Page 2 of Renae and Dwayne Knowles Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane March 26th 2018

Wednesday, 21 March – Fes Our boutique hotel, Riad Andalib, is the bomb! It’s in the Medina but has the best location of any hotel you could hope for. You enter through a door in the wall and come into a beautiful atrium with a water fountain and plunge pool, and 10 tables under a clear roof. The intricate carving on the doors and concrete frescos is amazing! On the perimeter of the atrium are the rooms, overlooking the peaceful courtyard. Our suite has a comfy bed and massive bathroom, and the breakfast is delectable. The food just keeps on coming and the local ricotta is to die for! The Riad owner is a wonderful man, Moroccan by birth but he spent time living in Montreal before coming back to renovate the Riad. There is literally ... read more
The Blue Gate - Fes
Fes Medina
Anyone for camel stew?

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas March 21st 2018

Friday, 16 March – Ait Benhaddou Hertz gave us our diesel Peugeot 208 and whilst the weather had cleared enough to go see the Majorelle Gardens, we couldn’t find parking so we decided to forego it and make our way to the desert. Besides, we had a 4 hour drive and we didn’t know what blockers were ahead of us on the 200km stretch. Proudly, Dwayne mastered the art of driving like a mad Moroccan within a half hour! The dirt is extremely red everywhere. The rivers run red and you can see why the houses are all coloured with terracotta. In amongst all this red dirt are patches of bright green terraces where the locals harvest fields of millet. It’s quite the contrast. As we drove towards the High Atlas Mountains, the rain and fog ... read more
The drive up Tizi pass
Tizi pass at 2300m
What was on the other side of the snowy pass

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz March 15th 2018

Monday, 12 March – Marrakech Despite the fact that we flew business class on Iberia, which was excellent, neither of us slept any better than in economy. Usually we take Restavit to calm the senses when in cattle class, but we didn’t bother this time because we thought that lying flat would give us the sleep we usually don’t get. However, even with earplugs and eye mask, we were too aware of the aircraft noise and movements around us, and I was wishing I’d had the Restavit to dull the senses. Will get that rectified before our next flight in May. Arrived in Madrid for our 3hr layover and had showers in the lounge to freshen up, before boarding another flight to Casablanca. From there we caught a taxi to the train station, waited another hour ... read more
Iberia meal selection
Our local Patisserie in Marrakech - my happy place!
View from our apartment

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago March 12th 2018

Wednesday – Friday, 7-9 March We did a farewell tour of Kirkwood on Wednesday and did The Wall one more time for good measure. I really like that run. Thursday was the farewell tour of Heavenly and a balmy 4C on the mountain so we finished the way we arrived – in warm weather. We finished early and ran around returning our skis and snow chains, as well as getting a couple of things fixed. We even got half back on our used skis so the whole thing only cost us A$150 for a month for both of us. Buying used was definitely the way to go. We left early on Friday morning so we had time to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, when we arrived it was a complete white out! Ocean fog had ... read more
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge
Palace of Fine Arts

North America » United States » California » South Lake Tahoe February 28th 2018

Wednesday – Tuesday, 21-27 February On Thursday we went to Carson City, the capital of Nevada, which is about 35km from South Lake Tahoe. Dwayne wanted to check out the Nevada State Railway Museum and we spent an interesting 2 hours looking at restored steam trains and learning about the history of rail in the wild wild west. We ate at iHop for lunch. It’s your typical American diner atmosphere with booth seats and they serve pancakes, waffles, crepes, omelettes and a small smattering of savoury items. Done it once, won’t be going back. We had an AMAZING day of skiing on Friday for Dale’s birthday. We went to Kirkwood after they’d had 25” of snow in the previous 48 hours, and it was epic. Powder everywhere you looked, avalanche control blasts over the backside and ... read more
Driving to Kirkwood after snow
Off piste black at Kirkwood

North America » United States » California » South Lake Tahoe February 21st 2018

Wednesday – Tuesday, 14-20 February Dale arrived on Valentine’s day and we’ve had great skiing all week. On Sabbath we went to church and enjoyed community with the locals over lunch. We explored the lake foreshore and inducted Dale into the Taco Bell tradition. On Sunday, we drove around to Emerald Bay, which is most notable for it’s Scandinavian style castle, Vikingsholm, overlooking a cute little bay. Unfortunately the crowds of Presidents Day long weekend also thought it would be a good idea and it was a nightmare trying to find parking. The drive from South Lake Tahoe around to Emerald Bay is quite stunning. We took a side road and did a quick walk to Fallen Leaf Lake, whilst it was lightly snowing. The wind was absolutely howling as the snow storm bore down on ... read more
The view at Heavenly is second to none
Aerial Tramway
The California/Nevada state line

North America » United States » California » South Lake Tahoe February 14th 2018

Thursday 8 February Our travel was a longer day than we had bargained for. The trip over in business class was great, being in the nose of the plane with only 7 other passengers. We were treated to a 3-course meal, although I’d pre-ordered vegetarian and I shouldn’t have, as the vegetarian on the menu was better. Will change that before our next flight. The captain popped by for a general chat, I watched “The Zookeeper’s Wife” and then went to sleep. The mattress they provide was thinner than I had expected so it was a broken sleep due to all the rotisserie action, but better than sitting up. In the middle of the night I woke to those familiar words from Dwayne – “we have a problem.” Last year it was a lost backpack in ... read more
Now that's more like it
Entree - garden salad, sour dough bread, apple muffin and pasta bake
Main course (Dwayne) - steak and veg

Europe January 14th 2018

Hi everyone! We are only 4 weeks away from heading off on our extended holiday. Plans are mostly finalised so it's a good time to share our itinerary with you. 8 Feb-8 Mar - Lake Tahoe (snow skiing at Heavenly & Kirkwood) 9-11 Mar - Chicago 12-15 Mar - Marrakesh, Morocco 16-17 Mar - High Atlas Mountains 18-19 Mar - Sahara Desert 20-23 Mar - Fes 23-24 Mar - Tangier 25-27 Mar - Granada, Spain 28-29 Mar - Cordoba 30 Mar-1 Apr - Seville (Easter) 2-5 Apr - Lisbon, Portugal 6-9 Apr - Coimbra region 10-12 Apr - Porto 13-17 Apr - Galicia region, Spain 18-19 Apr - San Sebastian 20-24 Apr - Bordeaux, France 25-27 Apr - Villers-Brettoneaux (ANZAC Centenary Dawn service- rendezvous with family) 28 Apr-2 May - ?? 3-7 May - Paris 8-10 ... read more

North America » Mexico » Yucatán April 21st 2017

Sabbath, 15 April We made a split decision last night to visit the Coba ruins today, despite it being Sabbath. I don’t like doing activities or shopping on Sabbaths but these ruins sounded like they would be somewhat uncrowded and undeveloped, as only 2% of the site has been excavated. We remembered how much we enjoyed the primitive nature of Termessos in Turkey, and how spiritual an experience that was, so we decided to pay the $5 to go in. Unfortunately, it had several hundred people there at 10.30am, but we hired some bikes and rode around for 2 hours across the expansive 70sq km site. It was about 1km between all the different building groups so I was thankful we’d chosen to ride rather than walk in the +30C heat, and they were unlike any ... read more

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum April 17th 2017

Wednesday, 12 April A shockingly early start at 5.25am, witnessing a pathetic sunrise thanks to blocking clouds and a 7am departure on the water taxi. This return trip goes without incident – thank God! Fork out yet another 1000 pesos to re-enter Mexico, which was a shock. I thought we’d payed all the departure taxes as part of our airfares but apparently leaving and entering via land incurs different taxes. 1400 pesos pp is what our Belizean sojourn cost. There’s $100 we didn’t budget for. We collected the car, drove 40 minutes north to a town called Bacalar, which is on an amazing lagoon. This is just as beautiful as Caye Caulker in colours, although Mum and Dad say the island is their highlight of the trip so Bacalar is close but no cigar. Personally, I’d ... read more

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