Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Last Days in Rabat


My time in Morocco is winding down.  Tomorrow I leave for the States.

Here’s what I’ve been doing the last few days

Spending time with my dentist extraordionaire


Dr. Soumaya Benothmane and her assistant
to get a new smile.


Sorry, it's a selfie
















Walked up and down this street 
eight different times to the dentist’s office




















Enjoyed listening to sound checks for Marwazine




a local musical festival.



One of the sound stages is 3 or 4 blocks from the house so we can hear the concerts in the evening.  Last night we planned on going to dinner along the river near the medina and listened to Bonga, a folk and semba singer and songwriter from Angola.  Until we found out the show didn’t start until 10:00 P.M.  Too late for kids on a school night.  Instead, we listened to Lauryn Hill from the garden.

You can read a bit about Mawazine here: https://www.morocco-guide.com/events/mawazine-festival/ 

And here’s the full lineup of performers: http://www.festivalmawazine.ma/en/programme/


My suitcases are packed (picture a sad smile) and I fly out tomorrow morning around 7:00.  Sad (picture a sad new smile) to be leaving, but looking forward to seeing family and doggies in Albuquerque.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Rambles in Rabat


Back in Morocco and going to fav places and doing fun things.

We had the traditional Friday evening meal in Morocco, couscous.  Much more elaborate than the way I serve it.  I use it as a side dish for fish or chicken, but this is a whole meal.
Couscous with meat, veggies and chickpeas

Saturday we went for a visit to the medina 

A side street. And, yes, this is a street.
Motorbikes roam the medina

to do a bit of shopping

Shoppers and wares













This is the scarf I bought






















then home to pick mulberries

The mulberry tree in the garden

and make mulberry preserves

Delicious!  Tastes a lot like figs

For Mother’s Day we all went to Les Trois Palmiers for lunch.  Check out the fish baked in salt, one of their specialties.  

The white mound on the right is the fish




















They have to crack open the salt crust to serve the fish.  Not salty, just baked deliciousness.
Peeling off the salt




















And fruit torte to die for.  Didn't last long enough for me to take a picture.

The restaurant is right on the beach, and the surf and sea looked very familiar.  Oh, right.  Morocco is on the Atlantic, except on the east side.

Beautiful flowers along a street I’ve walked down frequently back and forth to my dentist.  A bit more about that later.

Anyone know what kind of flowers these are?

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Streets of Seville



We spent four days in Seville, walking around the city.  




Stopping at cafes for coffee.


Nespresso!!  I'm addicted.



















                                         And my favorite tapas.

Espinacas con garbanzos, spinach with garbanzos


Lots of fun sights and sounds,        
especially because Feria de Sevilla
started that weekend.                      

All dressed up for the ride to Feria




















Lots of flamenco dresses on parade. 
We walked there and back, over 4 miles.  
No trouble sleeping that night.






My son's description:  "It's a thousand cocktail parties and you’re not invited."  Various ‘societies’.  Some are similar to the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade Krews, but also include private families, religious fraternities, etc.

The Feria was originally a cattle fair -- think agricultural fair in the States -- then grew to a place to socialize, setting up tents.  In 1973, it moved to it’s present location, just across the Guadalquivir River (the original Arabic name was Wadi Al-Kabīr -- Great River) from Seville.  Behind the girls is the bridge we walked across to the Feria.






















Over 1,000 casetas (temporary tents) are erected, all privately owned and equipped with a bar, kitchen and substantial music system, serving drinks, tapas.  Hence the ‘you’re not invited’ designation.  By evening, impromptu flamenco dancing happens.






















On another day, we walked to a cafe, past the first ever tobacco factory in the world

Plaque of the tobacco factory

which is now the University of Seville where my grandson, Ethan, will be taking classes fall semester.

Lunch at the cafe across from the University of Seville




Seville is a great city to visit.  I always enjoy my time here.




Friday, April 28, 2017

Woke up in Spain this morning



Yesterday afternoon we left Rabat to spend a few days in Seville, Spain.

This involves about a three hour drive to Tangier on the Straights of Gibraltar.

Houses crawling up the side of a hill


The boy (not really a boy, but I'm his mother and he'll always be a boy to me) had a short meeting, which gave us a chance to walk around town a bit.


The train station
McDo. Love the Moroccan design



 Meeting over, we drove to the port to board the ferry to Tarifa, Spain. Note:  Tarifa is where the word tariff comes from.


Ferry coming in to port


I also wanted to take a picture of the huge rig that scans the cars and contents--minus people.  Think airport scanner big enough to scan a line of 5 or 6 cars, including busses.  However, the very nice security guy told me that wasn't allowed.  No argument from this girl.

I opted for a view of the harbor.

The medina of Tangier

Then we boarded and were off. (Caution:  this is noisy.  And don't fall overboard!)





The trip across the Straights only takes about half an hour.  Plenty of time to eat a snack and take pictures.  It also makes for a nice break from driving.

One of the Pillars of Hercules.
The other is the Rock of Gibraltar
It was early evening and hazy so the pictures aren't as clear as on a sunny day, but the Pillar is the highest peak.  Below, Europe is barely visible on the left between the boat and K's head


Girlz framed by two continents.
Europe is on the left and Africa on the right.

Then, back in the car for a couple hour drive to Seville.  By then, it was getting dark.  There are miles of windmills along the mountains rimming the coast of Spain.  In the distance, the small (relatively speaking) blinking warning lights looked like fireflies.  Reminded me of summer nights in Maine and fireflies dancing in the tall grass in the field.  Sometimes Dad would catch one for me and put it in a jar beside my bed.

Adiós for now.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

In the Air Again

I arrived in Morocco yesterday Friday (their time) and wanted to share a bit of my travel sights.  Fortunately, there was no drama, like people being dragged off the airplane or delayed flights or gate changes--more tricky in Paris where my language skills falter.

In order to catch the 6:10 A.M. flight out of Albuquerque I had to kick the birds awake at 3:30 A.M., get dressed, feed the dogs, close the suitcases (left open in case of any last-minute additions) and load them in the car in time to leave at 4:30 to arrive by 5:00.  Fortunately Black Mesa coffee is up and running at the airport by then so I could be awake enough not to miss the flight.


My reflection looking out the window in
Albuquerque Sunport










Perrier seemed the appropriate beverage before
flying to Paris





Arrived in Atlanta on time--nothing for me to stress about since I had a six-hour layover.  Thanks to Marianne Rice, I had a fun read to dive into.  Check out Strawberry Kisses,  I recommend it.



Nothing says Atlanta like CNN




























Finally, at long last the wait was over for the overnight flight to Paris.  Sadly, I had a middle of the middle seat--you know, those plans that have three seats on each side and four in the middle.  Hemmed in by a couple of guys (not cute enough to distract) I got very little sleep.  Thanks again, Marianne.  Jake was much more entertaining in sooooo many ways than the my seatmates.

In Charles de Gaulle Airport, I made a beeline for Starbucks--yes, I’ve been in that airport often enough to know exactly where it is--and loaded up on caffeine.


Didn't even need the Starbucks app to find it

Then on the plane for the last leg of the trip, Paris to Rabat, Morocco.


At last,  peace in the garden.





Thursday, May 5, 2016

Busy Few Days


Over the weekend we had places to go and things to do.

Saturday, we went to Les Trois Palmiers restaurant  for lunch.  This is a fabulous restaurant with a great view of the beach.  



Wonderful food, especially the fish.  Here’s a link if you want to check it out:  http://bit.ly/1WKYCPt









Then some time for fun in the sun.















Check out the crazy rocks that look volcanic, except there aren't any volcanoes in Morocco.










Sunday, we planted a garden, hand cultivated by Khalifa.  




























                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                    The girls did a great job.  

Now the hardest part, waiting to see what comes up.  Nice, drenching rain last night so that will help.

Today, for my French lesson, my teacher and I visited the Mohammed VI Museum of modern and contemporary art.  Not much actual talking in French, though.  We have very similar tastes in art and quickly disparaged what we didn't like.  I'm going to have to buckle down on Monday.

Here's a couple of my favs.































And a snapshot of the elaborate lattice work on the building.

Here's the link for a closer look:   http://www.museemohammed6.ma/ 



Walking home I snapped this pic of the Moroccain version of a wrecking ball.


Plans for the weekend include some shopping in the Medina and Kasbah, assuming the weather is more suitable for shopping than gardens.


Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Days in Spain


Just back from spending five days in Seville.  We did so much walking and had so much fun I didn't take time to blog.  So I'm catching up now.

The ferry was late arriving Friday evening, so here we are, killing time in Tangiers.



















Note:  These were taken as a live photo on my iPhone, but Blogger isn't up to speed on displaying it yet.  Also had a great pic of a full moon over Tangiers, but the final frame is just a blur.


After crossing the Straits of Gibraltar, we spent the night in Tarifa at a small pension.

View the next morning of a Tarifa street from my room







And had breakfast.  I chose scrambled eggs, huevos revueltos (which when pronounced in Spanish sounds very much like revolting eggs. But they were delish!






Two hours later we arrived in Seville.  For the next four days we visited all our favorite places.


A park where the trees have huge roots




















Eating tapas for lunch at Levies















Missing NM so we had Mexican food


Ice cream at the Metropol Parasol, mostly referred to as the Waffle


































View of Seville from the top of the Waffle


And we toured the Antiquarium, housing Roman ruins discovered during the construction of the Waffle 

Note the massive footings that support the Waffle in the background


And we visited a new site.

The maritime museum.  Seville is the port that Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan and Amerigo Vespucci, to name a few, sailed from.

They would have sailed down this river to the ocean
Back in Morocco now and looking forward to good times here.