Saturday, February 21, 2009

maroc... actually a vacation - by b

i had a really good time in morocco (vs the stress of israel a few weeks ago). it definitely spoke to me. i loved the bustle of the people, the beautiful old architecture and the kind of beatupness of it. in fact, last night here in barcelona, i was missing it and craving the energy. arel was at a sleepover and i was having no luck convincing dorian and kristin to leave The House on the Hill of Inertia.. so I headed to town with my book and read and read in a couple of bars in our extended neighborhood.

i love small airports and the one in marrackech certainly is small. very mellow. i had a feeling as soon as we walked off the back of the plane and onto the tarmac that this was going to be a good vacation

after a severely dour passport official processed us we entered the main hall of the airport. here is the ceiling. a modern take on the patterns that are everywhere.. the tiles, the window shutters...

the walls

kristin had arranged a taxi online from spain. the driver's name was fatah. of course this made me think of the fatah party in the west bank and i couldn't remember if fatah meant victory or struggle. now that i'm writing i looked up fatah in wikipedia ("The name Fatah (Arabic: فتحFatḥ, meaning "opening" or "victory") is a reverse acronym of the Arabic حركة التحرير الوطني الفلسطينيth Ḥarakat al-Taḥrīr al-Waṭanī al-Filasṭīnī, meaning "Palestinian National Liberation Movement". Ḥataf (حتف) means "sudden death", so the word was reversed to yield Fataḥ (فتح) meaning "opening". [1] The word Fatah is prominently used for the Islamic expansion in the first centuries of Islamic history, and so has a positive connotations for Muslims.")

Anyway.. here are Fatah and Kristin in his large old mercedes.

back of the taxi

Todd the Brit met us at the taxi stand in Essaouira, took us to his house and then gave us his tour of the town. Here he is walking kristin and the kids (i'm sure dorian was sighing!) along the ramparts about a minute from the house...

we found a fez in the house

i went out for a run early the next morning. i was on the beach and it was really misty. i couldn't see very far ahead. every once in a while i'd hear these grunts and yells.. and then i'd come across an early saturday morning football game on the beach.

roof terrace.. it wasn't really warm enough to hang out up there.. but it was beautiful to sit for a while and hear and smell the sea

out for a coffee and a hot choco with arel at place moulay hassan --- the main square in town

ocean vagabond at the beach.. dorian about to bite into his "oceanique"

going for a ride on the dunes

my feelings twoards garbanzo beans have changed this year. i'm a fan now. these salted ones, a bit al dente, were supertasty

satellite tv from all over the arab world. i don't know if this was a game show or some kind of judge judy thing.. but i had to watch for a while.

morning coffee

more doing not much of anything at all at ocean vagabond

dorian's slippers

oh... the real world out there... but for these few days....

kristin and a seagull

shrimp and henna

another ride.. here is arel with a guide on another horse

he was an acrobat we found out when we got to an old castle with a wall for jumping

arel wasn't up for flipping, but he did some jumping. here he is with yusuf.. a berber from the village right next to essaouira called diabet (where jimi hendrix hung out for a couple of weeks)

my horse was, in fact, called jimi hendrix. arel's was che guevarra. the dog that came along was named scooby doo. on the way back we galloped. i was alone. but arel got adult supervision for the fast run back.

leaving essaouria on our secnod-last day.. heading to grab some breakfast at place moullay hassan and then to the bus stop. the house we stayed in was gorgeous. the street... kinda skank in the mornings after a night of wind

in marrackech we stayed in a really nice riad... a house with an interior garden. it was a mid-end place by price... and really nice.

the pool wasn't exactly warm.. but those are our bedrooms thru the door. the boys had the idea of filling the bathtub with warm water and going back and forth. hottub.

as kristin wrote, we left the boys at the riad (not in the pool) and walked the couple of minutes to Djemaa el Fna. we walked in the covered markets for a while and then out onto the square where the nighttime food stands were just getting setup. we stopped for some very sweet tea and a ginger cake with sesame. this is the place we walked later again, after supper. i don't have photos of the stands then.. in fact i don't have photos of the most incredible things i saw in morocco. i don't really have either the skill or the camera to take the pictures i really want to.. this square of Djemaa el Fna is really incredible.

last day... a mellow day...morning run

goofing off in the room

we walked out of the medina the way we came in... we found a "grand taxi" vs the "petit" that only takes three people .. and headed to airport
To Airport