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Travel from Melilla to Nador, the other experience

We have now been in the port of Melilla for a week and a half. Melilla is a lovely town, a bit small as it’s completely surrounded by a border fence, but it has its own personality and we like it – so no need to look over the fence, is there?

Unfortunately, there is a black point in the story here, it happened about a year ago at the border fence between Nador and Melina and some people died – so you stay away from the border or are you curious …

Yes, human curiosity wins and we read a lot on the internet, but somehow it wasn’t what we had hoped for or thought.

So off we went one morning, sensible clothes and sturdy shoes for the first time in a month as we’ve been preparing for a few miles since . Our main reason was components that we want to buy in Nador because we couldn’t get them here.

In the morning at 9 a.m. with a small breakfast, then off we go. First we walked from the port to the street, then looked for a taxi there and ended up having to walk another 500 m until we found a taxi. The taxi driver then brought us to the border for little money, about 5 € you have to calculate for it from downtown Melilla to the border of Morocco..

Beni Ensar is the name of the town on the other side.

The taxi driver then drops us off just before the border and you are in the first queue after 100 m on foot.

Depending on the company, this is either very quick or can take 20 minutes. Then the police let us go to the first control, on the Spanish side, as usual, passports are checked there, but of course there is another queue right in front of the control, so we have to wait another 15 to 30 minutes.

The policemen here are very nice and they look really smart.

Take off your sunglasses for a moment at passport control, a scrutinizing look at your face and then you continue through a long, forever long corridor. The corridor is concrete on the right and high metal bars on the left, maybe a meter wide. At the end there is a traffic jam in front of a turnstile, a look left and right and you see high fences – almost insurmountable with the infamous NATO barbed wire. Through the next turnstile we are already on the Moroccan side, there we have to wait again shortly afterwards, again a good quarter of an hour – somewhat protected from the sun, but still very hot at this time of year. But the Moroccans are not unfriendly either, we joke a little and that kills the time. At some point we can continue walking to the next passport control, this time on the Moroccan side. Take off the sunglasses again, another scrutinizing look. This time there is a stamp in the passport and it goes a little further. Another short stop before we really have the border behind us, long corridors again – this time the customs control is in the middle and asks what we are taking with us? But since we only have light luggage, it’s over in a minute.

Yes, and here we are in Morocco – it’s hot and we go to the first café to buy something refreshing, luckily we still have a few Moroccan dirhams.

Shortly thereafter, the usual procedure, we get change – if possible, of course, at a halfway reputable bank or exchange office, get a Moroccan SIM card for little money – about 2 € – so that we have some internet and then we walk down the street further. It should be at least 500 m before you get to a bus stop. Buses and taxis are waiting there depending on your choice.

The bus to Nador is extremely cheap, about 50 cents per person.

And these buses even run relatively frequently, half an hour later you are in Nador in the city center after a few stops.

Typically Moroccan, not necessarily what you are used to in Europe, but many traders on the streets, a few corners that look really untidy – but the people are super friendly and courteous.

I have to get used to it a bit, yes it’s Morocco, it’s North Africa, but here you can get half a grilled chicken with French fries, rice, and two colas for around €4.

We try to get our parts, but of course, contrary to what Google says, the first shop has already closed. But the company next door helps us and explains where to get the things and the address is spot on.

Actually it went faster than expected so we still have some time to see Nador.

Yes, the place is not too touristy like Marrakech, for example, but we can take care of a few little things and we keep wondering what everything works here and is easy to do.

Chris’s glasses broke this morning and we just took them with us and in fact we found an optician here who sold us a nice new frame in a bright shade and also fitted the lenses into the new frame.

When he then called up the price, I asked myself again why we even have health insurance and household contents insurance, when these are rarely used in Morocco with a deductible of €25.

We paid about €10 for the new frame including fitting the lenses and it took less than 10 minutes for the optician to finish it.

I think I’ll get my next pair of glasses in Morocco and if I have to fly there extra – must be great work.

If you are here, you should definitely treat yourself to one of the delicious mint teas, in contrast to what we make from tea bags in Germany, it is really delicious here – a little sweetness and very fresh mint give this tea an incomparable taste and in the heat it is accurate the right thing.

We stroll through the streets and talk in German and suddenly we are spoken to – a woman behind us says it’s rare that one hears German here – she herself comes from Düsseldorf and has been living here for some time.

We have a very nice conversation here and some recommendations, exchange our phone numbers, maybe we’ll see each other again.

Yes, and one of the big recommendations is actually a bakery, no, it’s more of a patisserie.

Oh yes, and if the corners of your mouth twist at the thought of carrot-orange juice, try one here, it’s something completely different in this heat, a juice that’s neither too sweet nor too sour, nor too fruity or anything else, just refreshed.

And again we had a nice conversation with the owner, talked about this and that, got some tips for new nice bathing bays nearby that we should definitely visit and again felt what a friendly country Morocco is is.

Visit this great place

It then went back across the border very quickly, there were hardly any people in front of us and we basically walked through with a few very short stops.

The border guard on the Spanish side grinned when he saw that we actually only went on a one-day trip to Nador.

It’s not European and maybe not everyone likes it, but if you’re interested in other cultures, I definitely recommend making a detour.

It’s a bit tiring, but ultimately very cheap. €4 for the taxi to the border and then another 50 cents per person for the bus, another €2 for the taxi to go around town, the same on the way back.

With 12 € per couple, for the way from Melina to Nador and back again.

And I think tomorrow morning we’ll do the same thing again, it was just too beautiful.

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