A Travellerspoint blog

Fes to Erfoud - Thursday, 28 July 2016

Cross the Middle Atlas Mountains. 4WD sunset excursion to the Merzougan sand dunes.

sunny 43 °C

Hotel - Kasbah Xaluca Erfoud - Room 112

Today is our biggest road trip from Fes to Erfoud, 600 kms. We left Fes at 9am and finally, after a very long day, checked into our hotel at Erfoud at about 9.30pm.

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We are heading for the desert and crossed the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas Mountains. We are tavelling on a one lane winding road and it is quite slow. There is not a lot of traffic around but enough big trucks to get stuck behind and slow us down. Abdou is a very careful driver, which is good. He doesn't take any risks which is good for us. The road rules are beyond us so I am VERY glad we have a driver who knows what he is doing.

The scenery has changed and there are a lot of sheep and goats grazing by the road. We stopped for morning tea at Ifrane and bumped into the Belgian couple again who we first saw at the Roman ruins at Volubilius. Ifrane is a 16th century town situated in the Middle Atlas and was re-established by the French Administration in 1929 as a hill station for people working in the hot cities. In winter, the temperature gets down to -9 and the area is covered with snow. We are noticing the pitched rooves on the houses which enable the snow to run off and not cause any problems.

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There is a statue in the park of a lion that Atlas is supposed to have killed. I can't find any documentation to support this theory or even to say who did sculpt it but here is the photo anyway.

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Just after we let Ifrane, we came across a colony of monkeys and the Belgians were there again! This is becoming a habit!

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I usually nod off in the car but the scenery is so fascinating, changing at every turn, that I have stayed awake all day.
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This writing appears on the hills all around here. It says - God Homeland King.

We stopped for lunch at the Taddart Restaurant and guess what? - the Belgians were there too! Their names are Michael and Maria Doutier at they come from Ath in Belgium.

Camel Tagine!

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We were able to order a light lunch - Phil had soup and I had a tomato and mozzeralla salad. That is all we need, especially sitting in a car all day.

On the road again, and we have to keep Abdou awake as after lunch he feels like nodding off, so we are playing a CD of American Marching Bands. It is very stirring music and keeping us all awake and happy.

There are an awful lot of donkeys tied up to rocks all along the edge of the road, in the middle of nowhere. This is mystifying us and Abdou told us that farmers come from everywhere out of the mountains to go the local markets. They catch a taxi back to the donkey once they have their provisions, load it up and off they go back to their homes.

We are now in the High Atlas and the scenery is stunning. It reminds us of the Grand Canyon in America.

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Finally we arrive in Erfoud but continue on driving another 40 kilometers to the Merzougan Camel and Sand Dune Sunset Viewing area. It is now really hot - 43 degrees and it is a pretty remote area, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. My first view of the Saraha is so memorable. These beautiful pink sand dunes. Phil bought a couple of beers and as no glass was offered, I drank my beer, for the first time in my life, straight out of the bottle. This is the place where people can stay overnight in tents. Phil didn't want to do that but I did, but he won that one, and now I am glad he did. It is SO hot and a night in one of those tents would be hell!

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Next we start negotiating the camel ride to the top of the dunes to witness the sunset. Phil doesn't want to go on a camel. He hates camel rides, but I desperately want to go and our driver and the owner shame him into coming with me. The price is dropped from 400 dirhams per person to 300 dirhams, but he is still moaning.

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Because it is the off season, there are only us and another couple so we go off alone with our two camels and their driver. It is great to have all this to ourselves. I was holding on tight and trying to lean backwards as my camel stood up, but nearly fell off, head over heels. Just as well the driver was there to catch me.

We went about five kilometres to the bottom of the second highest dune and then we walked to the top, the driver laid out a blanket and we sat in the peace and quiet and the beautiful surroundings of the pink Saraharan desert waiting for the sunset. Unfortunately, it didn't come as a huge cloud bank rolled in on the horizon and blocked out the sunset.

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Never mind - we scrambled back down the sand dune, me with a bottle of Saraha Desert sand (I wonder if I will be allowed to take it into Australia), mounted our camels and rode back to the camp. It is very hard riding a camel. When they are on the flat it is okay, but going uphill and downhill is very uncomfortable. I almost fell off again when the camel went down on his front legs for the dismount and once again, the driver caught me just in time.

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Riding our camels we were thinking of Nicole Kidman starring as Gertrude Bell in Queen of the Desert and wondered how Gertrude Bell could ride through the desert like this for years. She must have had an ample backside to soften the ride!

We then drove back to Erfoud. How Abdou found his way out of the desert without a road, I'll never know, but we arrived safety at our hotel after a very long day and Phil had a "small discussion" with reception about changing our room to one with a bath. Reluctantly they did and we freshened up and went for dinner at 10pm! We are turning into locals!

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The welcoming committee!

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The hotel is quite different from the Riads we have been staying in. It is very rustic and looks a bit run down and dusty, BUT remember, it is on the edge of the Sahara Desert and trying to keep it pristine and free from sand dust would be impossible. It reminded me of an oasis in the desert.

Off to sleep after a very long, but totally enjoyable day.

Posted by gaddingabout 13:30 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Fes - Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Tour the medina, one of the world's largest walled in cities. Visit the King's Palace, the tanneries and potters. Lunch in a traditional restaurant

sunny 39 °C

Hotel - The Riad Fes - upgrade to the Ambassador's Suite

It is so hot, we slept with the air con on last night, which is something we never do. Phil was pretty restless with his cough so we were both awake a few times during the night.

The bathroom at the end of our connecting corridor has no air conditioning and it is like a sauna - however, it is fantastic for drying clothes so I rinsed all Phil's shirts and tee shirts and they dried overnight. Brilliant.

Breakfast was nice. I had freshly squeezed orange juice, a small glass of rice pudding and then ordered some nos nos (milky coffee) and one fried egg. I even put my finger up, indicating one. But what do I receive - two! I could write a book about ordering boiled eggs in Spain and Portugal (without much success), so now I have taken the safe option, and order fried eggs. But for some reason, one means two!

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Anyway, breakfast over, we met Abdou at 10 am for our guided tour of the Medina (walled city). Mohammad was our local guide today and we started with a visit to the King's Palace, where we had a brief chat with about seven other Aussies, from Melbourne and Queensland.

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Then we drove to a high point for a panoramic view over the city. Saw the Aussies again! They must be following us.

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We called into a pottery place where people who have no jobs and maybe had been in a bit of trouble, are trained as potters. I don't know how long it takes to train a potter, but one guy was in his seventies. They are very good but OH&S would have a field day here. No thank you - nothing for us to buy here.

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Then onto a gold and silver merchant and we saw the son of the man who engraved the doors at the King's Palace, at work. Very intricate work but mind numbing, I would think. No thank you - nothing for us to buy here. Mmmmmmmm, this might be becoming a "shopping opportunity / commission tour" for our guide!

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Then we drove to the medina, where Abdou dropped us off and we continued on foot with Mohammad.

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I wanted to buy a small bottle of perfume as the lid had come off my travelling perfume and soaked into my make up bag (which now smells divine), so we stopped at a perfume shop and I chose j'adour (which is probably not how to spell it) but it was quite light and the girl sold us a small bottle at a very cheap rate.

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Then we were dragged into a carpet shop, sat down, plied with mint tea while the carpets were spread before us. No, no, no. Mohammad couldn't believe I was the one saying no. He says that all the ladies say yes, and the husbands say no! Role reversal in our house. No thank you - nothing for us to buy here.

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Then we were taken to the silk weaving shop which had some very nice pieces of material, but no thank you - nothing for us to buy here.

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By this stage, Mohammad was shaking his head, not believing that we could wander through a medina and buy nothing. He is a very nice guy and speaks good English, albeit a bit fast, and seems to know everyone in the medina. We wandered through the lane ways, taking photos of all sorts of things.

We visited the Tannery which apparently had been featured on Getaway with Catriona Rowntree. On arrival we were given a bunch of mint to hold over our noses as apparently it has a very strong, unpleasant smell. We were on a terrace overlooking the tannery and it did have a smell, but it wasn't all that disagreeable. I felt like I was looking at something from the Middle Ages with huge ponds of hides being soaked and rinsed and dyed. All through the streets of the medina, you see men carrying stacks of dried hides in all different colours, taking them to the factory.

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I asked the owner of the shop how much pay these poor people receive and he said they get paid for the amount of work that they do, but on average about $30 AUD a day! How dreadful. It was like slave labour. It is so hot and must be dreadful for them down there.

Meanwhile, Phil is trying on leather belts and Mohammad is negotiating a good price for little leather magic purses for me to buy for the kids in my reading class at Macquarie Primary in Canberra. Deal done and next thing I know I am upstairs, trying on red leather jackets. I kept saying thank you, they are very nice but I really don't need one. Next minute the too long sleeves are pinned up, Phil is paying for it, and it is whisked off to the factory to have the sleeves shortened and they'll deliver it to us while we are having lunch. I don't know how that all happened, but it did.

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It is actually the softest leather I have ever felt and weighs nothing. It is lovely and I have tried it on back in the Riad, away from all the noise and bustle of the medina, and like it very much.

Walking to the restaurant for lunch, we passed a mosque and Mohammad asked us if it would be okay for him to go in and pray for about 10 minutes. We were happy to sit in the shade and watch the passing parade, while he went into the mosque.

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Next stop is lunch. We said to Mohammad that we only wanted a light lunch. Yes, he said, cooked salad and kebabs. Sounded okay and this is what we were given!!

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While we were having lunch, Mohammad took my shoe away to be glued. Mission completed.

During lunch Phil was speaking with the owner of the restaurant about Type 2 Diabetes and when the owner does his blood test, it is only 1 to 3 and Phil told him that 6 to 8, is the limit and that he doesn't have Type 2 Diabetes at all. All of a sudden they became best buddies!

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We came out the other end of the medina at about 4 pm. We had walked from top to bottom, which is about 5 kms, but you don't realise you are walking that far because of all the things to see. We often passed other tour groups, but they seemed to be walking from the bottom to the top - all up hill - so we were very glad that Mohammad was walking us mostly down hill.

Abdou was waiting for us in the car and drove Phil to an automatic teller as Phil, who usually pays with the card, had had to use cash to pay for lunch and Mohammad for the magic purses, and was running out of money, and had nothing to give Mohammad as a tip. We suspect that the leather shop would pay him quite a bit commission for taking us in there in the first place.

Had a little rest and caught up on some blogging before dinner.

We booked a table for dinner, outdoors near the pond and it was just lovely. Tonight is a lot cooler than last night and there is a pleasant breeze blowing. Sitting under a Moroccan sky, with gentle music playing in the background and the sound of water trickling is a lovely way to enjoy a very pleasant dinner.

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We received our complimentary gaspacho orange soup with beetroot and olive paste snacks.

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Then we shared an entree of fish, cheese and meat spring rolls.

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Then Phil has the Bass that I had last night and I had Ravioli, stuffed with ricotta and with a tomato sauce. They were both really nice.

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For dessert Phil had a chocolate fondant thing and I had Creme Brulee. Both were yummy. As usual, we were the only ones in the restaurant and the others are just starting to roll in now as we are leaving!

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Early night tonight as we are leaving for Erfoud tomorrow at 9 am.

Posted by gaddingabout 13:58 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Rabat to Volubilis to Meknes to Fes - Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Visit the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis. Visit Moulay Idris, one of the holiest cities in Morocco. Lunch at the imperial city Meknes.

sunny 44 °C

Hotel - The Riad Fes - upgrade to The Ambassador's Suite

We both had a great night's sleep in the peaceful, perfumed environment that is La Villa Mandarine. In fact, we love it so much, we are thinking of telling Abdou to leave us here and come back in 10 days to collect us! Only joking. There is so much more of this amazing country to experience.

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We are off to Fes today, with a few stops on the way. It is supposed to be 41 degrees in Fes today, but that is to be expected as we are heading inland. At least it's dry heat and not humid.

We had a few places to visit in Rabat before we left. The first stop was Chellah or Sala Colonia, a medieval fortified necropolis. It has existed since pre-Christian times and is the most ancient settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River. Chellah was a centre of Christianity since the second century. Sala remained linked to the Roman Empire even after the withdrawal of Roman Legions in the fourth century. The site was eventually abandoned in 1154 AD and the Almohad dynasty used the ghost town as a cemetery.

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In the mid 14th century, Sultan Abu I-Hasan built monuments and a main gate. Additions later included a mosque and royal tombs. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake destroyed many of the structures and today, the site has been converted to a garden and tourist venue.

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Then we visited the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. It contains the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan Ii and Prince Abdullah. The building is considered a masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture, with its white silhoutte, topped by a typical green tiled roof, green being the colour of Islam. Hassan II was buried there in 1999.

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All the ladies visiting the Mausoleum were quite taken with this cute guard, especially his eyes. He saw me zooming in on his face and gave me a huge wink!

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As we were leaving Rabat, we passed the area again where the Royal Family live. I counted 36 policemen and Army guards along the road, and that was just the front. There would be dozens more down the side roads and the back. Keeps them gainfully employed I guess. Also, everywhere we look we see police with radar guns and they are always pulling someone over for speeding.

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The countryside is now becoming very dry and barren looking and it is getting very hot - I mean very hot. It's about 44 but feels like 64!

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We arrived in Meknes and drove inside the Imperial City. Moulay Ismail ruled Morocco for 55 years until his death in 1727. Tens of thousands, mainly Christian slaves kidnapped from European villages as far north as Iceland by Moroccan pirates, worked and died to complete more than 50 palaces, the 20 gates and a city wall 45 km long.

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Among the most impressive elements of the imperial city is the grand gate named after its architect, El Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam. The gate was completed five years after Moulay Ismal's death in 1732. However, the story goes that Moulay Ismail inspected the gate, asking El-Mansur if he could do better. El-Mansur answered yes which made the sultan so furious, he had him executed. But, according to historical records, the gate was finished AFTER Moulay Ismail's death.

Imagine parking a Winnebago right in front of the gate! We had to ask them to move it so we could take a shot.

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We drove around the corner and visited the old royal stables. In their hey day, the stables housed 12,000 horses! Hard to imagine, but the area was huge and I took some great shots.

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We went to lunch in quite a nice restaurant but we were the only ones in there. Very funny. We shared a lamb tagine and cous cous and it was nice. At the end of our meal, we had some lovely sweet ginger and mint tea. It was gorgeous. Then eight Chinese girls arrived just as we were finishing our lunch.

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We then drove to Moulay Idris, one of the holiest cities in Morocco. It sits astride two green hills in a cradle of mountains about five kilometres from Volubilis. Pilgrims used to flock there because it is named for Moulay Idress, a great grandson on the Prophet Mohammed. His tomb is in the centre of the town. Until the mid 20th century, it was closed to non-Muslims but that has long disappeared and all visitors are welcome.

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Next stop the 2000 year old Roman ruins of Volubilis. Those Romans are everywhere. The Roman Empire certainly must have been something to see. It is 3.00 pm and it is BOILING! These ruins are too good to miss, so off we treked. IT IS HOT AND WE ARE DYING. There were only about eight other people at the ruins, so most of our photos don't include people. We were there for about an hour, but I could hardly wait to get back to the car. Everything is wet. Even my hair is dripping! This can't be good for our bodies.

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The drive to Fes took an hour along a windy, mountain road. The colours of these hills are just amazing.

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It took me all that time to recover from the heat in Volubilis. Our Riad in Fes in inside the old town, so Abdou had to park outside the wall and we walked in.

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I am so glad we decided to pack down and just take our carry-on bags. It makes life a lot easier. This Riad is nice too, in it's own way but nothing like our Rabat one. Actually. the Riad in Rabat was a home, owned by a French family and when the parents died, the children decided to turn it into a going concern.

The Fes Riad was once five huge houses that were joined together. It has the beautiful perfume permeating all through the corridors and rooms. It is only two stories high, but has tiled steps going everywhere.

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We were greeted with a lovely cool drink and a snack and then we were shown to our room on the first floor. It was very unique but it didn't have a bath so Phil rang Reception and we were upgraded to the Ambassador's Suite, with a bath, 20 foot ceilings, a very huge bedroom and a corridor leading to our bathroom. We can lock off the outside door to the entry to our area and keep it private, which is good, because the curtains are a bit see-through!

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After settling in, we went for a swim. The water was actually cold. Don't know why, because it is 44 degrees. Maybe our bodies were so hot that it made the water feel cold.

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We dressed for dinner and again, were the only ones in the restaurant. What is going on. Ah yes, we were there at 8.30 pm and as we were leaving at 10pm, the other guests start to arrive. I had Bass Fish and Phil had a lamb tagine and we were naughty tonight and had a dessert.

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We are here for two nights which will be nice. We went up on the roof after dinner for a look over Fes at night and all we could hear were 100 different calls to prayer. What a noise. We caught a tiny two person lift to the roof and it was so claustrophobic that it reminded me of the pokey lift in Kuching that I was very glad to get out of. I was reminding Phil of that when the lift arrived at the second floor, AND THE DOOR WOULDN'T OPEN! OMG! Mild panic set in and then Tarzan Phil pulled the doors open with his bare hands. I was so relieved. Needless to say, I took the stairs back down to our room.

Posted by gaddingabout 08:49 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Tangier to Rabat - Monday, 25 July 2016

Visit the Caves of Hercules where you can view a reversed map of Africa carved out of the cave walls by the ocean.

sunny 31 °C

Hotel - The Villa Mandarine Rabat - Room 12

Had a good night's sleep even though we didn't get to bed until midnight. These "mediterranean" hours are killing us, especially when we have to be up early on the bus. However, for our Morocco trip, it is just Phil, me and Abdou who at this moment is now 15 minutes late (and counting)!

My mobile rang at 4.00 am. I keep forgetting to turn it off. I heard the call to prayer at some time in the early morning and Phil coughing and spluttering, but all in all, had a good rest. Windows wide open and a gorgeous breeze blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean.

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Sunrise at about 7.30 this morning.

We had breakfast in the same courtyard where we had dinner and it was cool and lovely. I had fresh fruit and dates and a crunchy pancake with honey. Very Moroccan and nos nos coffee (which is basically milky coffee). Some photos of the staff uniforms.

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After breakfast we decided to pack down and put our Moroccan clothes into our carry on and back pack so we can leave our big suit cases in the car for the next ten days.

Phil paid our drinks bill. Large bottle of water was 7 aussie dollars and the beer was 6 dollars and two glasses of wine at dinner was 22 dollars! The water is dearer than the beer but in this part of the world, water is power.

Abdou turned up at 10.25 am - we are on our way to Rabat.

We owe Abdou an apology though he didn't know we thought he was late. No one told us to put our watches back an hour so in fact, he turned up half an hour early and was hoping to have his nos nos before hitting the road but because we were sitting in the foyer, he loaded the car and off we went.

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On reflection, the pilot did mumble something yesterday as we were landing but neither of us heard or understood what he said. There are no clocks in reception and none in our room and for some strange reason, my mobile didn't change it's time either (still hasn't and I can't seem to do it manually).

So, off we went through the streets of Tangier to the lighthouse where we took some photos. We passed some camels on the way. No, said Abdou, they are dromaderrys - only one hump. You learn something new every day!

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Then we visited the Caves of Hercules where we saw a reversed map of Africa, carved out of the cave walls by the ocean. The caves were damp and cool but outside it is very hot with that gale force wind blowing again. Apparently it blows all the time in Tangier.

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On the road to Rabat which is about 220 kms away. The landscape is quite green with plantations of fir trees!! I know, what are fir trees doing growing in a place as hot and dry as Morocco but Abdou tells us they grow them to make forrests! There are also plantations of cork trees and there is prickly pear everythere. He says they eat the fruit and make an oil from the plants, which is very expensive - 1000 Euros a kilo. I couldn't make out what the oil is actually used for but it must be good at that price.

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We stopped along the way at a most grotty service station where Abdou had his nos nos, so Phil and I had one too. It is quite strong but it was nice to break the journey and get out of the car. We are the only strangers in the place.

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There are police everywhere along the roads, checking rego, speed, seat belts. Abdou is a good driver and doesn't speed.

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We arrived in Rabat and Abdou took us down to the coast for lunch. It is windy and humid but it was quite pleasant sitting on a balcony overlooking the sea, eating our lunch. I had a Caprese salad and Phil had calamari and a beer. The restaurant was called the Borj Eddar.

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This is a huge cemetery just near our luncheon place. They are not very well maintained and have lots of weeds and high grass growing all over them.

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Then off to our Riad, which is situated in a very nice area. We drove through the Embassy Belt and around a couple of corners and here we are in our own little paradise. It is just beautiful. It smells SO nice. We have a lounge room, a bedroom, a dressing room, a bathroom and a separate toilet, our own terrace and "back garden". There are peacocks wandering around everywhere.

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It is hot and humid so we are going to have a swim.

The pool was just lovely and the swim was just what we needed to cool off.

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We wandered down for dinner at about 8.30 pm and I was surprised to see so many people there. They usually don't start until we are leaving at about 10 pm.

Our evening meals have been prepaid and so far, we have had a great selection of food. Tonight Phil had vegetable soup and I had goat's cheese salad with honey and sesame; for main I had fillet of fish with vegetables and Phil had steak and mushrooms and received a surprise when it came out on a bed of pasta; and for dessert I had orange salad with cinnamon and Phil had sorbet.

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It was very pleasant sitting under the Moroccan skies, sipping wine and enjoying the warm evening temperature with a slightly perfumed breeze while Canberra is freezing. The owners of La Villa Mandarine have planted lots of highly perfumed plants in the garden so there is always the most delightful fragrance permeating the buildings.

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I love this place!

Posted by gaddingabout 14:40 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Madrid to Tangier - Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bye bye Spain - Hello Morocco!

sunny 31 °C

Hotel - The El Minzah Tangier - Room 120

Went down for breakfast in Madrid at 7.30 am only to discover a whole new Scenic group that we think came off the Douro River cruise. They seem quite a pleasant, happy and friendly bunch, as opposed to the group we have been with for the last two weeks! Enough said! Had a quick breakfast and said goodbye to Eddie and Coral and Cvetta and Grant. They are about the only ones left from our group now.

Our driver was waiting in the foyer for us at 8.30 am in a lovely black mercedes and we whizzed off to the airport in about 15 minutes. Not much traffic around on a Sunday morning.

Madrid Airport is only about seven years old and it is huge. No photos allowed but the exterior is quite unique.

Then the "procedure" began.

We found the Iberian Airways desk and checked in. Easy. Our bags were 22 and 23 kgs and we thought perhaps we might have to pay for them being overweight, but not so. Good. The boarding pass is very "busy" with lots of writing and numbers and we were told to head for the section called RSB. We went through security, customs and then took the escalator down to a train station. We hopped on and were informed it was a one stop train. It was quite fast but seem to take a very long time to get to where we were going. We then followed the signs to Section S and we waited and waited for about an hour until a gate number was promulgated next to our flight.

So we walked to Gate 42 as our flight was boarding in about 30 minutes and I noticed that we didn't have a seat number on our boarding pass. When the girl came to the counter, I checked with her and she allocated us a seat. There were only three left. Phil was in 10D and I was in 15C. We didn't care. At least we had seats on the flight. Boarding commenced and we walked down the finger, then down some steps, then onto the tarmac, then boarded a bus, and off we went again. Finally, we boarded our flight but had to wait on board until the next bus load of passengers arrived. It took us longer to get from the check in desk to boarding the plane than it did to fly to Tangier!

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The flight took about 1 hour 15 mins and food and drink were offered during the flight but payment was required, even for water. I was sitting on the aisle and when we were coming into land, all I could see was water so I was hoping that the pilot at least could see land! He did and we landed safely.

Tangier has a small airport and as we were the only plane landing at the time, it was very easy to walk through the airport, find our bags, go through immigration and customs and a final bag check and we were in the main hall, trying to locate our guide for the next 10 days. There was no one in sight, until a security guard pointed outside the airport to a fence, where people were lined up, waiting to meet the passengers from our flight. They are not allowed inside the airport. I suppose it's a security thing but quite funny.

We made contact with Abdou and walked to the car. It is blowing an absolute gale. Some of the small trees are almost hitting the ground. It's warm but pleasantly so. The drive to the hotel took quite a while but we chatted happily with Abdou and got to know him.

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Our hotel is lovely. Our room wasn't ready which was a bit of a pain, so we had to sit in a restaurant by the pool, and have a beer while we waited. It was the dearest beer we have had for a while, about $7AUD. We tried to order a snack but there was a buffet lunch in the dining room and we didn't want that but we just couldn't get them to show us a snack menu. They are frightfully busy as a Saudi King's daughter is getting married in Tangier and the town is full. There were three Saudi Jumbos at the airport when we landed. They had brought the guests for the wedding. I think we waited about an hour and Phil went back to reception to see what was going on. The conceirge finally took us to our room and the girls were still cleaning it but we didn't mind. We have a lovely view over the harbour and we have the windows open and a gale is blowing but it's nice.

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We went for a walk and found a nice place where the beer was three times cheaper than the hotel and ordered a salad and a meat and bean tapas arrived as well.

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Took a few photos and came back to the hotel for a siesta.

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We certainly know we are in a Muslim country. I just heard the loudest, most agonizing, out of tune call to prayer, ever. Better get used to it.

Phil lost his voice a couple of days ago, and is starting to get it back, but still has a bit of a cold.

We have half board at all our accommodation over the next 10 days which means breakfast and dinner is included. We wandered down into our lovely courtyard for dinner this evening at 9.15 pm and were the first there. It is still a bit early for the locals. We left at 10.15 pm and they were just starting to wander in then.

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We both had a lovely vegetable soup and then Phil had steak and I had chicken and couscous with almonds and raisins. It was just lovely. The flavours were so different. Sometimes it even tasted like eating perfume! But it was so huge, I really didn't do it justice. From now on, I think I'll order from the entree menu and then I'll have a better chance of finishing it.

Took some photos of the pool at night time and now settling down for a relaxing night's sleep. I imagine we'll be woken by the call to prayer at some ungodly hour in the morning! Having trouble down loading photos into my blog, but I will try to keep up with the dialogue and publish when I can.

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Posted by gaddingabout 08:53 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

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