I used to live/work/play without a car in a car-loving American city, where most of the buses ran in sluggish one-way loops and the closest thing to light rail was the regional Amtrak (“You got your bike on here with ya? And you’re gonna ride just one stop?”). So I feel giddily free when traveling in countries where the transportation system developed with less of the “See the USA in your Chevrolet” sort of influence. For example: Morocco. Its interconnected, […]
I visited Imlil because it was in the Atlas Mountains (which I’d heard were beautiful) and because, according to the map, it appeared to be a do-able half-day’s journey from Taroudant (which I hadn’t heard about but enjoyed very much when I somehow ended up there). But getting the journey to Imlil done required a very full day, with three different grand taxis, a mini bus, and lots of waiting and staring into beautiful space: Upon arrival, I was underwhelmed […]
While in Berrechid, I met Rekaya: She’s from Tafraoute and she told me that her hometown was the very best place in Morocco. She googled Tafraoute on her phone and showed me the image results: golden mountains, palm trees, huge blue boulders. She didn’t know why someone had coated those big rocks in paint, but she smiled and shrugged and said that she did know that the people in Tafraoute were nice, and that it was a beautiful place. I […]
A 40-minute (very cramped) grand taxi ride from Essaouira will get you to beautiful Sidi Kaouki: Beautiful sunsets almost every night. This one really looked just like this, I swear. And the sound system at the mosque really sounds like this: I liked it there so much, I wanted to make a little something to remember it by. I’d collected some shells from the beach, and in Essaouira I picked up some old Moroccan coins and beads that matched […]
N. (a teacher at the school where I was volunteering) told us that she wanted to make _________ soup (she said the name in Arabic, so I didn’t understand and promptly forgot it). I like helping with food preparation, especially when part of the prep involves grocery shopping. So some of the other volunteers and I followed N. like a gaggle of eager ducklings to the corner store. And then we (ok, mostly the rest of them) got to work: […]
Usually I find the old postcard first, and it leads me on a little adventure to/through the new place. In this case, some new friends (David and Austin, fellow volunteers in Berrechid), invited me to visit a new place (Settat) with some old(ish) friends of theirs. The postcard came later. So first, the place: Settat. Pronounced Ssss’tat…? (self-conscious drag on the ‘s’, followed by an unsure emphasis on ‘TAT’. Maybe?). The plan was to have coffee and hang out, and […]
M. wanted to make a tagine for us. I wanted to help (and eat). Click on the first photo to open the slideshow with captions: * A couple of months later, while trying to help out in the kitchen at an eco-lodge in Tafedna, Morocco, I opened up my laptop on the kitchen counter and tried to follow my “recipe”. I got as far as the onions. And ruined them. Yes, the ONIONS. Ugh. Threw the mess in the trash […]
While walking from Rabat’s waterfront to its new town during one of my then/now postcard hunts, I saw two women reading an informational display in front of a tall-fenced, big-lawned garden. I hovered alongside and pretended to read. They asked me if I was headed to the Hassan Tower, too. I’d never heard of the Hassan Tower, but, yep, sure. Next stop. So we walked up the hill together, along the garden’s fence, around a bend, past a blank-faced guard […]
Rabat. The capital of Morocco. Described to me – by Moroccans and other travelers – as “modern”, “clean”, “unauthentic”, “boring.” Hm. It looked nice in my postcards: So I went. Postcards in hand, I started with the medina. (Click on a photo to open a slideshow with captions): I turned another corner and found myself on the main tourist souvenir-shopping drag. Close enough match for me: A quick snack on the way out of the medina and towards the waterfront […]
On a drizzly day of wandering around the kasbah in Rabat… these doors caught my eye: So I made some bracelets: And now that the colors have been ingrained in my memory, bead by bead, for ever and ever, the bracelets are for sale HERE and HERE. :) More souvenirs available HERE.
There doesn’t seem to be much happening in the streets of Berrechid most Sunday afternoons. But then one day – what’s this? All these people…? And horses in a truck…? We were told “Fantasia’s in town!” Great! Mm, what’s fantasia? (click on the first photo to open a slideshow with captions) And then! It was exciting! Here’s a little video I made of two of the 20+ groups we watched: the first troupe is ok, the second one nails it […]
[Please don’t open this post if you have issues with looking at where meat comes from. Really. I warned you.] While volunteering in Berrechid, Morocco I met David and Austin, who had been there a while and knew M. and S. They all asked if I wanted to tag along on a car ride to somewhere to maybe eat something. Yep, sure did. More food fun HERE.
It started with a trip to the beach: and turned into a late lunch: followed by a stop for tea on the way home: and finished off with one last game of soccer: These guys know how to hang. Whew. More Sunday fun HERE.
Casablanca! Yes! This is how I always imagined you: Well. To be honest, I hadn’t really imagined you – or thought about you much at all – before realizing this past summer that hey, Morocco’s just over there!…and it’s warm in the winter! And doesn’t Casablanca look neat in these postcards I found! So I went and – with the help of a Casa-born taxi driver – found a minaret-shaped piece of the old Casablanca. Just that one tower. The […]
I’d imagined (feared? hoped?) that crossing the Straight of Gibraltar by ferry would go something like this: But there was no lumpy Talos, or any hunks in mini-togas…or really anyone at all. I’d been warned that I’d be hopping on that boat, and then crammed into a train, with half of Spain’s Moroccan population – who would be heading home for the after-summer break. But on that Sunday morning it was just me and the dude with the headphones. Welcome […]