Hola from Madrid!
Shonali and I had a fairly epic roadtrip journey from Chefchaouen to Madrid, so much so that we are actually both still a little amazed that it all worked out. The ferries leave from Tanger to Spain, so we knew we had to get to Tanger. At first we had been planning on a day in Asilah, but Chefchaouen was so beautiful and perfect that we stayed there an extra day instead.
Basically, there are two kinds of taxis in Morocco. Petit taxis only hold three passengers, usually have working meters (!!) and go anywhere in that given city. Grand taxis hold six passengers (they are regular sedans but just squeeze people in: two in the front, four in the back, no seatbelts, no personal space, no mercy) and go between towns and villages. So Shonali and I first took one grand taxi from Chefchaouen to Tetouan (one hour, 30 dirham aka about 3 dollars), for which we were seated in the back. We arrived in Tetouan and hopped in another grand taxi to Tanger (one hour, 25 dirham), for which we were squished in the front two seats. At first this seemed a bit uncomfortable, but when one of the women in back started vomiting, it suddenly became the best plan ever. We got out in Tanger and took a local petit taxi to the port.
The ferry was the “EUROPE” moment for us both: suddenly, all the prices were in euros, people were uncovered and drinking beer (in the middle of the day, during Ramadan), and the whole thing was air conditioned and efficient (we left EARLY…who does that??). Our ferry let us out in Tarifa, where we hopped a free shuttle bus to Algeciras, and then got tickets for the 8.5-hour bus ride to Madrid. Although we were clearly back in Europe, this particular bus was clearly a Moroccan affair. Most of the people around us were speaking Arabic again, and when the fast ended an imam came down the aisle to pass out dates.
We are now safely at our hostel in Madrid, and are looking forward to a great dinner of tapas and sangria. Our first site visit here is tomorrow!