and there was even a small fountain in the middle of the entrance.

 

The next day we were aiming for Merzouga, the place where the street ends and the desert starts. The landscape didn’t get boring, but the temperature was rising.

We followed a river for a while, which felt unreal. As soon we came close to the river, the temperature dropped noticeably. You could see how the river had carved its way through the mountains over a long time.

As soon we left the river, the landscape became barren and the temperature started to rise.

At one stage we saw a huge body of water which turned out to be a giant water reservoir, so we stopped to take some pictures. The temperature was a bit higher by now, it must have been around 35 degrees.

When we took off again my bike started to stutter and to stall from time to time. It got more frequent so we decided to stop at the next petrol station, have a tea and park the bike in the shade.

My suspicion was that it had something to do with the temperature, since we experienced something similar in Australia with Sigrid’s F700GS. So after the tea was finished, we hopped on to the bikes again and everything was fine. Until… 12km later it started to act up again.

When the bike stalled, I had to put the neutral in, start the bike again, select the gear again and keep riding. In the beginning, it worked without me losing too much speed. We had only 100km to go, so I was hoping I could nurture the bike that far. After a while the bike was harder and harder to start. I told Sigrid the next accommodation would be ours and, as I looked up, there it was: a Riad just by the side of the road!

 

And it had pool! Bonus! 

At this point the bike had stalled again and I couldn’t start it, so I rolled into the car park and there we stayed for the night. Lucky for us, they had a pool and Wi-Fi, so we found some forums and researched the problem. Turns out that this is a common problem for the F650, F700 and F800, easily solved by replacing the petrol pump. Well the next BMW dealer was 600 km away, in Marrakesh, so maybe not THAT easy. Since we had similar problems on Sigrid’s F700 on our last Queensland trip, I was hoping that the problem will just disappear when it gets cooler.

So the plan was, start riding with the sunrise and make the next 100km. If that went wrong, we could get stranded in the middle of a desert trying to organise something to get the bike towed or trucked to Marrakech…  Adventure awaits! 

14/06/2019: Meknes
Km travelled today/sum: 110 km / 5980km
Sun shine, 27 degrees, country road

Since the distance to Meknes was very short, we decided to ride along the more scenic road and pass the colourful mountain range again, which reminded us of the ‘Bad Lands’ in the USA. When we arrived there, the weather was unfortunately cloudy, so the beautiful colours didn’t show up as much as the first time.

We took some pictures of the moutain at a nice vantage point, which had some stalls selling some pottery. Suddenly a couple of kids with a donkey popped up, asking if I could take a picture of them. Sigrid warned me throught the helmet intercome, ‘as soon you take a picture, they’ll be asking for money’. I thought, I could control this. Well to be honest, they did ask. So Sigrid bribed them with the air ballons from her secret stash at her tank bag. But it got so caotic, they would like to have more and more. Eventually, after we handed out at least two for each, we hopped onto our bikes and drove off. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the kids surrounding Sigrids bike 😅

After we refused to take some goat tracks suggested by the GPS, we ended up on another paved country road with beautiful views. Shortly after we turned onto that road, we arrived at the ruins. Looking at the lonely planet, I expected that the guides would jump onto us as soon we parked the bike.

This was far from the truth. First we had a tea and relaxed a bit before we entered the excavation side.

In the grounds we even found a guide who spoke (a bit) of English. Here are some pictures of buildings which are 2000 years old!

Imagine you leave your house as they are and revisit them again in the year 4000. I don’t think you would find anything left standing, this is an amazing testament to the quality of these buildings!

Here was the bath, Sigird and I were imaging how it would have been. The inner ring was for the masseur, so he/she didn’t get wet feet all the time!

These are the mosaics in a living room, they are 2000 years old! Amazing.

Some more pictures from the main street in Volubilis.

An overview of the roman empire, pretty impressive.

After all that culture we’re off to Meknes. This time we had a riad (moroccan hotel) at the Medina. We could park the bikes in front and could relax on the roof top.

 

The sunset in Meknes from the roof top.

Tomorrow we will head towards the desert. Looking at the temperatures we realised, as soon we pass over the high atlas, the temperature would rise into the forties. Should we really venture into the Sahara?

11-13/06/2019: Fez
Km travelled today/sum: 212km / 5870km
Sun shine, 25 degrees, highway

We packed up and arrived in Fez easily. The traffic was not as bad as I thought. The drivers were chaotic, but they were looking out for each other. I think we learned a lot about driving without obvious rules in India and hence didn’t feel overwhelmed. After arriving at the GPS position, we called our host. She came down and opened the car park for us. This time there were no nasty surprises. The garage had no huge step to overcome, nor was it on a steep slope, just a normal underground carpark with plenty of space. So we settled into our room with a nice green balcony. Our hosts English was limited, but with Sigrid highschool French and her English it worked well. After a short time our host’s daughter arrived from work. She is a doctor doing her internship. She could speak English and German, all of the sudden we were overwhelmed with choice for communication options 😂

 

We asked her about Fez and the Medina and mentioned that after the experience in Tetouan, we were afraid to get lost in the even bigger Medina of Fez. She mentioned that her dad was a guide and she could ask him. That worked well for us, so we arranged to meet him tomorrow morning.

He picked us up around 10AM; we hopped into a petit taxi together and drove to a gate in the Medina.

From here we started to walked through the narrow lane-ways when he showed us a ‘women’s window’. This window was build in the olden days so that women could look down to the street without being seen.

 

We walked along a small gate to other quarters where they sold clothes, bags and shoes.

Finally we ended up in the tannery. It was not busy, since it is not the season for tanning leather. But we learned that the troughs are owned by families and the troughs at the end were for camel leather, so they are bigger then the troughs at front, which are used for tanning sheep leather.

After the treatment, the leather is carried on donkeys back to the top of the hill, where it gets dried.

In the assortment on offer I found a nice belt. The workshop could add a thing or two to it within an hour. So we continued throught the medina and returned after an hour. On the left is the finished belt and on the right me saying “thank you” to the artist who’d done the work.

During the hour we passed an beautiful mosque, we could have a look from the outside, but as non belivers we couldn’t go in.

We also passed the oldest university in Morocco, where the scholars learned the Quran. Since it was not used anymore we could have a look. The inside was beautifully decorated, the carvings were amazing.

 

The scholars rooms were – I would say – basic. The best or richest scholars got a room with a window, and if you were really lucky, the window faced the courtyard.

 

From here we continued to an old ‘Motel’, where the caravan would rest. At the bottom was space for the animals and at the top the people were resting. At the side of the courtyard I discovered an ancient scale, nicely decorated.

 

 

On our way out, we came across a narrow lane-way and a donkey with some load was coming the other way. We took refuge at a door nearby.

We also found a real estate agent. Without our guide, we would never have figured that out. You are looking at his office, the keys are for the flats/houses to rent.

On our way out of the medina we passed through the wood craft, vegetables and chinaware markets as well as the butchers quarter.

Apparently in the Medina every trade has its quarters. All trades which are either messy or smelly are located close to the outside of the Medina, this is a good tip if you ever get lost in a Medina.

At the outskirt of the Medina our guide showed us a donkey park, where you park your donkey while shopping in the Medina.

From Medina we hopped into a taxi and drove to the palace. The King has a palace in each city, this is the one in Fez. Looks nice, but nothing exiting.

Behind the palace there was the Jewish quarter. You can see that the balcony and the windows are facing the street, where in the Arabic quarter the windows are facing the court yard. Most of the Jews left Morocco when Israel was founded. From the Jewish quarter there was another gate to the Medina.

This was the end of the guided tour and our guide said goodbye and we continued to a nice park nearby.

 

From there we walked back to our accommodation, which was not too far.

Tomorrow we will have a look at some ancient roman ruins, not too far from here.

09-10/06/2019: Chefchaouen
Km travelled today/sum: 98km / 5658km
Sun shine, 25 degrees, country road

We got up early today even though our planned distance was relatively short because Google estimated more than 2 hours for the 100km! We found out that the concrete roads in Fnideq were… well… sort-off polished. They were shiny and slippery, to the point where when I hit the breaks a bit harder the ABS kicked in! After noticing this we took the corners really slow and everything worked out fine.

At a traffic light In Tetouan, the next town, a scooter rider started to talk to us. He told us that we were lucky to be in this town today, since there would be a Berber market, which only opened today! As luck would have it, he was even on the way there now. Since it was still early, we thought we’d take a look. So we followed our newly met guide and ended up in a parking lot where there was safe parking for our bikes and his scooter.

Our guide was born and raised in the Kashbah of Tetouan, but had a business in Spain and commutes between the two countries. He showed us where he grew up.

Sigrid and our guide

From here we followed him through the labyrinth of small streets. After a while I noticed that I wouldn’t have any idea on how to get out of there. He explained that we would just have to follow the gutter which has three stones and it would guide you to an exit. Right… He did know a lot of people and showed us a lot. How to determine if a house belongs to a Spanish, Jewish or Berber family, for example. There were tell-tale signs at the door. On the door you also see whether a family was rich or not. The tiles around the door frame give that away. After a while we came to the ‘street of one man’ which was a very narrow passage.

After walking a zigzag through the kaspbah, we ended up at the kings palace. The king has a pallace in each bigger city and resides there if he is in the city. In Tetouan there is even an annual banquet at the place, well in front of the palace, where all important people get invited.

 

The next stop was the tannery, he explained that there is hardly anything happening since the season is over. The tannery is mostly active during the winter month. Anyway, it was nice to have a look at it and the smell was bearable, I Imagine this may not be the case when it is active!

From here we went to the berber market. Well, this was a house, where the berber showcased their products. It was supported by the government in an attempted to help settle the nomadic berber. When we entered, a sales person approached us. There was that obligatory please sit down and have a tea. During this time I will show you all the beautiful unique carpets the berber made by hand. He explained as well that the pattern were related to a clan and you could see who produced the carpet. We explained that we don’t need a carpet and won’t buy any. He said doesn’t matter, he will show us the carpets just in case. And after he had shown them all, he will put them together again and we have a chance to change our mind. Well, after all carpets were shown, he started to pack each of them up, and we had to say yes or no. After a while, our tour guide intervened and mentioned something about a dress for Sigrid. So we jumped up, and had a look at dresses. Sigrid couldn’t find anything in the right color or cut, and we could feel that the sales person started to get agitated. Our guide pulled the plug and said good by to the sales person, so we left. We were at another shop for dresses (nothing bought) and at a shop for natural medicine. There was Argan oil and Arnica tincture on offer. Sigrid started to deal, then our guide helped us and we got it for a good price. We ended up back at the garage, took a picture and said good by to our guide. Unfortunately we forgot his name and didn’t get contact details so we could say a big thank you again for his kind tour through the kashbah.

 

 

The whole tour took something around two hours, so it was still early in the day. When we arrived at the GPS position, we looked at a construction site. Not sure where the hotel should be, we checked the GPS position again, it was correct. We ask a guy, who just parked his car. His English was limited, but he understood exactly what I was asking for using my hands and feet 😂 

He ask me to jump in his car and he drove me to the hotel and back again. Well it was not too far off but we wouldn’t have found it without his help.Unfortunatelly I didn’t make any pictures of the construction site but here is the entry of the hotel.

When we arrived, we got a peppermint tea with some tasty pastry. Sigrid is relaxing in the cosy launch room.

When we entered our room, we had an aquarium in the wall. That was something different!

Next day we started to explore the Chefchauen, the blue city. On our way to the gate, we found some women painting the house, so it would have that very deep blue color.

As soon we passed the gate of the old town, everything became ‘blue da ba dee da ba daa‘ 🎶😂

In the old town there are plenty of fountains and the water is drinkable, even for foreigners. So we made use of them to fill up our bottles. 

On the other side of the city there is a little hill with a unfinished mosque, so we thought we have a look at it. To our surprise, the view over the city was great. The mosque however was nothing special.

On our way down, we passed a bridge with some restaurants, that’s where we tried a tajin, the traditional meal in Morocco. The restaurant was on a small creek, and when it started to fill up, the waiter placed some tables and chairs into the creek. When it got to sunny, a umbrella was placed there as well.

Here is our Tajin, one with fish and potatoes and one with chicken (hidden beneath the potatoes and carrots).

 

On our way back we found more impressive blue buildings and streets. And in all this blue, I found these colorfull display of….., not sure, but it looked great.

We ended up at the Kashbah, which had a nice garden inside, but for 15AUD/person, we thought its enough to have a look at it from the outside. So we walked along the stalls and had a look around. To my surprise, nobody tried to power sell us something. When you entered the shop, they greeted you and that’s it. That was positively surprising!

We walked back to the hotel and found this intersting side of the house. It was a house front with windows, but nothing behind it. We were not able to take a closer picture, since the steep street was winding around a mountain and we couldn’t really identify this fake facade from the front.

This was the neighbours house. Somebody was living at the bottom, the first floor was occupied by chooks, the second floor by a goat or sheep. We only got a closeup of the chooks.

And this was the view from our balcony.

Tomorrow we’ll visit Fez, a large city. Let’s see how this compares to Chefchaouen, which we really liked.

06-08/06/2019: Fnideq
Km travelled today/sum: 48km / 5560km
Sun shine, 25 degrees, country road

We booked a ferry at 10AM so we would not have to start too early or too late. The morning passed efficiently, so we were at the port a bit before our scheduled time and had to wait. I preferred to have time instead of rushing though!

 

The ferry was nearly on time and we boarded without any problems. We didn’t need any tie downs, they were provided and the ship worker guy even said he will fasten them for us.  Definitely a weight of our shoulders 🙂

 

So we went up to do the paper work. The official police desk was only open after the ferry has left, meaning we had to get a visa for our bikes (a sort of bike passport) and then we got a visa with a unique number stamped into our passport. This unique number will be required when checking into hotels. We spent the rest of the short journey on the upper deck taking pictures.

 

We got out of the habour without any problems. At the customs booth we had to wait for 15 min, but apart from that short delay it worked like a charm. We drove off slowly, since we’d heard a couple of times that in Morocco there is a policeman with a speed gun behind each palm tree. We think that is exaggerated, most likely they are hiding behind every 5th … 😂

The landscape was nice, mountain roads were meandering along and the roads were good at the maximum allowed speed too. So everything was fine. At the first petrol station we stopped to fill the bikes up, since the petrol in Morocco is much cheaper than in Spain.

When we arrived at our destination we didn’t had any means to call our host, since our Vodafone connection wouldn’t work in Morocco. We didn’t have Moroccan currency either, so our next stop was an ATM. To our surprise it worked! Of course, we had to pay a bank fee, which we didn’t mind at this stage. Then off we went to a nearby shop to buy one prepaid SIM card. With the help of the very friendly shop owner got the SIM card into the phone and working.

So now we went to a restaurant, ordered a mint tea and called our host. We were not too far away, so our host walked to the restaurant and showed us the way. There was only one small hiccup, the ramp to the safe parking space had been removed…. Our host offered a self made ramp with metal rods. At the beginning I was very reluctant to get up there, but in the end I did and both bikes ended up in a luxury garage. Check out those nice mosaic tiles in the picture!  We settled in our room and went for a stroll around the block organising a prepaid card for Sigrid as well.

 

 

Our host we recommended an authentic local restaurant, so we went there. Sigrid ordered a Tajin and I ordered something I didn’t recognise. Turns out I got meat balls – could be worse! 😁

Since we’re now setup with money and mobile phone, we’ll continue to Chefchaouen (the blue town) as planned tomorrow.

03-05/06/2019: Huerta Grande (close to Gibraltar)
Km travelled today/sum: 168km / 5112km
Sun shine, 25 degrees, country roads, ferry

From Seville we were heading south and according to the weather forecast, the temperature would drop by 10 degrees. And so it did. When we arrived in Traifa the temperature was around 20 degrees, which was a really nice cool change. We parked the bikes close to the most southern point of Europe and walked the rest.

 

Just as we got ready to ride off again, a woman approached us and we got to talking. She had driven her car from Germany to here and was on the way to visit a friend. Eventually we exchanged addresses and said good bye.

Off we went to the Isla de las Paloma, which was fortified.

When we arrived there, it was closed. The island was not accesible for tourists. Turns out that it’s now used as a camp for Migrants from Africa, sounds quite bad and sad… We took a picture from in front of the gate and went back. Bjoen was hoping to see a sign that mentioned the most Southern Point of mainland Europe, but there was nothing!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So we went back over the bridge and had a coffee, watching the kite surfer flying impressively through the air.

 

From here it was not far to our accommodation, which turned out to be a small house in a national park

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After breakfast we hopped onto one bike and drove around the bay to Gibraltar, or the Rock, as the Spanish call it. We read in Lonely Planet that there is a long queue when trying to enter Gibraltar, which is an English enclave. Not sure, why there is a border crossing, since Spain and England are part of the EU (at least now, at the time when we were here). Anyway, I marked a carpark in Spain, where we would park the bike and walk through the border, no queues here. Unfortunately I missed the turn and got caught in the car queue. Lucky there was a pedestrian crossing which we used to get out. Here we parked the bike on the footpath, got rid of our riding gear, covered the bike and off we went to visit Gibraltar.

We got a stamp into our passport on the English side, we have jet to figure why. After passing the English border control, we spotted an English telephone booth J

 

From here we caught the public bus to the cable car, which we needed to reach the top of the rock. Here we joined a queue, luckily it didn’t take as long as we thought and we were on our way. We got to around 400m high, the view was fantastic!

 

And of course there were the monkeys (Barbary macaques).

The youngster examined the wind screen wiper J

We walked to the sky walk, which apparently was opened by Luke Skywalker J. It was not as impressive as I thought but the hanging bridge was!

We bought a ticket to use the cable car down, but to get to the hanging bridge we were already half way down anyway. The stairs back up were steep and plentiful, so walking down was easier 😁

On the stairs there was a monkey – he didn’t mind that we stepped over him J. After I took the photo and showed it to Sigrid, she laughed and said, it reminds her of me. I can’t see any resemblance.

On this plaque, we showed Diddl where Morocco is, so that he’s prepared. On the right picture are the Mountains in Morocco.

 

Tomorrow is a rest, clean, print, preparation day and then we are off to Morocco, also called ‘Africa for beginners’. J

31/05-02/06/2019: Seville

The next day we went back to the city using the public transport, since it was cheap and fast and we didn’t have to bother with our motorcycle gear. When we arrived at the ‘Catedral de Sevilla’, there was a long queue at the ticket office. So we decided to follow a lonely planet tip, and walk to the ‘Divino Salvador’, another church which would sell the ticket for the Catedral as well and there were no queues. Being technologically savvy, we used google maps to find our way. Did I mention that Google maps doesn’t work very well in tiny alleys, since the GPS signal is really weak? Yeah… so it took a while to find the right way. When we arrived at the ‘Divino Salvador’, there really was no queue and the reason was obvious: the ticket office was closed for the next 4 hours…. Bummer!
We walked back to the cathedral and joined the queue. To be honest, the queue was progressing fast, so we would have been in the cathedral before we even got to the other church. It was not too bad in the queue as today was only 34 degrees J. As soon we entered the Cathedral, the heat was gone. It was nice and cool in there. The catherdral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and every thing in there seems to be huge. The ceiling, the chapels, the organs, the paintings…….

 

And Christopher Columbus is as well buried here. This is a picture of his tomb.

This is the main altar, the biggest one I have seen. It would have been a lifetime project for a single craftsman. We counted over 40 scenes there. Apparently each of these squares represents a scene of Christ’s live. 

 

And then there was the tower! We walked up around 35 set of stairs, well it took a while, but the view from here was worth it.

We could see the bullring not far from here and the orange trees in the cathedrals garden.

Some fun on the windows on the way down.

The ceiling and some beautiful inlay work at the floor.

 

By the time we got out it was late and we decide to get the train home. Tomorrow we will visit the most southern point of Europe in Tarifa and then travel to a small town close to Algeciras, where we will visit ‘the rock’ (Gibraltar) and leave Europe a day later.