Snapshot Morocco: In your Fez

Writing the previous posts were effortless. The words flowed freely out of my head and through my thumbs tapping away at my iPod’s screen. The riad we’re staying in at Fes has wi-fi, but I couldn’t bring myself to post anything last night.

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The landscape between Chefchaouen and Fes

After Meknes and Chefchaouen, Fes was mildly disconcerting. The touts are more aggressive, the people more persistent.

In every trip, there is always that one place or experience that doesn’t enchant you. So far, we’re disenchanted with Fes. It’s the first time that we are actually more comfortable in the Ville Nouvelle, rather than the Medina. Maybe we just haven’t given the place enough time to endear itself to us, or maybe the non-stop travel for the past days are catching up to us. Nature even adds to the misery by bringing in the rain, which stops us from leaving the comforting confines of the riad and the router’s coverage area.

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Bread, bread and even more bread

While we are grateful to be where we are right now, I think some of the novelty is wearing off. Last night we gladly traded the ubiquitous tagine for pizza and paella. I know I sound like a complete brat saying these things, but i really do hope things pick up in Fes before we leave again tomorrow night.

Photo by Cla Ines

Category: Morocco
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Snapshot Morocco: Still Chefchaouen

I can’t stop saying it: Chefchaouen is really pretty.

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I knew it was blue, but I came prepared to be disappointed. Now that the rain has gone and the sun is out, it’s even more picturesque as we expected.

The town is nestled in the Rif mountains and is not for those with weak knees. There are hundreds of steps to climb and steep inclines to traverse going around the medina, but each turn would get you scrambling for your camera to take a picture.

As I said in the previous post, this place is crawling with tourists, most of which are from Europe. It’s not surprising as Morocco is just below Spain. The Spanish influence is stronger here than French. The locals can understand the language and the local dishes have Spanish influences. Speaking of Spain, guess what we saw at the nearby sari-sari store:

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We haven’t tried it yet (the cookies, not the cat), opting to save it for the bus ride to Fes tomorrow. It’s only 7pm but I already feel so sleepy. Unfortunately, the backpackers hanging out in the lounge right outside our room are still very much awake.

Chefchaouen Medina photo by Cla Ines

Category: Morocco
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Snapshot Morocco: Chefchaouen

It started with a picture. Cla tweeted a picture on flickr of a beautiful town bathed in blue. After a quick Googling and a look at the map, Chefchaouen was added to our itinerary.


Seeing blue

It was a four and a half drive north from Meknes, made slower by the rain that poured nonstop. There’s something about long bus rides and rain that drain one’s energy. Despite not having eaten anything since breakfast, we gratefully sank down our beds to rest and wait for the rain to stop.

Our accommodation here is worlds away from our riad in Meknes, though there is also a significant price difference between the two. We’ve also seen more tourists here in the couple of hours we’ve been here than in the three days we spent in Meknes. It’s also much nosier inside the hostel than in the riad. I really am getting old.

Hopefully the weather forecast is correct and the sun shines brightly tomorrow. Much cat stalking and Facebook profile photo taking will be done.

P.S. I now understand the pain of using an AZERTY keyboard.

Photo by Cla Ines

Category: Destination, Morocco 6 Comments

Snapshot Morocco: Volubilis

Our Moroccan adventure is off to a good start! Instead of staying at Casablanca (our point of entry), we hopped on the train to Fes and got off at Meknes, one of Morocco’s old imperial cities. There’s not as much tourist here, so the touts aren’t as agressive. Or maybe we’re just too oblivious.

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The ruins of Volubilis

Oddly enough, most of the time we’re mistaken as Japanese tourist. Shop keepers would call out “konnichiwa” when we pass. Maybe they’re in the bigger cities, but we aren’t seeing that many Asians here.

We conked out early last night. The stress from travelling over 24 hours have finally caught up with us. Despite the timezone change, it was easy for us to adjust and jet lag is still a foreign concept. I feel I am finally in the right timezone: we departed Abu Dhabi at 2am (6am Manila time, the time I usually sleep) and arrived in Casablanca at 6am (2pm Manila time, the time I usually wake up).

We’ve eaten tagine, pastilla, khoob, and the local salad, sausage and olives. We’re looking forward to eating more in the coming days.

Today we went to the Holy town of Moulay Idriss, where its namesake is buried, the great grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. From there, we headed to Volubilis, the ancient Roman city. Well, former city. Only the ruins are left, but you can imagine how grand the place was.

Tomorrow we’re checking out of our Riad and headed to another picturesque town in the mountains. Till the next update!

Photo by Cla Ines

Category: Morocco
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The winners are…

Thank you so much for everybody who joined and tried to guess my next destination! Reading your guesses was quite fun and an eye-opener as well. It showed me how much people know about me and the places I really want to go to (Japan, Italy, Antarctica). Since the contest is only open to Philippine-based readers, I suppose it also reflects the destinations that are in the forefront of the Filipinos: South Korea. Unfortunately, the Korea I’m interested in is the one where Kim Jong Il reigns supreme.

Only three people got the correct answer: Mica, Doi and Lois. They correctly guessed that I’m going to Morocco!

Mica was the first to guess in the blog entry, so she gets the Eagle Creek Travel Journal. Doi posted her guess all three medium. Since Mica’s guess already closed the contest for the journal, she wins the Headware 3-pack. Nobody got it right on Twitter, so I’m just awarding it to Lois, who guessed correctly in the blog.

Once again, thanks for playing the game!

Category: Everything Travel 7 Comments