Blogs from Morocco, Africa


Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca April 7th 2019

This is my second day in Morocco, arriving in Casablanca a few days before my tour commences to acclimatise and get over jet lag. Firstly, the food is delicious and I love sitting in street cafes sipping sweet mint tea, watching the world pass by. I secretly wish I remember more French but it is slowly coming back to me. I don’t have the heart to barter and haggle - these people are poor. Casablanca is rich with vibrancy and beauty and I’m so glad I could start my holiday in this place. ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier April 7th 2019

It’s 23 years since we visited Tangier on a long weekend from Gibraltar. Since then we’ve been on so many adventures and travelled so many miles. We wondered if, in the intervening years, this intriguing city had stayed the same. The truth is, neither of us could recognise it from our memories! We drove up to Valencia and stayed in the Travelodge near the airport ready for an early morning Ryanair flight to Morocco. Everything went smoothly and before we knew it our taxi was dropping us off at the foot of the medina and Google Maps was guiding us through the maze of streets to Riad Tingis. Fending off guides, official or not, was tiresome. We were relived to get to the door of the riad and led up to the rooftop terrace while we ... read more
Mosque by the port
Where the ocean meets the sea
Tea on the terrace

Africa » Morocco March 25th 2019

By all means, trust in Allah, but tie your camel first… ~ Moroccan Proverb Ahlan people! A while ago, the lure of tagines, mint tea and medinas led us to set our travel sights on Morocco. However, for various reasons it never eventuated. We came very very close last year, but our travel window slipped into June, by which time it was Ramadan and the heat would have been quite intense in the south of the country… so we reluctantly gave up that plan, again. We were fixed in our focus on making the trip this year… and we are finnnally, at long last, for reals, actually going to be in Morocco next week! However, first we have a short side trip to London. London is a firm favourite of ours, and we are very excited ... read more
travel reading
travel viewing

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Chefchaouen March 12th 2019

Chefchaouen, Rif Mountains Morocco February 2019 “Blues is a tonic for whatever ails you. I could play the blues and then not be blue anymore.” B. B. King “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” Sylvia Earle “The birds they sang at the break of day, Start again I heard them say. Don't dwell on what has passed away. Or what is yet to be.” Leonard Cohen, Anthem Chefchaouen (35.1695 -5.2685) was founded in 1471 as a small kasbah fortress to fight off the invading Portuguese. It is 113 km south-east of Tangier and is nestled at the base of the Rif Mountains (best known as for the production of Moroccan hashish). After the 1492 Spanish expulsion, many Jews settled in Chefchaouen. It was also part of Spanish Morocco from 1920 until the independence in ... read more
Bab Suk outside my hotel room on market day
Neighbourhood fountain Chefchaouen medina
Dutch Peter on our trek above Chefchaouen

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Meknes March 11th 2019

Meknes, Alto Atlas, Morocco January 2019 “When you do something, if you fix your mind on the activity with some confidence, the quality of your state of mind is the activity itself. When you are concentrated on the quality of your being, you are prepared for the activity.” Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind Beginner's Mind “The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” Michelangelo “Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.” Salvador Dali “Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality.” Albert Schweitzer Meknes (33.89352 -5.54727) is located in northern central Morocco close to Fez and is one of the four Imperial cities of the country. It was established as a military site by the Almoravids in the 11th cent... read more
Master furniture maker
Tile artisan at work
Wood carver at work

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Ourika Valley February 21st 2019

Imlil, Alto Atlas, Morocco February 2019 ' “I have seen nothing more weird or miraculous than myself. Over time we may get used to strange things. But the more I probe myself and know myself, the more my oddity astonishes me, and the less I understand who I am.” Michel de Montaigne,On Presumption “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Plato's Socratic Paradox, The Republic “Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you.“ Eckhart Tolle “Not knowing anything is the sweetest life.” Sophocles “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” Ursula K. Le Guin “In the beginner’s mind there are many pos... read more
Main street through Imlil
Side street tourist shops
With Mohammed under his little room

Africa » Morocco February 15th 2019

We’re jolted from deep sleep by the 6.45 call to prayer from the muezzin who sounds as if he’s standing at the foot of our bed with a loudspeaker. But we manage - miraculously – to go back to sleep before enjoying the best breakfast of the holiday. Everything is homemade, even the jam, and there is enough food to feed a small army. Yogurt, apple compote, omelette, French crepes, Maroccan pancakes, bread and cake. We overeat! It’s time to walk off some of the breakfast. The Portuguese quarter is only five minutes away. It was once a small island, but the landward side silted up so it’s now a small promontory. It has thick ramparts which we walk along, enjoying bright sunshine and good views. Within five minutes we’ve taken off our sweaters, which is ... read more
Portuguese ramparts, El Jadida
Portuguese water cistern, El Jadida
Jewish cemetery, El Jadida

Africa » Morocco » Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer » Rabat February 14th 2019

Sara's knee swelled up nicely yesterday due to the serious amount of walking we did. We were going to visit the Musee Archaeologique but some more research reveals it is underwhelming and not worth the effort of getting there. We decide to go out of the medina and venture south into the ville nouvelle, built by the French during their occupation from 1912 to 1956. We negotiate our way through the medina much better this morning. The streets are less crowded as most of the shops and stalls have yet to open. Only the little corner shops selling the ubiquitous small single portion loaves and the juice and sandwich shops are open, and a few stalls selling fruit and veg. Parents are hauling small children to school, and the beggars are already out. The ville nouvelle ... read more
A grey day in the French quarter in Rabat
Andalusian garden in the Kasbah
Kasbah in Rabat

Africa » Morocco » Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer » Rabat February 12th 2019

We enjoy the best breakfast of the holiday in the riad. Freshly cooked, piping hot pancakes, a perfect omelette, bread, yogurt, fresh fruit and even a bowl of tiny strawberries, halved and macerated in a little sugar. Madame who is in charge is French, so that is probably why. Thus refreshed we set off to visit the Bou Inania Medersa (what they call a madrassa in Morocco). Despite being listed as opening at 9.00, it’s closed when we arrive. The cleaning lady tells us it opens at 10.00 so we decide to walk back to the main square, confident we now know the route. However, the souks are entirely different this early. None of the shops have opened, so instead of navigating our way down incredibly narrow passages between the shops selling young men’s fashion, and ... read more
Bou Inania medresa, Meknes
Heri es-Souani, Meknes
Chellah necropolis, Rabat

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Meknes February 11th 2019

Enough of relaxation, it’s time to move on. Today’s highlight is Volubilis, the remains of a Roman city just outside Meknes. It started life as a Berber town, expanded and developed when the Romans, under Claudius in 43AD, annexed the province of Mauretania Tingatana and made Volubilis its capital. The Romans left in around 286AD but the town continued to be occupied long after the Romans left. A lot was destroyed in the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, and it fell into disrepair when it was abandoned, but the French excavated and restored some of it and it’s now a Unesco World Heritage site. Once again, we haul our luggage through the alleys of the medina to where Hassan is waiting on the road for us. It’s very misty again, and remains so for all but ... read more
The Capitol at Volubilis
Volubilis Capitol and Basilica
Bath in Volubilis villa

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