Saturday, 19 April 2008

Morocco Part 1

This is going to be a long, ongoing process. There are just too many photos to dig through all at once. So I'm going to do this in stages. Here's the first installment.

When we arrived in Marrakech, we jumped straight in a taxi and drove out to a tiny little town about 3 hours South. When I say drove . . . I don't mean we meandered through the lovely countryside and arrived unshaken at our Auberge. No. I mean that the driver took the single lane, mostly mountain roads at 60+ miles/hour. I was in the back of the mini-van, and there were no seat belts, so I was being tossed about to and fro, up and down. I swear I hit my head on the ceiling at least 3 times! And the driving style in Morocco is different, too. When you come up behind someone who's going slower than you, it's not your responsibility to patiently wait till there's a clear bit and you can pass. Nope. You honk your horn, and THEY have to get out of your way! It was one of the strangest rides I've ever had in my life.

We arrived to our Auberge in the late evening. So we threw our stuff into our rooms and ran off to dinner. The menu was in French. No English. Nothing but French! So we struggled through, me looking for similarities to Spanish, Grandma pulling out her old University French Vocabulary. Eventually we managed to order. In Morocco the most common type of dish is called a Tagine. A Tagine is a conical pot where the bottom is a disk and the top is a cone that sits down on top. You put the meat and any long cooking veg in there, cover it up and set it on a coal burner for 1.5/2 hours (depending on the meat). Towards the end of said time, you add the softer veg that doesn't need to be cooked as long. Then you put out flat (or flat-ish) bread, no silverware, and the Tagine (minus the conical lid). Everyone at the table then more or less digs in with the bread, scooping it out Mexican Tortilla style. Pretty good, but takes some practice. Fortunately for those of us without the manual dexterity required to eat with bread, they do give tourists forks and knives. Lois and I got the hang of it, but Grandma decided that eating with your hands was for the birds, and used her fork. Really good food, but (and this became the mantra of the trip) too much food! They gave EACH of us our own Tagine! There was no way on Earth that we were going to eat an entire Tagine each! Oh well, at least we didn't leave the table hungry.

The next day we just took things easy and recovered from the flight. Stayed by the pool, read books, played Phase 10 and Yatzee (Thank you Lois for thinking to bring games!), sat in the sun, that sort of thing. Lois and I went on a walk of the Auberge:
It's laid out like a big garden, with a large vegetable patch on one side. Pretty cool. I was being very careful to not stay in the sun too long, because I'm so pale I crisp rather than gently tan. Lois is the same. But at Lunch they had us outside, and the umbrella was just not big enough. My right arm was definitely getting toasted. Eventually I swapped over with Lois, who was in full shade. But the damage was already done. My right arm was fried. Lois got a touch too much on her arms as well. But that's what you get when you're as pale as we are!

1 comment:

Coila said...

Wow. What an adventure! It looks like a desert. I wasn't sure what climate to expect there. This is great. I love trips cut into a few (or a lot of) blog posts. Then we get to digest them all when we can and it feels more like what you would have experienced anyway!