Posts for December, 2015

A Foggy welcome to Casablanca (Casablanca, Morocco)

Journal entry for Wednesday 23rd Dec, 2015 (day 913, miles 18,684)

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. to read the full post

Christmas dinner at Ricks Cafe (Casablanca, Morocco)

Journal entry for Friday 25th Dec, 2015 (day 915, miles 18,684)

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. to read the full post

A little Moroccan History (Fes, Morocco)

Journal entry for Monday 28th Dec, 2015 (day 918, miles 18,684)

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. to read the full post

1000 year old Tannery (Fes, Morocco)

Journal entry for Tuesday 29th Dec, 2015 (day 919, miles 18,684)

We spent the morning exploring (with some local guides) the old Medina of Fes. Medina means city but with the implication that it is the Arab part of the old city. In the case of Fes this is an 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 sheep, 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 are limestone, pigeon poop (ammonia), water and men. to read the full post

Sahara (Afroud, Morocco)

Journal entry for Wednesday 30th Dec, 2015 (day 920, miles 18,684)

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. to read the full post

Berber singing for New Year (Ouarzazate, Morocco)

Journal entry for Thursday 31st Dec, 2015 (day 921, miles 18,684)

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. to read the full post