Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Cold Land with a Hot sun

As we sit in the Medina of Fes, there were a few things from Spain that we didn't have a chance to update you with; so here's a quick flashback:

We took a day trip south to the beach town of Sitges. A great escape it turned out to be to get away from Barcelona. As the sun came out, the ocean turned blue and we kicked off our shoes to chill in the sand. What started as a cool day, ended with us sitting in the warm Mediterranean sun sipping on Sangria...or at least Kate was.

Kate enjoys the view in Sitges
Personally, I still counldn't think about a beverage after the Czech incident!! But after a little convincing, a large beer ended up at my seat. SUPLISE!!!!!
A little later in the night, back in the City, I realized we may be missing out on one of the wildest construction spectacles in a long time: The Sagrada Familia. If you don't know about it, here's a quick rundown: It started being built in 1889 and it won't be completed for another 25 years! What a sight it was!!! Maybe we'll go back when it's done.

Gaudi Church in Barcelona

Off to Morocco we go.

A great British couple we met at the Riad Amira told us of a saying about this Country: It's a cold land with a hot sun, in the winter months. Couldn't have said it better any other way! Marrakech gets quite warm, as opposed to Fes, which has been comfortable.
Marrakech is a historic city; not doubt. It was surprisingly touristy with the locals associating tourists with $$$$$. Kind of unfortunate as you cannot make eye contact without being asked to buy their stuff, but I mentioned that earlier. Other than that and the really bad air quality, the city is wonderful!!

CocaCola in Arabic

Main square in the Marrakech Medina
We love the food here, safron, cumin, citrus, all blend together so well. The Souks in the medina have some great products, so the mind was busy taking it all in.
Our Riad was started by a young couple from Spain who have a nice thing going, so it made for a great place to escape the city every now and then. The rooftop is very chill, and gave a nice view of the Atlas mountains, a mosque, and the fighter jet demos in the far distance.

It was bound to happen: a less than pleasant travel day; but I don't think quite up to par with PJ & Blut's in South America. A 7 hour train ride from Marrakech to Fes turned into 10 with no AC on the first day of a weeklong holiday for Moroccan residents. It was like a sardine can; packed, hot, and no airflow. Fortunately, our compartent had younger travelers so it made for good company. We are sure it'll happen again.
The city of Fes actually reminds us of Golden/Boulder/Denver! Foothills on either side with a large city in the valley.

Above Fes
Our Riad strange at first, but it is turning out to be one of the best places we have stayed.

Riad Ghida bedroom
The staff at the Ghida is very accomodating and they make a heckuva Tajine Chicken. Recommended to us by some of the kindest Aussies staying in the same place, we decided to use a guide to show us around Fes. (SEE YOU IN APRIL!!) Fes is LARGE, and its historic Medina district is confusing compared to Marrakech's and the vendors haggle even more. We thought it would be a good place to try one. Rashid looked like a Moroccan version of Danny DeVito! GREAT! Since he has a car, we were able to cover a lot of ground and he brought us to some spots that otherwise we probably wouldn't know about. Some highlights were The Jewish cemetary, hilltop city views, Tannery (but strange at the same time), and the ceramic tile/pottery factory. It was money well spent.

Mosque in the Medina

Also, what would we do without the internet? In countries where they wash clothes by hand and hang dry, a lot of locals appear to use these caf├Ęs as a way to call friends and family with Skype!! And they're everywhere!! So, if you have Skype, let us know and keep it signed never know if you might get a call.

We love hearing from everyone, so speak to you all soon. Enjoy the new photo galleries on the right.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Bon jour, bon amie
Michigan just lost big time to Mich. State on national TV. So, getting your latest travel update helped lift my spirits! Your Moroccan adventures have spurred me on to read my travel info. & start getting ready for my trip-can't wait. Planning to call Marty & Stu for a baby arrival update.
Are you staying well - keep eating yoghurt! Aunt Ann