View from the campground overlooking Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, México. Photo taken February 14, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Where are they going next? Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on September 25th!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Every few steps there is something interesting to see...

We were sitting having our morning tea and hot chocolate (no, we don't drink coffee) when our host Marco came downstairs and offered to take us out  for breakfast. Sure, we're up for that thanks! We explained about our gluten intolerance, and he said he would do his best to ask about the ingredients.

And off we went on the busy inner streets of Marrakesh.

We arrived at a little coffee shop where the owner tried to get us to try a variety of things. But they don't understand the difference between "grains" and "wheat", and Marco's Arabic isn't quite good enough to try and get the point across. He even enlisted the help of a passerby who was fluent in French and Arabic to try and help, but we still couldn't get any firm answers.

We thought that some of the items looked like they were made with corn flour, but eventually we just bit the bullet and ordered a crepe rollup kind of thing. We're almost certain that it was made with wheat flour, but so far no ill effects!

Breakfast crepe rollup with like a cream cheese and honey filling.

Breakfast goods.

Butcher across the street. There's always something interesting to see in Marrakesh.

After breakfast, Marco said he would help us get a Moroccan SIM card for the phone. It was very easy...a couple of shops down from the breakfast place was a tiny general store of sorts, and he had SIM cards there. The cost was 30 dirhams ($4.25 CAD, $3.20 USD) for the card, but we were all unsure what that included. All the shopkeeper would say was that it did include internet access, but he didn't know the details.

Back at the house, we sat down at the table and installed the new SIM in the phone. The telephone calling appeared to work instantly, but we couldn't get the internet to work. Marco called their help line, and I had to make a minor change to the settings on the phone. Bingo! It worked right away.

So for that 30 dirhams, we have one hour of local calling and 1 GB of data valid for 7 days. Very cheap. There are other plans available if you want to upgrade, but I haven't totally got that figured out yet!

With that all set up, we went out and did some exploring...

Huge bugainvillea plant.

The streets of Marrakesh.

Butcher.

Rugs for sale.

Doorway.

Literally every few steps there is something interesting to see. Whether it's colorful carpets, exotic lamps, or simply people watching. Just make sure you pay attention to the motorscooters whizzing by you in the narrow alleyways!

Chameleons and turtles.

Tourist trinkets.

More carpets.

This is a funny picture.

I was actually quite far away and zoomed in on their colorful uniforms. Just as I snapped the shutter, the guy in the suit starts yelling at me that I'm not to take any photos. I quickly put the camera away. The expressions on the faces of the three guards are hilarious.

Tourist with snake around her neck.

Cobra.

Just trying to attract attention?

If you pay the slightest attention to any of the entertainers or market stalls, even the slightest glance in their direction, and they try and get you closer. They're all very friendly about it, but you have to be really good at saying no, or simply ignoring them.

The Koutoubia Mosque.

Ruth and a fountain.

It was baking hot, at about 32C (90F). Felt really nice actually, because it's the warmest we've been all winter! We walked to a Carrefour grocery store and did a little shopping. Then, we decided to go back to the house and relax for the rest of the afternoon and go out again in the evening.

Things definitely get busier in the evening. The main square is an absolute zoo of people, food, and entertainment...

The busy Jemaa el Fna square.

The Souk El Jadid.

A "souk" is a traditional marketplace in Morocco. The area of the souks in Marrakesh are particularly famous because the little alleyways can go on forever and it's actually very easy to get lost. That's part of the fun, because you'll wind your way out eventually! 

They say that you can buy anything in the souks of Marrakesh.

The dried fruit guy.

The plaza turns into a huge street food market at night.

As you're walking through, each stall has touts trying to get you to eat in that stall. Even when you tell them you're full, they still try. All very friendly though. They kept telling me I couldn't possibly have eaten because I'm too skinny! Interestingly, most of the Moroccan men have the same build as I do.

The street food at the plaza is very cheap, so a lot of locals eat here too. Our host Marco says that you can hardly make it yourself for less, and he eats out more than in.

I think we'll be eating here this evening!

The spice guy.

Wow, what a day. You have to take it all in very slowly because there's just so much to see. Almost sensory overload. Everybody very friendly though, and we feel totally safe wandering around on our own. Morocco has a very low crime rate, and the only time you might get robbed is if you don't do a very good job of haggling a price for something you might buy!

Going out exploring again...enjoy your Saturday!

Oh...and Happy 6th birthday to our grandson Cameron...see you in two weeks buddy!

Grandson Cameron!

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Fantastic unadvertised deal on a new Cuisinart skillet...


And in Canada...




29 comments:

  1. Fabulous post. Love the photos..really felt ike I was wandering along those alleys.

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    1. Thank you! We love those alleys, there are literally kilometers of them winding all over the souk so it is easy to take different ones all the time, each time seeing something new.

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  2. Thank you! Is the market open 24 hours? Very interesting!

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    1. No...approximately 9am to 9pm depending on the mood of the vendor.

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  3. WOW...what a country. It is pretty much like I thought it would look. Just amazing.
    I love the photo entitled "This is a funny picture." I can just hear him yelling at you and those guys just saying..."Come on boss, give the guy a break." What a hoot.

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    1. It is pretty much what we expected too!

      Once we saw that picture of the guards, we had to laugh as well. The looks on their faces were worth being shouted at!

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  4. What busy day and so much to see, sounds like a fun time.

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    1. You would love the markets here George, they would remind you of the flea markets that you and Susie love to go too!

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  5. Is there any air conditioning in the houses or buildings?

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    1. In general, no. Although I'm sure the higher end hotels do. We haven't found it necessary because the high walls that surround our riad keep it very cool.

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  6. Interesting city. Now, that darn song is playing in my head.

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    1. It is definitely interesting but we are just about ready to head for the country for a more relaxed pace of life now.

      I am assuming you are referring to the song "Marrakesh Express" by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

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  7. Loving all this, but I hear you when you say sensory overload!

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    1. Yes, lots to see and take in, that's for sure.

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  8. Reminds me a bit if the Tuesday market in San Miguel. That food stall looks great!

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    1. A little more intense than the market in San Miguel and on a more bigger scale. I am sure you would love it Peter!

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  9. That is exactly what I felt like in Egypt, sensory overload, especially in Cairo. It looks amazing! Supper should be interesting.

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    1. I would expect the two are very similar. One day we will make it to Egypt and then we can compare. :-)

      Ended up missing out on a supper here in the square last night but we still had a great meal out.

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  10. Little bit too busy for my liking but very interesting to see how they live. Glad you feel safe there enjoy your stay.

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    1. Yes, it is very busy and for a few days we can handle it but we are pretty much ready now to get out into the countryside.

      We feel very safe!

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  11. Reminded me of Mexico with busy market place, open air butcher shop, etc. From reading books, it seems middle eastern countries were once beautiful full of exotic cities, fruit trees, sheep, song and dance. Too bad they are always in wars and lost all the beauty each country had to offer. The book 'Kite Flyer' described lamb roasting in street venders and cool drinks in the market. I could almost taste the roasted lamb and flat breads. This picture brings some of my imagination to reality. Thank you for sharing...awesome!

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    1. Oops I think the book is titled The Kite Runner...I have it on my library shelf somewhere :-)

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    2. Remembering of course that Morocco is not a middle eastern country.

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  12. If the bread turns out to be wheat and you two realize that you are not feeling well because of it, I know that the people of Morocco eat a lot of yogurt and you can add fruit to that for breakfast. Also, are eggs plentiful there? If so, the eggs could round out your breakfast with the fruit and yogurt.

    My goodness, with such high temperatures, the women there sure do, shall I say, overclothe themselves. I can also see why so many people congregate in the evening, because of the high heat during the daytime.

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    1. Dee, we are very used to having breakfast with eggs, yoghurt and fruit because we have been to many countries now where bread is a staple. Even at home we rarely have bread for breakfast. The only reason we ended up eating this was because Marco had offered to take us out and with talking to the man at the stand it seemed that what we had had very little wheat flour in it but since then we have checked the internet and found that yes, it does contain gluten so we will not be having that again. We mostly eat breakfast in our AirBnB accommodations anyway.

      The women and the men all wear more clothes than what would be expected in USA or Canada because this is their culture. The majority of their clothing is loose fitting and made of a lightweight material. The heat is also quite dry so you don't notice it quite so much. Both Kevin and I wear long sleeved shirts and long pants while wandering around and we have done just fine in them.

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  13. Yup, it would be sensory overload for us! But fun, nevertheless! Thanks for all the pics.

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    1. Yes, it is definitely fun, and very interesting. We are ready for the countryside now though!

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  14. It all looks fascinating, but not happy to see the turtles and iguana in a cage. Too many places exploit animals in that way and get away with it, even if there are laws against caging/selling protected wild animals. I've seen it in Belize and Mexico as well, in tourist areas. :-(

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    1. Neither are we but this is a different culture here and I guess this is what they do. Luckily we saw very little of this while we have been here. Yep, we have seen it in Mexico as well, especially with wild birds! :-(

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