Upon making the decision to go to Western Sahara all I really expected to see was a usual bomb-hole. And what we saw during our first hour of stay there, it was exactly what I expected. But once we got to the “right side” of the town, it was as nice as Agadir or new town in Marrakech, why not. And in this part of the town there was really no sign of anything Western Sahara could represent. We found ourselves a hotel, paid something like 200 Dirhams for it again and except for the missing picture during the evening time we even had a TV with some great movie channels in our room.
The theory goes that when you go to Laayoune you will always be followed by someone, just in case you’re a journalist or a resistance supporter or whatever else similar. After all, tourists tend to be a threat, right? Fortunately for us we didn’t really notice anything like that, but then again, we didn’t probably look like a threat either. We smoked a lot, had coffee in pretty much every cafeteria we saw and looked lost most of the time. Well, it wasn’t that bad, but if we were spies we would have been either the worst or the very best of them. Now to think of it, we should have been, could have earned my travel monies back. Huh.
In the suburbs we saw a lot of soldiers, but in the ‚new town’ the concentration was okay, pretty much the same as in the rest of Morocco, maybe just a bit more. Plus of course, lots of UN vehicles were seen. And the weirdest part, all the UN soldiers seemed to live in the most expensive hotel in Laayoune that costs something like 1400 Dirhams and night. I guess UN has the money...even though I don’t think they have much to do there right now. Who’s supporting the UN again? UN is a „club” supported by it’s members so by the end of the day – you are the one paying for their hotels. And you say you don’t have enough money!
We stayed in Laayoune for just one day/night, if we’d been there for a day or two more, we could have seen a lot more interesting in there. But fortunately, couple of hours before our bus back to Agadir we did manage to speak to a local guy.
Continued in next post...