Joined July 2017 Message
  • Day18

    Casablanca encore

    February 24, 2020 in Morocco ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Breakfast at the Passage Souimka - and 2 almond fourrie pour moi!!
    As delicious as I remember - I ask the clerk if he speaks english - his reply , very clearly
    'not very well' - lovely -

    Lunch at Venezia ice (includes ice-cream) on Zerktoni Blvd. --

    We go to Habbous..by olives and some spices - Deb some lovely Berber style earrings-we walk to my pastry shop Moulay Ismail - almond pastries not ready - return downhill for an
    avocado juice (forgot to say no sugar) / coffee -- return for pastries 1kg in 2 boxes - 170mad per kilo.

    Return to Hamam - Im surprised 2 people remember me and my name 'Valerie' how nice to see you - it's been a long time!!

    Home to hotel we are happily relaxed and ready for a quite evening - Deb says the hamam maybe her 'highlight' ..we both had gummage she an additional massage - we are both very clean, relaxed.

    ...mmm seems I've lost my beloved red-hat -- I like it and everyone I travel with likes it because they can find me!!

    February 25
    Tuesday morning - breakfast again at the patisserie and I buy 2 to bring home then we
    walk to the Central Market - although it opens at 7 - there is little activity - shops just beginning to open..we buy spices, organic (huge) dates, walnuts and navel oranges to bring home. We ask for one v.large orange to be weighted 650g!!- didnt buy it.
    Oranges are 12mad per kg...about 1.50cad so about the same price as us - we're about
    1.69
    We've also had two tastes of fresh strawberries about 8mad for 500grams - they were delicious and red all the way through!!

    Our car is ready at 1.30 off to the airport - tickets say Terminal 2 but of course we are
    at Terminal 1 - long walk - 300mad trip to airport.

    It's been lovely much as I remember and I did remember some!
    - much cleaner than I remember, including the medina
    - blue sky clear and goes for miles or kilometres!
    - food delicious
    - one squat toilet in 3weeks!!
    - people helpful and friendly and appreciative of a word or two of arabic
    Hamdalilah - thank God for a wonderful visit!
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  • Day16

    Casablanca... pour la denier fois

    February 22, 2020 in Morocco ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    We arrive about noon - harrira at 'la fleur' not the best but available!

    We walk to the old medina - I can't find the vegetable market -- quite busy, We buy
    'mitts' for the hamam...and dodge groups of 'clandestine' immigrants from sub-saharan Africa who are here waiting to find a way to Europe - not loads of them (mostly male) but a bit daunting all the same.
    I do a trial walk to the boulangerie with the best 'fourrie' in Casablanca - about 8min from the hotel - all the doormen are happy to give me suggestions! I make it - ready for breakfast tomorrow!

    We eat dinner in the hotel - we like the food and choice but one restaurant is trying to set a 'certains standard' and the servers are quite 'snooty' -- almost underbearable. The style is the new deconstructed - I have tangi one night - tasty! The millefaille with amalou also
    deconstructed - not quite so impressive.

    HassanII mosque is on our list - we are late starting out but fortunately so are the tours we catch the 10qam english!! - about 20 people in our group. The Mosque never fails to impress - it is beautiful and showcase of all the best workmanship in Morocco -- we go
    from here to the ridiculous Morocco Mall - 100mad and about 20min away -

    The Mall doesn't seem nquite as 'glitz' as when I saw new and the french store AuPrimtemps is no longer here. However lots of people with 'bags' so someone is buying!
    We have a lovely lunch sittiing on the balcony looking at the Atlantic Ocean...really nice.

    Take the Casablanca Tram back to centre ville and hotel - the trip is 8mad and 13stops!!
    A little difficult to see where we should transfer but everyone very helpful - Im following Deb!

    Another dinner in hotel
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  • Day15

    El Jadida

    February 21, 2020 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ -13 °C

    Hitch a ride with hotel staff who agrees to take us to 'Acima" which I understand is close
    by - it isn't!!
    Enjoyed trolling the shelves - by Amelou (hali basaaf- very expensive ) about $10 for a 6oz jar. ..also by some oranges - the navels are in season and wonderful.

    Taxi back to centre town the driver says no time for prayer - he asks another taxi - same
    first man re-consideres thinks he can take us on his way!! -- we stop for coffee at a shop where Mohamed and I met.....slow walk to Erics - where I have couscous and mille faille.
    Very nice food and nice environment and on the way home so all good!
    Weather remains terrific about 25c - sand beach is 'hard' and easy for walking and very
    long - Police/on horseback are out patrolling.

    Leave Saturday morning for last visit to Casablanca.
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  • Day14

    ElJadida

    February 20, 2020 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ -14 °C

    Ibis hotel is just as I remember - although I think the food is better.
    We can see/hear the ocean from our room and our window opens - yeah!

    The first afternoon we walk to the neared cafe for coffee - I learn a favourite
    cafe is closed for renovations Mazagan and it was on the top floor so a terrific
    view!

    The next day off to the City Portuguese /cisterns - by petite taxi -- cisterns are in amazingly
    good condition...we stroll around the old fortress which is still very much inhabited - many
    europeans -- stop at an 'everything' shop where Deb tried her (successful)negotiating skills the asking price for a lovley Berber 'style' necklace 120mad - she countered and paid 80mad.
    Walk through the Medina of ElJadida looking for a fish restaurant 'Teckquickta' ?? - classic fish restuarant with 3 large skillets bubbling with hot, hot, oil presparing frit platters (I order
    one) with no language no english, no french we managed a fish lunch!!

    Slow walk home we stop at Erics - pastry shop --for coffee.

    Dinner at hotel
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  • Day10

    Marrakech - Casablanca-Oulidia

    February 16, 2020 in Morocco ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    We leave Marrakech at 10 Saturday with driver Mohamed in a comfortable black Skoda of the Renault family....about 2.5 hrs later we are deli eres to the Odyssee hotel.
    A stop at CTM - hoping to buy tickets for our round trip Casablanca-oulidia-el jadida- Casablanca...first step ok 85mad .(12$??) But bus from Oulidia is full. We do a walk around the block stop at a pastry shop..and for coffee..deb has changed from cawa Mareesa to Americano with à small jug of milk "on the side " which usually comes v.hot....
    Sunday morning after breakfast we walk 10min down the street to CTM station. We are a small group waiting to board..i sit separate ..another window seat as the bus is not full.
    We take the Auto route about 2hrs later arrive in Oulidia..the countryside is quite green and it seems some crops are sprouting.
    Searching for a taxi ..someones friend in a broken down black car -- police style no door handles on inside takes us down the hill to Oulidia.

    Sunday/Monday/Tuesday we are enjoying tiny Oulidia..it hasn't changed much down on the beach side. We tour l'Initial where I fell into the restaurant many years ago learning the Arabic for ice - "telsh" as staff ran for ice to relieve my hurt knee!!..lunch at Arraigne of the sea-a very unusual fish tagine--tasty and return to l'Hippicampe for coffee..they have a glass covered outdoor room which is lovely on a cool very windy day like today.
    We are 2 of about 6 guests - they leave the next day sooooo!...it is cool enough for a fire which is bright/crackly!
    Next day we tackle the hill to the main street..many more shops than I remember..check with CTM bus remains full lvg Oulidia...we head to Crystal Palace and share cheeseburger/fries..quite good @ 45mad (6.50)...after several attempts ..my usual approach of asking young people 16/17 as they likely have some English doesn't work here in fact no French either!! Never mind we're determined and find the local bakery 1cookie, 2 macaroons, 1 Palmier and 12 mad we have our afternoon treat.

    ..with no room on the bus we decide to take a "big taxi" to El Jadida...lvg with "Hassan"..we stop once to deliver oysters, once for Hassan to say 'I'll return and take you to Oulidia" and finally a 3sec stop into a hanoot for cigars then to our hotel Ibis on the beach promenade.
    400 mad = ? $60cad.
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  • Day9

    Marrakech in 2 Days

    February 15, 2020 in Morocco ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Just lost my note..have to repeat!! Ugģh

    9am start to Medina ..Bahia Palace beautiful carved cedar and tile work. Head of French protectorate lived here had fireplaces instaĺled.
    Sultan (before the French) had room for 4 wives 24 concubines and children! HUGE
    Walk through medina visit synagogue museum..only 100? Jewish people left in Marrakech.
    Lunch chicken Pastilla and fresh navels for dessert.
    Onto YSL museum..quite large display of dresses most intense colors, next door Majorelle garden..with coffee shop -lemon ice with spiced coffee! ,next next door Berber museum with exceptional (+beautiful) display of women's jewellery.
    Find shop "my cawa" selling spiced coffee 7 envelopes for 50mad. Individually things seem low price but somehow we are always searching for a bank. I have had lots of trouble with my bank card..never in the past but this time even my favourite Attijarawafa won't give me $$..i call Scotia bank..no help they say try another ATM I've tried..5!!
    Evening we set out with guide for jama El Fnaa - Calgary stampede midway on steroids! Taste of fresh o.j. ..glass about 8oz ..4mad and benina!
    Tired/sleep.
    Valentines day in Marrakech ..quiet day, breakfast, read by pool ( beautiful but not heated) then into Gueliz (new town) visit Place vendome where I buy the same leather wallet I bought about 10ys ago 480 mad big reduction to 440 - I take it. Visit Jeff De Bruges who is doing a "western" trade in chocolate Valentine's!
    Coffee..Deb likes coffee mareesa which we've been told is cafe casse but she keeps getting my nauss/nauss which is my coffee more like latte now we're told order mareesa forte??
    Easy day home for dinner.

    Saturday 10am off to Casablanca..private car Skoda/Renault..v comfortable good divided highway speed 120kph..arrive about 1pm.
    Same hotel Odyssee centre in center Ville.. Harrira at leFleur..CTM for tickets..get Casa to Oulidia but cannot get Oulidia to El jadida Will wait and see the info we get in Oulidia??? Isn't travel fun!
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  • Day6

    Marrakech via Ifrane

    February 12, 2020 in Morocco ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Leave Fez 9am temp about 13c....take the National ..local ..road to Ifrane. Beautiful village which has snow Dec/Jan ..none now - coffee and -msemen!
    First I've had this trip hope not the last.
    Leave Ifrane about 11.30 heading for Marrakech.via the auto route. The fast highway is a v good road with tolls approx50mad for family car.
    Countryside is very green "they"report not much rain ?
    Pass by large fields of wheat also orchards of Apples
    The ever present olives and onions which are grown in raised rock bolder rows which are hollow filled with dirt seed/starter plants covered with grass/hay and then plastic!
    A few almonds with lovely pink blossoms.
    Stop just outside Casablanca for lunch..at a highway stop..good..and of course nuess.nuess after the meal and Deb her cawa mareesa!
    Getting be a bit of a long haul but now last leg to Marrakech. We arrive about 6pm heavy traffic...hotel far out and new ...not my style!
    Buffet dinner is just ok..lovely pool is unheated.
    Lion is from Ifrane
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  • Day5

    A

    February 11, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    Enjoy great baguette and Harira soup for breakfast..today coffee is hot-yeah!
    Off to Meknes ..stopping enroute at Volubulis..Romans 250BC about 20,000
    People. Mosaics are still very clear..house outlines,
    Baths ..most enjoyable ..pass by town of Moulay I email.. name of my favourite pastry shop in Casablanca...onto Meknes..tagine lamb/with prunes
    Oranges/strawberries for dessert - mint tea..spend an hour or so in souk ..lots of shoes for sale!
    Find a coffee shop of course only male clients we try to sit outside but cannot ..take first table inside...coffee served in " footed" cup then waiter brings container of hot milk ..how much you like and only 7mad for nuess-nuess Cabeera!
    Short cut route back to Fez.
    Dinner we are offered creme caramel for dessert we had that last night so ask if there is a choice..."seasonal" fruit ..thinking of those wonderful strawberries I say "yes then to Deb as long as itsnot
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  • Day4

    FEZ

    February 10, 2020 in Morocco ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    9.30 we start by visiting the Fez palace gates ..bronze
    Lovely and huge ..his palace grounds are approximately 85 hectares...originally built in 13 century.
    Off to a lookout stop ..then the pottery and tile place..tagine for 2 is about 120$. Beautiful colours.
    Now we are in the medina. walking walking ..my feet are tired, visit a carpetcoop colours and craft..womanship is fabulous. Another stop where they weave agave silk ..yes from agave cactus! Scarves are v soft with beautiful colours about 3$cad.
    Have heard of "clock cafe"..must go to old city which is newer than Medina...also dirtier more "ordinary" Tues what another travel story for me it's closed for renovations!
    End up in "regular" place couscous with chicken but delicious fresh strawberries bought at 1/2 kg for 8mad=1$cad!
    We've walked miles up and down stairs ..also took in the tanneries of Fez..now take my feet home! Back to hotel l'Escale.
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