Ren & Andrew

RENanDREW

Ren & Andrew

This blog documents the feeding of our travel addiction - one country at a time.

Travel is an essential part of our life, and we'll continue to travel until our addiction wanes (which probably won't be in this lifetime)! The more we travel, the more we see; and the more we see, the more we understand that we know so little - which is a brilliant thing.

We love the little corner of south eastern Australia we call home, but we are at our happiest when throwing ourselves into a new adventure and experiencing new cultures. Rather than doing round-the-world trips, our preferred style of travel is to spend a block of time in one country or region and get a real feel for that area and its people. We also love love love eating and drinking! We think that getting to know the food and its associated cultural nuances is a brilliant way to understand a country...so our posts are bound to contain many epicurean details.

If you are interested in our travels please feel free to Follow us, or if you aren't a Travel Blog member and wish to receive an email alert whenever we add a new blog entry, you can subscribe to this blog. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact us through the Comments section at the very bottom of each post or via the Message function.

Hope you enjoy our travel stories as much as we enjoy writing and sharing them with you! 😊
Cheers
Ren and Andrew


And if travel is like love...it is mostly because it's a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end. ~ Pico Iyer




Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier April 9th 2019

He who does not travel does not know the value of men ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northwest from Chefchaouen to Tangier. We woke early to the call to prayer after a broken night’s sleep – the local dogs had been unsettled for most of the night. I did sleep a little with the help of a couple of paracetamol tablets at midnight, but my sore throat was lingering. I needed it to dissipate, as we had a long travel day to Tangier and then an overnight sleeper train to Marrakesh. We were leaving Tangier at 11:30pm, so we would not have access to a shower until we checked into our Marrakesh hotel tomorrow morning. We headed down to the dark hotel restaurant for breakfast around 7:30am. I hydrated with orange juice ... read more
streets of tangier
seafood paella
cap spartel lighthouse

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

Though each path is different, there is only one way ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling north from Fes to Chefchaouen. We enjoyed a late breakfast in the ground floor restaurant of Hotel Olympic, which comprised baguettes, boiled eggs, croissants, jam, orange juice and tea. It was a fairly basic affair, but it was nice enough. With an hour or so up our sleeve, we headed out in the brisk morning air and made our way to nearby Avenue Hassan II, which is affectionately (and somewhat overzealously) known as Fes’ Avenue des Champs-Elysees. We used the morning sun to capture a few photos of Fes in light – the city had been shrouded in cloud the day before, and it had been pouring with rain on the night we arrived. There weren’t many ... read more
streets of chefchaouen
goat's cheese drizzled with prune molasses
view from our balcony

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes April 6th 2019

There is no queue at the gate of patience ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northeast from Meknes to Fes. It was a wet afternoon in Meknes. Heavy rain fell from dark clouds shrouding the city, and a bitter wind swept the empty streets. We emerged from the medina and sheltered as best we could in the shadows of Bab el-Mansour (the city’s iconic gateway) until a taxi arrived. We jumped in, dropped by the hotel where we’d left our packs a few hours earlier and headed to the Meknes train station – we were about to embark on a one-hour train journey to Fes. Moroccan train travel is unbridled and anarchic, and you get to experience the gamut of Moroccan life in the cramped and chaotic confines of your designated carriage. We’d ... read more
pastilla (chicken pie with icing sugar)
royal palace
royal palace

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Meknes April 5th 2019

Little and lasting is better than much and passing ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling south from Volubilis to Meknes. After wandering the windblown ruins of Volubilis in the late morning, we jumped into a taxi and headed to the imperial city of Meknes. We’d passed through the city the day before on our way to Moulay Idriss, but our experience had been limited to the train station. We only had a few hours to explore the city this afternoon before continuing on to Fes, so we were hoping the weather would hold out. The dark rain clouds that had been threatening at Volubilis were becoming more and more ominous… It was raining by the time we arrived. We dropped our packs in the storage room of a local hotel, jumped back into ... read more
the waterman
heri es-souani complex - granary
heri es-souani complex - granary

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Volubilis April 5th 2019

Endurance pierces marble ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northwest from Moulay Idriss to Volubilis. We emerged from the steep narrow lanes of Moulay Idriss around 9:30am, piled our packs into a waiting taxi and made our way towards the archaeological site of Volubilis, a mere 10 minute drive from the intriguing hillside village we loved so much. Once a distant outpost of the Roman Empire, Volubilis is located in the middle of an agricultural plain, and we soon discovered we were at the mercy of strong winds that amassed incredible force as they made their way across the flatlands of the Fertassa and Khoumane valleys. There were times I could barely stand, which made it difficult to hold a steady camera for photos. I couldn’t help but question Rome’s logic as we ... read more
volubilis ruins
volubilis ruins
volubilis ruins

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Moulay Idriss April 4th 2019

If one tells you the harira is cold, tell him to put his hand in it… ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling east from Rabat to Moulay Idriss(via Meknes). After our whistle-stop tour of Rabat, we made our way to the train station in the mid-afternoon. We rugged up against the city’s icy wind as we waited on the platform, then piled onto the train when it eventually pulled into the station. We had tickets with seat numbers, but the ticketing system is not followed on Moroccan trains, so people sit wherever they can find a spare seat. We stood for a while until people got off, then grabbed their abandoned seats before they were seized by someone else. As families became fractured across multiple seats, tempers flared and angry words were exchanged, ... read more
ren's favourite donkey benny/brahim
our riad
khobz, olives and taktouka

Africa » Morocco » Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer » Rabat April 4th 2019

If at noon the king declares it is night, behold the stars… ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northeast from Casablanca to Rabat. We were catching a morning train to Rabat, so we headed down to the hotel lobby for an early breakfast. Breakfast was a reasonably simple affair, but enjoyable all the same. We started with freshly squeezed orange juice and mint tea, then grazed on baguettes, boiled eggs, croissants and jam. We organised our packs in our room, then loaded them into a minibus and made our way to Casa Voyageurs, one of Casablanca’s three main train stations. The station was empty, so we breezed through the various ticket collectors and settled into our oven-like carriage. We eased out of the station at 9:45am, and stared silently at the decrepit and ... read more
rabat medina
rabat medina
kasbah des oudaias

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca April 2nd 2019

The moon and the stars are not above us, the earth is on the other side of our feet… ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were continuing to explore the white city of Casablanca. I woke early and used the quiet morning stillness to catch up on my travel writing. We headed down to breakfast at 8am and feasted on khobz (traditional round leavened bread) with cheese and harissa sauce; croissants, pastries and dates – which we enjoyed with numerous cups of tea and lime juice. We dropped our washing at a tiny hole-in-the-wall laundrette just along from our hotel, and with an air of naive optimism, we hoped we’d conveyed to the owner that we only wanted our clothes washed and not ironed. We didn’t share a language, and every time we simulated a ... read more
ren's breakfast
place mohammed v
place mohammed v

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca March 31st 2019

Believe what you see and lay aside what you hear… ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling from London to Casablanca. We left Romany’s house in West Harrow (London) around 2:30pm and caught an Uber to Heathrow Airport (Terminal 4). We settled at Caffe Nero and used our remaining currency to buy coffees, smoothies and a lemon sparkling tea. We sat and chatted with Romany, Kirsten and Jared until 4:45pm, then made our way through security. Ren got caught in a backlog of passengers who needed their bags checked, and while we waited at the security counter our gate lounge opened. It seemed an interminable wait before Ren’s bag was even opened, and the only mistake she had made was to leave her iPad in the bag (rather than take it out). When she ... read more
hassan ii mosque
hassan ii mosque
hassan ii mosque

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City March 27th 2019

HE SAID... We touched down at Heathrow Airport at 11:30am. It had been a long flight, and we were happy to finally be out of a cramped plane seat. Ren’s sister Romany and niece Kirsten met us in the arrivals area, where we jumped into an Uber and travelled to their home in Harrow. We arrived at midday, 33 hours after we left our home in Tasmania. It was such a good feeling to arrive. We settled around the kitchen table and snacked on Sri Lankan beef pan rolls and fish cutlets as we talked through the afternoon. It was an incredibly relaxing and warm atmosphere, and a great way to ward off jet lag. Romany cooked goat curry (my absolute favourite) for dinner, and it was incredible. We didn’t move from the table – we ... read more
streets of harrow
streets of london
street art




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