Another five hour bus journey from Fez, through green hills and wooded mountains brought me to Tetouan, a town mostly visited by tourists for the nearby beaches as far as I can tell. I’d not been able to identify any hostels here online so decided to turn up and trust to luck, going for a pricier hotel if necessary. I’d remembered the approximate layout of the area close to the medina and could tell which way I needed to go (up hill unfortunately) from the bus station. I looked along nearby streets and saw a couple of scummy looking buildings with a hotel sign. I went into one and enquired about the price – about £4.50. I asked to see the room, which was cell-like and lit by a bare light bulb, but nothing visibly scuttled when the light was switched on, so I decided to go for it.
I went for a wander around town, saw a bit of the medina, got a little lost, found my way out again and then ducked into a cafe for tea to avoid a demonstration. The Foreign Office advice is to keep away from any trouble so I do, even though the demonstrations I’ve seen here are, I’m told, young people complaining about lack of jobs, rather than political reform or objecting to wider world issues.
I was concerned that, not staying anywhere with wifi and not having had the sense to swot up in Fez, I might be missing a key part of the heritage site. So I found a tiny cyber cafe (not an actual cafe though – just computers for 5 Dirham an hour, about 45p) to check the UN website. The keyboard was dual arabic and roman but was not a completely QUERTY layout – some letters were in slightly different places, I couldn’t find some punctuation and had to ask for help for the @ symbol. I’m glad I checked – it turned out that the fortifying walls I’d seen early by street market were facing the opposite way to my assumptions – that is I was outside them rather than inside. As my bus to Tangier wasn’t until 2.45pm the next day, I still had time to see what I’d missed.