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9th July 2020

A nice Moroccan day trip
I never tire of tea ceremonies. Morocco has so much to offer and remains one of my favorite countries. The foods, the aromas, the spices and the lovely people. Yes, some are zealous in their desire to make a living but that is part of life on the road.
5th July 2020

Baking Bread
Your words take me to Armenia, Sylvia and a shipping container on a freezing night on Lenin Peak in Kyrgyzstan where the aroma and sharing of hot baked bread bonded those intrepid souls who broke the bread straight from the oven and the stories they told. Is there a song that goes with it? Yes. "Never Baked Bread Before" that I have posted on the "Surviving Covid-19..the Music" thread in the World Music Forum. My mind can smell your Moroccan bread now and the pleasure it did bring.
5th July 2020

Baking Bread
Dave, The experiences and memories you mention do sound unforgettable! It's funny how little snippets of smells and tastes can surface memories of time and place. You really have had so many great experiences in your life! Thanks so much for continuing to follow my blogs! I'll check out the music forum if possible too.
5th July 2020

Tea Ceremonies
These splashes of "local culture" are like certain songs to me...they bring back memories of times and places. The mention of tea ceremonies brings back special times in my xiongdi's home in Xian and sitting in the sand with the Tuareg at Timbuktu. I trust yours will take you back to that Berber home in Morocco and your hostess that opened her home to you.
5th July 2020

Tea Ceremonies
Hi Dave, you're so right!! I hope these kinds of experiences will stay with me forever -- if I ever again hear the clinking sound of the little glasses and or have the taste of mint tea in my mouth, I'll be transported back to Morocco. Your memories of tea ceremonies in China and Timbuktu sound great!!
4th July 2020

Oops!
I didn't think that for a moment! I never thought you would be anything but every bit as interested in the different ways people live their lives, and how lucky you were to be invited into someone's home - as you say, why else do we travel? It does take a bit of getting used to though to be eating with the men as a guest knowing the women of the family are all in the kitchen beavering away to serve you. It's quite hard to get a glimpse of women's lives sometimes - that's one reason why I always try to go to a local beauty shop for a pedicure or manicure when I'm away like that - it opens a door to the womens' world in quite a different way. We were invited to a village wedding in Syria years ago - such a different experience. Two completely separate parties - the men all together in the village square listening to speeches and the women in the village hall.singing and dancing and lots of oohs and aahs and clapping as the bride paraded in and out in a constant change of clothes that formed her trousseau.
4th July 2020

Oops!
Thanks! One reason we took this Moroccan small group tour was to have these additional experiences. It was interesting to compare the lifestyle of the family we dined with in Fez as compared to this Berber family. It was well worth the extra we paid for a day in the Ourika Valley. The Syrian wedding that you attended and described certainly must have been an unexpected pleasure and interesting experience. It's just that kind of thing that makes me addicted to travel. I loved Morocco and would love to visit there again to see and learn more (we'd actually participate in something very interesting the day following our time in the Ourika Valley).
4th July 2020

Great way to end your trip.
This looks to have been a perfect way to end your tour. It’s always so interesting to see how other people live. I smiled at your thoughts on the kitchen. Almost certainly the women would be cooking and serving the food to the men (who would be sitting on the floor in the room with the seating all around the walls) as it is done - and then eating after them. Our way of preparing a meal and all sitting down together is quite alien and that plus our consumer society has led to the kitchens we expect. I remember when I went to Spain back in the early 70s to visit a friend who was teaching there. She was sharing a lovely flat with friends - big rooms and very elegant - and the most basic little kitchen. Why? Because when the apartments were built everyone had a maid to do the cooking as the family ate and there was “no need” for more! I’ve been to dinner in Syrian homes where it is just like that.
4th July 2020

Great way to end your trip
Hi Lesley, as I mentioned, this day in the Ourika Valley wasn't quite the end of our trip -- we had 2 nights in Essaouira and 1 final night in Casablanca ahead of us before it was over. I'm sorry that you might have come away with the mistaken notion that I was unaware other lifestyles or judgemental about the family's kitchen and way of life; I didn't feel that everything in Morocco should be like it is in the west nor did anyone else in our group. (If that would have been the case, there would have been no reason for the visit to this home.) We didn't expect to see a bevy of electrical appliances, LOL! This was only a simple observation. Our hostess had everything needed to accommodate our group of 20 and it was, as I said, much appreciated.
3rd July 2020

A grand day out
What a lovely day you had, despite that pesky seller. The Jardin Aromatique d’ Ourika sounds divine, and I absolutely agree with you that the smell of baking bread is one of life's pleasures! How lovely of you to save apples for those horses... they have a pretty miserable life and would have loved your kindness. I'm looking forward to reading of your experiences in Essaouira! Cheers, Ren :)
4th July 2020

A grand day out
Hi Ren, thank you for your nice comments. For the most part it was indeed a good day out! There so much to like about the Jardin Aromatique d'Ourika, and I'm sure you would have liked it! I did my best with helping as many animals with food as possible -- there was also another lady in the group who particularly loved cats and we both saved food from our meals to give them. I felt bad for the horses and at least 2 of the horses got apples. The previous night I gave 2 horses a treat as well. Wish I could have done more to help. Hope you & Andrew have been staying well!!
2nd July 2020

Beautiful Ourika Valley
You seem to have had an excellent tour of the Ourika Valley, apart from those over-persistent souvenir sellers. I'm glad your guide was able to give you some protection eventually, but he shouldn't have needed to be told imho. The gardens and foot bath sound especially lovely! We did visit the valley but it was only two days after I broke my foot and I was struggling a bit with my crutches, so we mostly enjoyed it from the back of the car, although we did stop to see argan oil being produced. You've made me realise we should go again if we're ever back in Marrakech!
2nd July 2020

Beautiful Ourika Valley
Hi Sarah, you're right! To be fair, our guide was not in earshot when the seller became "overly zealous" at the last stop; however, I believe he would have said something if he had heard what the man said. It's a real shame you broke your foot (not sure if it was your earlier trip to Morocco or the last), but it sounds like you certainly made the best of it! One of my favorite places in Morocco was where I'll be writing about next -- Essaouira. Although I enjoyed the desert, I was raised by a huge bay and I'll never get wanting to be near water out of my system!
18th June 2020

Sounds like a great tour, despite the minibus.
Nice to read about your tour of Iceland. I've read several accounts of that VT meeting from others who attended, sorry I couldn't be there myself. My only proper visit to Iceland (apart from midnight stops for refueling) was a 48-hour stopover organized by Icelandic Airlines in the 1960s. We made good use of those 48 hours, but still only saw a small slice of the country. Thanks for finding my post on the Montparnasse Tower. All the best, Don (Nemorino on VT)
18th June 2020

Sounds like a great tour, despite the minibus
Many thanks for your visit to this blog, Don! We had a great Euromeet despite some challenging weather. All our day trips, including the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, covered some great scenery in the southern part of the country. Our first visit to Iceland was in 1983 and so different from what we saw in 2018. Wow, I can't imagine what Iceland was like in the 1960's but it must have been in its purest form in those days! Thanks again for your visit, Don!! I really hope you can attend a future Euromeet!
17th June 2020

Doors to the soul
What a great doorway...makes me wanna enter...to see what is inside. I have posted some of your pics in TB's "Doors, doors & more doors" thread in the Photography Forum. Check 'em out, Sylvia.
17th June 2020

Doors to the soul
Hi Dave! Thanks for reading. We saw some beautiful doors in Morocco. So many in fact that I could devote a blog to them alone, LOL! Thank you so much for posting a couple of them in the Photo Forum on Doors!! Much appreciated!!
16th June 2020

The joys of Marrakesh
A vibrant city that with amazing architecture. Some of our favorites foods are in Morocco. We always try to include Unesco world sites when we travel. You've really seen a lot.
16th June 2020

The joys of Marrakesh
Hello Binkleys, thanks for your visit! Marrakesh certainly has a lot to offer whether you're a first time visitor or a repeat visitor it seems. We spent more time in Morocco than in any other country we've previously visited. Still have a few more days of traveling there to write about. Next up, the Ourika Valley.
14th June 2020

Marvelous Marrakesh indeed!
Sounds like a good day exploring 'Marvelous Marrakesh', although a shame you were so rushed in places and that the Majorelle Gardens were overcrowded - I don't remember them being so when we visited (but that was ten years or so ago!) Your evening out sounds wonderful!
14th June 2020

Marvelous Marrakesh indeed!
Thanks, Sarah. Yes, I would have liked to take a break in the morning just to have time to soak it all in, but we had much to accomplish that on that first full day. On our second full day we opted to spend the day in the Ourika Valley. On our 3rd day in Marrakesh we had lots of time to wander at will and we had a great day!
14th June 2020

Bahia Palace
We loved our time at the Bahia Palace, and you're right - it's a great showcase of the architectural detail of that time. We never made it to the Majorelle Gardens as we were never up and about early enough to beat the crowds (despite our first hotel in Gueliz being quite close to it). Wow you certainly packed so much into one day, and I know how draining the heat in Marrakesh can be. Well done! :)
14th June 2020

Bahia Palace
Hi Ren and Andrew, thanks for your visit! I was glad that we covered a lot of sights on our first day. Bahia Palace was amazing! Not being able to enjoy Marjorelle Gardens was a disappointment but one of very few on this trip. We had more time to ourselves in Marrakesh on our 3rd day so went back to the souks but it was still very hot!!
20th May 2020
Ait Ben Haddou

The colours of Morocco!
These colours and this part of Morocco it more strongly etched in my memory than most others. Such a glorious setting! Your food descriptions had me drooling... and your photos are beautiful :)
20th May 2020
Ait Ben Haddou

The colours of Morocco
Hi Ren & Andrew, thanks for your visit and nice comments! The beautiful colors of various sights in Morocco are something I think I will never forget!!

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