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Week-end to Ceuta

The past weekend I went to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in Africa. The city is the odd one out of the continent due to its European culture and on top of that, is only 18km² wide, so it looks like a dot on the map.

Still, the city is kinda important for many reasons, which are not entirely legit.
First and obviously, since it is located near the sea it is a shipping gate between both Europe and Africa for transports, importations and exportation, and tourism. Therefore you can take the ferry to join one or the other side.

Second, tourism. Even more during Ramadan for non-muslim like me, because it allows you a "break" not that far from where you are living. You can drink, eat wherever and whenever have cheaps alcohol and food (It was good to eat salami after more than two months without getting this beautiful taste). Also, it is similar to a resort so it is a very good place to rest and chill with the beach, the peaceful atmosphere, and the sun. The city center is also very charming with typical greek and Spanish architecture.

 

dragon

Third reason: visa. It was the only reason for my trip to the city because as a European citizen I am only allowed to stay in Morocco for three months. If I want to stay longer I have two options: the legal one which requires you to ask for an extension of your stay to the local police station and the second which is not totally legal, going out of the territory and coming back to the custom "resets" your visa. Obviously, you now know which option I chose to get my extra-time visa because it is simple and not so extensive to travel to Ceuta (310 MAD for a bus trip, both way) and also because it is very very complicated to get your legal visa extension. They ask you tons of documents, it takes a while, and many times they just say to you "It will be easier if you just leave the territory and comeback" (yeah, they are honest…). 
That way I met a lot of tanned French people which I assume are people living in Morocco, doing this visa reset. I heard that some people have been living in Casablanca for 3 years now, and since their arrival, they are just doing this trip every three months.

 

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So during this little solo trip, I left Casablanca at midnight Friday night, just after the Ftour, by bus with the well-known CTM company. The trip is 6 hours long, with three stops at Rabat, Tetouan, and Fnideq (the closest Moroccan's city to Ceuta) so I mostly slept and listened to music. When I arrived I took a taxi to join the border, I crossed it and arrived in Ceuta. I spent the whole morning walking and laying down on the beach and visiting the center. Then I went to the room I booked for the Saturday night and there I randomly met a couple that was on the bus with me. He was French and she was Moroccan and they booked at the same place as I did, even if there were dozens of place to spend the night. So it was quite funny and we got in touch pretty fast.
Then I spent the afternoon to take a nap and lay down on the beach.
The night I joined the couple and we went partying.
The Sunday morning we woke up and went a last time to the beach. Then we just went to the border, get our passport stamped (which is why I did this whole trip) without any issue and came back to Fnideq. There we waited for our bus and left the city at 2 pm and did a non-stop trip (except to the cities I named earlier) which means no "pee break" and arrived at 8 pm during the "apocalyptic hour". Apocalyptic because there is nobody in the street and no sound for only one reason: everybody is breaking the fast. 

 

In a nutshell, it was a nice but an exhausting weekend where I could get a touch of Europe, and meet new people.

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