Posts From Morocco


A Foggy welcome to Casablanca (Casablanca, Morocco)

Journal entry for Wednesday 23rd Dec, 2015 (day 913, miles 18684)

So we are back on the "road" for a little while. Following our month in Berlin with family we are taking a short trip to Morocco, without the truck and as part of a tour. Why you might ask, and the answer is both simple and complicated. Without the truck because it is simpler and does not require driving down to southern Spain first, as part of a tour because that is also simpler as someone else does all the organizing. And finally it fills the short time we have before returning to the US and, we hope, will give us a taste of the country.

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Christmas dinner at Ricks Cafe (Casablanca, Morocco)

Journal entry for Friday 25th Dec, 2015 (day 915, miles 18684)

We spent yesterday and today exploring, the sun was out and the temperature moderate so walking around was very pleasant. Yesterday (Thursday) was a normal business day so it eventually became pretty busy, we found a supermarket near our hotel and stocked up on some food. Because today Friday is both Moslem prayer day and Christmas day the place is a lot quieter with many things (though not all) closed.

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A little Moroccan History (Fes, Morocco)

Journal entry for Monday 28th Dec, 2015 (day 918, miles 18684)

Last night we met the remainder of our "group", all 36 of them if you count the guide, and did the usual "introduce yourself" to the group - a bit tedious but probably necessay. Today we got underway towards the city of Fes by way of Rabat,. Rabat is the modern capital of Morocco and as its role would suggest it is a large and busy place.

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1000 year old Tannery (Fes, Morocco)

Journal entry for Tuesday 29th Dec, 2015 (day 919, miles 18684)

We spent the morning exploring (with some local guides) the old Medina of Fes. Medina seems to be a word that means something like city but with the implication that it is a walled city, and in the case of Fes thats what it is the old (14th century) walled city, designed in the days before motorized transport and therefore only suitable for people and donkeys with the streets only 6 feet wide and often covered by buildings. We did the obligatory stop at a carpet shop and thankfully Nina and I were able to resist before moving finally to the highlight of the morning, a visit to a leather shop that overlooks the famous tannery of Fes. The tannery is a small courtyard, surrounded by 3 and 4 story buildings. The courtyard is entirely composed of stone pots about the size of a small hot tub. In these tubs the hides of sheet, goats, cows and camels go from smelly fur covered skins to raw leather. The tannery has been in operation here for 1000 years and the process does not seem to have changed much. The ingredients for the process as limestone, pigeon poop (ammonia), water and men.

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Sahara (Afroud, Morocco)

Journal entry for Wednesday 30th Dec, 2015 (day 920, miles 18684)

We had a very uncivilized start to our day, awake at 4:15am and on the bus traveling by 5:45am. The goal of the day was to cross the Atlas mountains and make it all the way to the city of Efroud on the western side of Morocco so that we could spend the late afternoon on the sands of the Sahara and, if lucky, watch a Sahara sunset.

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Berber singing for New Year (Ouarzazate, Morocco)

Journal entry for Thursday 31st Dec, 2015 (day 0, miles )

Another picturesque day driving through the desert, incredibly dry countryside interspersed with real honest to goodness oases, right down to the date palm trees. As the day came to a close we arrived in the city of Ouarzazate which believe it or not is the center of the Moroccan film industry. It has a number of film studios and many international films have been (partially) made here including the original Star Wars.

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Tourist capital (Marrakech, Morocco)

Journal entry for Friday 1st Jan, 2016 (day 922, miles 18684)

Today a long slow and twisting drive back through the Atlas mountains took us to the famous city of Marrakech. We said goodbye to Ouarzazate with a quick photo stop at one of the many movie studio/sets in the area, and thereafter we contented ourselves with the occasional photo of a desert setting or spectacular mountain scene.

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Spa (Marrakech, Morocco)

Journal entry for Saturday 2nd Jan, 2016 (day 923, miles 18684)

Todays highlight was a spa treatment for both of us. After a morning of sightseeing (and Nina's close encounter with a snake), some "free-time" to wander around the markets and pickup some more "goods" we found our way back to the hotel and as instructed changed into "robe and underwear" and presented ourselves at the spa reception. Thereafter we were scrubbed, washed, rubbed and massaged for a couple of hours all for about US$60 per head.

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Goats in trees (Essaouira, Morocco)

Journal entry for Sunday 3rd Jan, 2016 (day 924, miles 18684)

Our time in the deserts of Morocco came to an end today with a long journey to the west, and the coastal city of Essaouira. Along the way we were treated to the spectacle of a bunch of goats standing in a tree, apparently the goats are part of the harvesting process for the Argan nuts but during the "off season" provide additional income by entertaining and astounding tourists like us.

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