Roman ruins, Asilah, returning to Madrid

Trip Start Mar 05, 2002
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Trip End Jan 2003


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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  ,
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Here we are back in Madrid. It still comes as a bit of a shock to walk down the street without being the center of attention. It is quite nice to enjoy our relative anonymity here.
After a couple very nice days in Marrakesh, we headed north toward Meknes. While there, we visited the Roman ruins called Volubilis. They are primarily from the second century, and while we aren´t normally huge fans of old ruins, they were pretty impressive. The mosiacs floors were particularly nice, it was hard to believe they were so ancient, as they were particularly well preserved. We had a good time laughing at the placards placed around the various ruins. Example: "This is the room of the bronze dog. It is called this because there was a bronze dog discovered here." Or "This is the room of the half columns. It is called this because the various half-columns surrounding it." The creativity of the naming process was astounding.
After a couple days in Meknes, we headed north to a town called Asilah. The train arrived there earlier than it was supposed to, which was quite shocking, and there was no announcement, so by the time we realized we were there and made it down the hall to the door, the train was already slowly moving again. We briefly contemplated jumping off but decided that might be a bit dangerous, since our sense of balance is adversely affected by having huge backpacks on. So we had to continue to Tangier, then immediatly turn around and head back to Asilah.
Asilah was right on the coast, and the sea looked beautiful, very turquoise and enticing. Unfortunately the town itself was unimpressive and rather dull. We were there for only one night, then returned to Tangier, got a cab to the ferry station, and took a ferry back to Algeciras. Then took the night train back to Madrid. Arriving in Madrid after nearly 24 hours of travelling felt wonderful, it almost feels like home to me. I just enjoy being in familiar surroundings, knowing how to get from place to place, and being able to speak the language. We were thrilled to be able to check into our apartment/hotel and do laundry. I never thought of doing laundry as being such a wonderful thing until we had gone without for so long, just washing stuff in the sink when in Morocco. It was also nice to check into the apartment because now we have a proper kitchen and can cook all the things we´ve been craving...quesadillas, vegetables, the mac and cheese we brought from home, etc. We can afford the 2 bedroom apartment now because Lisay´s boyfriend Aaron is here visiting, so the cost is split four ways. It is nice to have a little more space and share a room with just one person instead of two. And we have our own bathroom and shower. It all feels quite luxurious. Amazing how travelling makes your standards drop so much. No, that sounds negative and I don´t mean it like that. Let me rephrase- amazing how travelling changes your perceptions of what is necessary or "normal."
We have another week here in Madrid, then we head to Portugal. After that we´ll return to Madrid because Yarrow is flying home for a week. Scott bought his ticket to Madrid and arrives here the 26th. I can´t wait!
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