Blogs from Morocco, Africa - page 9

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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 15th 2015

Like most heavily touristed cities in the world, Marrakesh, is relatively safe. The police keep a close eye on any goings-on that might have a visitor to their country return home with a report damaging the inflow of foreign money. Bad for the economy. Morocco is no different in this regard. Petty crime (theft, short changing money exchange, purse snatching, etc.) does happen but it’s rare to even hear of violent crime here. However there were several occasions where I felt my wellbeing was in serious danger. In each instance it was due to the swaggering egos of Moroccan youth and unregulated traffic of the souk alleyways. In the souk the tiny closet sized retail stalls spill out into the ancient alleyways that they line. It is an easy way to expand their space and be ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes February 12th 2015

For me even the name "The Marrakech Express" elicits excitement. Perhaps it was hearing the songs by the rock bands of the 60's/70's that waxed poetically about Morocco or this famous train. Perhaps it was the exoticism of Paul Bowles books of the same period. The net result is that for me Morocco has always been the pinnacle of strange/weird/different places to be and the Marrakech Express was the icing on the cake. So to take this train trip was very special for me. The train trip from Marrakech to Fes presented a great opportunity to see the Moroccan countryside. It was pre-dawn when I boarded at the beautiful Marrakech station. The train was modern, clean and comfortable. The fare for 1st class for the 7 hour trip to Fes was about $29 cdn, so it ... read more
Traveling in class
The Moroccan countryside
The Fes Medina - Beyond words

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes February 12th 2015

One of the local dining delicacies of Fes is Pastilla – Pigeon Pie. Now it is easy to understand how a meal would grow around an ingredient so abundant and readily available. But I was quick to learn that allow they are everywhere that actually pigeon meat is more expensive than chicken meat in Morocco. My host at the Dar Rbab (a Dra is a Moroccan guesthouse), Mohammed, pointed out that not all restaurants serve it much anymore and that ones that do would try to clandestinely substitute chicken for pigeon. Shame on them. But I was not to be deterred. Mohammed and I devised a plan whereby when he phoned some potential restaurants to enquire on availability of Pastilla that he claimed I was a visiting food critic and I knew the difference between the ... read more
Appetizer 1st Course
Pastilla

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 11th 2015

One of the experiences I was looking forward to in Morocco was a Hammam. I believed it to be similar to a Turkish bath. The truth I found out is: yes and no. Given I have been lucky enough to have experienced a Turkish bath in Istanbul and now a Moroccan Hammam in Marrakesh I do have some basis to make the comparison. In short, going for a Turkish bath is paying to get beat-up by a very large hairy Turkish man who speaks no English and who seems to take a delight in inflicting pain. Whereas a Hammam is paying to be flayed by a large hairy Moroccan woman who who speaks a little English and who seems to take a delight in inflicting pain. Subtle but important differences. In a Turkish bath the "loosening" ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 10th 2015

After spending two nights in Fez we are off to Marrakesh! The country side in Morocco was amazing, I guess I never expected it to be so fertile and green, with rich dark soil. Farms of fruit and vegetables, and herds of sheep and goats spot the fields as we drive along. There a vast difference in living, from beautiful mansions to cardboard and tin shacks, so as we drive along I observe that all of coffee bars and restaurants are all filled with men. Uuum , sitting in the fields having a smoke or a coffee are all men, so is there way of life a choice, arrogance. Uuummm. But out working in the fields or the streets are women with babies tied to there back, sweeping, cleaning , washing , raking the field, planting ... read more
way of life
Goats and sheep spot the country
Oh and did I mention there is snow! in Africa

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 9th 2015

My lodging here in Marrakesh is the Riad Eden. A Riad is a merchants home usually distinguished by a centre open courtyard with a garden. They are bigger than a normal home as merchants traditionally often used their homes to store goods that they sold as well. Many since the 1980's have been purchased (mainly by Europeans) and restored to be used as B&B's. The Riad Eden is small (5 rooms) and so Arabian nights. All red velvet, arched doorways and Berber rugs, I love it. It is owned and run by Jerome and his Moroccan wife. Up until 2 years ago Jerome ran an aircraft manufacturing plant in France. He related that this career change is the best thing he has ever done. Little stress and a relaxed lifestyle. He looks happy. The taxi could ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 8th 2015

The name Marrakech originates from the Berber and means "Land of God". Which is all nice and good but after three flights and many hours cooling my heels in airports I wasn't exactly in a religious mood when I finally arrived in Marrakech. My mood as I headed out of the airport might have also been primed by reading about how aggressive the taxi cab drivers of Marrakesh can be. Rip off artists was how one guidebook labeled them. I headed out the door into the sea of cabbies prepared not to be taken. I would hold my own. The most recent guidebook had suggested that 50-70 dirhams should be the proper fare for a cab into the city but that cabbies would charge whatever they could get (Now let me be frank 50 -70 dirhams ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier February 8th 2015

First I must apologize for taking so long to write, the internet in Morocco was less than realiable. But I will do my best now to bring you along on our tour, and I invite my travel buddies to add any coments you wish in English or Spainish. If you were ever worried about travel to Morocco, don't be! I highly recomment a guided tour through Morocco we used Luxotour (http://www.luxotour.es/es/publications/ciudades-imperiales-desde-tarifa-3-_-271) with a well organized and enjoyable way to travel. If feels like only yesterday that we were walking though the cobblestone streets of Fez, with it's winding and maze like Medina, I would never attempt this Labyrinth without a guild, good god you would never find your way out. No cars allowed but watch out! for donkeys and scooters and push carts. Attenion! But WOW! ... read more
Love the freshness
Look out donkeys on the move
the amazing Tannery

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier January 25th 2015

Exotic Tangier, Morocco, AFRICA! We made a day trip to Africa from Tariffa, Spain – the most southern point in Europe A 35 minute fast ferry to Tangier, Morocco, AFRICA! Really, it is one and a half hours with immigration, boat turning, … official tour guides greet you in traditional robes (jellaba) looking for tourists We were looking for Aziz – we had communicated with him via email There he was outside the ferry gates. A fast walk through the city was perfect. A green tea/mint drink in Petit Souk area – Relaxing Enjoyed people watching from our table. Still relatively quiet @ 11am A walk through the medina old narrow, winding streets – I mean really narrow and winding. Poked our heads into the local bakery– wood fired oven Most homes do not have an ... read more
Enjoying our tea on the patio
Rustic lunch on white table cloth
Kevin enjoying lunch at Le Saveur de Poisson

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech January 17th 2015

...ja. Ich. Sonst noch wer? Bestimmt. Wo sind die? Weiß man nicht... Irgendwo da vorne im Flugzeug hatte sich eine Dame dazu entschlossen, umzufallen. Wer das liest, denkt sich bestimmt..."war ja klar, dass ihr sowas passiert..." Wie soll ich sagen...überrascht war ich auch nicht. Jedenfalls....nichts, was man mit ein bisschen NaCl und Glukose nicht wieder hinkriegen könnte, aber verständlicherweise führt eine solche Situation, kombiniert mit einem hyperventilierenden Flugbegleiter (..oder wie heißen die heutzutage?) zu einer gewissen Anspannung. So positiv überrascht ich von der Ausstattung der Notfallköfferchens war, so ungern möchte ich mir vorstellen, wie es ist, wenn unter diesen Umständen wirklich etwas passiert. Nunja...alle Beteiligten waren rasch wieder....Achtung...auf der Höhe. Besonders der arme Flugbegleiter (ja wie denn nun? Cabin Manager? Saftschubse?)... read more




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