Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The last of my pictures have been posted

Thanks to me waking up at 6 am this morning (boo!). Check them out on Flickr (here's the photostream view for the latest ones first)


Monday, October 14, 2013

We are home

Our bed is possibly the most awesome and comfortable place in the universe. Just so you know.

I'll post the rest of the pics from my camera shortly!

Chris's images will come in over the next year, let's face it, but I'll bet that they are worth the wait!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Enjoying our last meal in Morocco at Rick's Cafe

We logged 4,000 km (2400 miles), 14 days, 12 cities, and a bunch of carpets. 

We leave the hotel at 5 am tomorrow to go to Paris, then JFK, then San Fran, then home. That trip will take us 25 hours from start to finish (no time zone change).  Wish us luck!

Lots of pic up on Flickr!

I have been slowly pushing up pictures from my phone from Marrakech and Essaouira to the Morocco set on Flickr!

Here's the photo stream view if you want to see the latest ones first!


Friday, October 11, 2013

This is not photoshopped in any way

No, seriously, I took this photo of this actual scene in real life with my phone:

These goats climb (e)argan trees to eat the fruit. They poop out the seeds. Someone then collects the seeds and they crack them open. Inside is an "almond" which can then be eaten or have the oil extracted for a variety of cosmetic and, more awesomely, food purposes. They make a really awesome peanut butter with it (yep, I have some)!

This was the single silliest thing I saw in Morocco.

We rode camels on the beach in Essaouira

It was super fun! Now I feel done and tired and ready to com home! :-)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hi from Marrakech!

We arrived in this totally chaotic an frenetic city last night and had a heck of a time finding the tiny back alley where our hotel is, but we finally got here with the aid of several really high men and about 12 small children. Today we went on a walking tour of the city where I promptly forgot my camera, but I had my phone and Chris had his camera, so we were good. Here's some pictures from there (our Internet totally sucks, so I'll post more when I get good Internet):

Monday, October 7, 2013

Some amusing sights from today


Tea In the Sahara

Today was amazing. We started out going from the lovely Hotel Xaluca to south of Erfoud to see a factory where they take blocks of fossil rich stone and make marble sinks, tables, etc with fossilized shells in them. Very interesting and beautiful. After that we went back to Erfoud for lunch. The whole town was very excited because they were getting ready for a visit from the king. For lunch we had what Jamal called Moroccan pizza or medfouna. It's a ball of dough they first flatten  and then put chicken or other meats with herbs and onions between two pieces. They pinch the sides together and cook it in a wood fired oven like pizza. Very tasty! Evidently they only make it in a few places in the south here. 

After lunch we stopped at the date market briefly to see what they had because it's date season here. Then we headed north to get turbans for later and our luggage to head to Merzourga in the Sahara. Noelle got a couple of white pieces to cover her head and arms. I got a blue turban like the Berber people here in the south wear. We saw more and more people lining up by the side of the road to see the king. All the employees at Hotel Xaluca were out front when we got there to get our luggage, so we decided to wait as well. After about ten minutes a huge caravan of cars began to pass, including a giant Mercedes carrying Mohammed VI of Morocco, whom we saw ever so briefly. Now we can say we've seen a king. So that happened. 

After the cars passed, we got into our new desert car, a 4WD that took us and Jamal (who came with us as a tourist) to Merzourga in the Sahara. As it turns out, the Sahara looks a lot like you'd expect from the movies. After a short rest, Noelle and I got on our camels and took our camel ride into the desert. We had a private trip, although in practice there were a lot of other tourists here as well. I learned a couple important things: 1. It is very hard to take pictures from a moving camel. 2. The autofocus of the camera has difficulty figuring out what to do with the desert. 

Our camel ride wasn't super long, but we  got back to find we had our own tents to ourselves with no one nearby in our own private camp. They made a fire for us and we had tea in the Sahara, which made me squee a little bit. For dinner we had chicken and vegetables couscous and beef tagine which were delicious as I have come to expect. 

After dinner we had a special treat. Jamal knew that I enjoyed Gnaoua music and he arranged for some local musicians to come and perform for us in our camp! So awesome!
Every now and then rain sprinkles would fall on us, which I guess is pretty uncommon, it being a desert and all.  

We stayed up talking for a long time until it was time to go to sleep. Noelle and I decided to sleep under the stars because it was very hot inside. I woke up around 2:30 and the clouds had gone and Orion and the Milky Way were above us. It was so beautiful I had to get my tripod and camera. This is how I ended the evening, sitting in the sugar fine sand, taking long exposures and writing this post.

We had tea in the Sahara AND we blessed the rains!

Yep! It rained a little last night. But it was so hot we spent 1/2 of the night sleeping under the stars until the Mosquitos decided to join the party. Then we booked it into the tent where we slept with a cricket chirping in our bed all night! Weeeeeeee, African adventure!

Here's some more pictures from yesterday!

Legit Sahara

Saturday, October 5, 2013

More photos being posted up to Flickr!

Tomorrow night, we will be in the Sahara and not blogging at all, so I am trying to push up as many photos as possible tonight to Flickr for you to check out. Here's the Morocco set again, in case you need it! The last couple days are going up now (and we are going to bed)!

I wasn't kidding about the monkeys!

We are 1/2 way to the Sahara! We stopped in places that you would not believe is in Morocco, but the cutest, by far, was the cedar forrest full of monkeys:

Hammam was awesome!

Now we are off to the Sahara in Erfoud. I am told there may be monkeys in the cedar forrest along the way!

Goodbye Fez! You are awesome!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Today is our down day

It's Holy Day here so everything is closed, so we are going to Hammam. 

Tomorrow, we will spend all day driving to Erfoud, which is our staging area for the Sahara.

I hope everyone had a good week!

What I have learned in Morocco, part 1

- People drive around all over the place with their car doors not totally closed. Our driver, Jamal, is very upset about this.

- There are a lot of stairs in this country, and, evidently, I need to go up all of them.

- My right knee is not made to go up stairs.

- Mules are worth more than donkeys.

- What is behind the door is NEVER like what is in front of the door. It's usually way more awesome.

- No one in Fez wears a Fez. Well, they do, but only old guys and not very often.

- Back in the day, people used to group poop. We saw where it happened. Gross.

- There are alternating smells here. Good smell, bad smell. Good smell, bad smell. It's very confusing.

- There are community ovens here. You bring your dough in the morning and pick up at lunchtime. The baker can tell your dough from the dough of 2,500 other people by sight alone. It's crazy.

- Marble used to be worth it's weight in sugar.

More as I get them!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Greetings from Fez!

For the foodies among us, behold your jealousy!


Here's how Coke gets delivered here (nope, this is not a special instance, this is for realz how it happens!)

This is how leather gets dyed:

And in case you thought that there were no pretty doors in this town, here you go:

Fez is awesome!

Pics from Volubilis and Meknes

Here's some Volubilis (roman ruins)

Here's some Meknes:

What our hotels are like: