Blogs from Morocco, Africa


Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech November 14th 2019

Three days in Marrakesch. The blog has been all over the place, I know. Tangier to Algeciras made sure of that. I'm doubling back to Marrakesch because it wasn't given full cover, apart from our lovely riad..... Our guest mansion (Riad Tizwa) was perfectly located. Selecting accommodation online isn’t the easiest thing to do, there are so many options available all glowingly described. It takes plenty fact-checking plus imagining what the facts could translate to in reality. I looked for a place where we could walk at will to some of the city’s major attractions, getting there without taxis or transport, free to move when and where we wanted. Tizwa was that. The #1 attraction in Marrakesch is the thousand year old Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site. madīnah al-qadīmah "the old city" lies within high ... read more
The door to Tizwa in the medina off Dar el Bacha
woven handicraft and traffic in the souk
carpets leather goods clothes under sun protection

Africa » Morocco November 5th 2019

So we arrive in Safi - well first impression is it is a hell hole. We are moored up to what it appears at first sight is a cement works and the smell it horrendous. It appears the smell is from the sardines that have been caught. We are moored up in a real working port, so a smell of fish what do you expect. Anyway off went the coaches to Marrakesh and we decided to take a stroll into town. After going through customs to leave the ship we set off to find the town. We are told whatever you do please do not go down any alleyways. This in mind we set off. To be honest it must have rained quite hard in the night because the pavements if you can call them pavements ... read more
The fishing boats in Safi

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech October 23rd 2019

Of all the places we visited, Marrakesch was my favourite. It was our first destination after arriving at Casablanca airport whose long lines of arrivals were reminiscent of Piarco! 25 immigration counters were open yet we took an hour to exit. Good news aside - next year they are dispensing with the documentation that takes all the time at immigration desks everywhere. A six hour train ride brought us to this bustling ancient-modern city and our accommodation - Riad Tizwa - on the edge of the old Medina. The taxicab found our street but a "foot taxi" (i.e a man on foot with us walking behind) took us to the door. Farrida had put me on notice about this and here they were “taking” us the final way, because vehicles cannot drive along the narrow ancient ... read more
Tizwa neighbourhood main street
Entrance to Tizwa in the old medina
welcome to Tizwa riad

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan October 18th 2019

Morocco 10-14-2019 Tangier, Morocco Sang hom nay toi muon taxi di den cac noi hoi xa thanh pho den xem Hercule cave va Cap Spartel noi ma Alantic Ocean giap ranh voi Mediterrian Ocean. Toi den Cave truoc va di vao cave Hercules. Cave nay sau va co cua mo ra bien nen dac biec. Tu day toi di den Cap Spartel noi giap ranh giua Atlantic va Medeterriance sea va rat dac biet. Toi ghe qua camel ridede coi lac da rat thu vi mac dau toi da coi mot lan o Dubai. Sau do toi tro va Medina de xem khu cho o day. Den 4Pm toi xuong thuyen de ve lai Tarifa, Spain. Den Tarifa khoang 7Pm va toi di thanh den Granada de ngu nhu du dinh. Den 10:30Pm toi den Granada ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier October 1st 2019

More musings or as Lee condescendingly remarks more ramblings. Because it’s train time again and I have almost 2 hours on a line we have travelled before but in the opposite direction and no Julie I do not mean backwards! This time we are Fes to Kénitra whereas 4 days ago we traveled Kénitra to Fes. We loved Fes, did last time did this time. The atmosphere is friendly and more so than Marrakech, the souks just as enchanting, the food better and our accommodation the equal or better than anything we have experienced. Having our 40 anniversary, and advertising the fact well, sure helped as the riad went well beyond expectations with gifts and little bonuses but the place is delightful. The staff were terrific and they have a policy of leaving a tip in ... read more
To Tangiers on the very fast train.
To Tangiers on the very fast train.
That’s it. Officially faster than 300 km/hr.

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 30th 2019

Happy Anniversary to us. Sleep in till quite late because we can and because Lee is recovering from a bout of tummy upsetness which is not a word but something all travellers know about. It was a concern a few days back when it would have been tough to travel and we had 6 hours on the train but now at least it’s sort of OK and should not stop us having an small anniversary dinner tonight (that’s a small dinner not small anniversary) nor travelling tomorrow. We have the trip back to Kénitra, the change of trains and back to Tangiers. Whilst we walked up to the Blue Gate today our riad flowered our room, left little notes wishing us the best and placed a gift on our bed. It’s a lovely small ceramic container ... read more
Door to the uni, opened in the 12th century. Correct, the uni not that door.

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 29th 2019

Feasting in Fes. First feast breakfast. Then it’s feasting for the senses as we negotiate the souks. Then it’s feasting time after I prepare our tajine chicken, smoked eggplant and tomato salad and our dessert of orange, orange blossom, cinnamon and mint. No surprise at our Moroccan breakfast, again deluged with fruit, yoghurt and small buns that I spread with goat cheese, honey or jams. Lee has an omelet that looked good and is significantly better for her than attempting to eat around the wheat based products. Our breakfast was bought to us in the courtyard which curtailed the number of glasses of juice I consumed but if that’s my biggest grumble things are still more than good. It was a very leisurely start as we weren’t at breakfast until about 9 o’clock and not finished ... read more
We’re in.
And in deeper.
Saved by a familiar feature that’s actually on a map.

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 28th 2019

We are on the train and heading towards Fes. No wifi which is not a surprise but the air conditioning is working which is equally surprising. Most reviews you read of Moroccan rail are not that glowing or positive whereas we would say they are fine. Their system of numbering trains, then carriages then seats is intuitive and functional. They have so far been very punctual and the staff are helpful. We travel first class in Morocco although the difference does not appear to be that great, perhaps the air conditioner does not function as well there! There is a basic trolley cart service for water, drinks and snacks but we are travelling with cold water and even a couple of small bottles that our hotel gave us as they realised we were travelling by rail ... read more
Hello station at Marrakech.
One of those is our train.
Something. (I can’t see the photo).

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech September 27th 2019

Breakfast for one today. Lee is not terrific and decided to stay in bed. Without sounding too heartless breakfast was still very good. I could just about live on the fresh juices and mint drinks here. Apart from that cucumber concoction I mentioned yesterday I have not tasted one that is t delightful. Even now I’m by the retreat pool sipping a lime/lemon/mint and soda drink that is very refreshing and most welcome. At Jemaa el-Fna I had one of the mixed fruit drinks that are spruiked everywhere and again it was delicious, quite filling but very nice. Despite thinking I could live on juice I still managed muesli, yogurt (very good here), fruit, cheese, smoked salmon and a couple of pastries. Thinking that was enough to fortify me for the market I set out for ... read more
Is one of us leaning?
I thought I was ready for Jamaa el-Fna and the souks.
Jamaa el-Fna, the meeting place of the nobodies (and one more).

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech September 26th 2019

Another delightful Moroccan breakfast. Well really Moroccan with the lot. Here the olives still accompany breakfast dishes but so do piles of fruit, petit tubs of slightly flavoured yoghurts, a mixture of cheese and meats more extensive than we’ve seen for a while, an array of cooked dishes again extensive but far beyond what we can even look at and then cakes, pastries and little Arabic pancakes that are great with goats cheese and strawberry jam (sort of east meets west fusion food). Additionally the juices are terrific with the stand out exception of some cucumber based concoction that no amount of doctoring could render it drinkable. Breakfast is around the pool but it’s a pool that I’ve never seen anyone in or even near. Sure they have a pool complex not far away but this ... read more
Breakfast with Lee. Don’t drink that green stuff in the glass.
Rug salesman that will come to you!
That’s the main railway station here in Marrakech.

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