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-KabÄ«r -- 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.