12 Feb Out of Cape Town on to Marrakech
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When we last left off I was still in Cape Town for a few more days. It is unfortunate for me that I am so spoiled that I sort of lose out on the special feelings of being in a great city but do not get the feeling of it being more then the everyday to me. This is not the first time this has occurred and it is an experience that I have to recognize and try and open up more (sounds like a personal problem to me). Ok then…on to North Africa and Marrakech and Morocco. Of course I have been to Morocco before back in 2012, I really enjoyed it here, loved the food, let’s see if I can capture that again.
We are living outside of the Medina which is absolutely the best thing for the group not to be inside the Medina everyday, it can kind of crush you daily. We are in a sweet apartment complex with a pool, doormen outside of the building but it is kind of older on the inside of the rooms. The temperature this time of year is colder than I expected but we have really nice afternoon temps of high 70’s. One of my personal issues with travel are taxi drivers and Morocco has some of the worst kinds in the world. Uber does not exist there, there is an app but I do not have a local number to use it. They never put on their meters, you need to negotiate every time you get in and after a few days it just gets obnoxious to deal with but you do because you have no other choice. Enough bitching. Did a few quick day trips too the first week to Casablanca and Tangiers. The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the 3rd largest mosque in the world, spectacular. Tangier was an overnight trip, pretty cold up north too, had to buy a jacket.
I went to the Medina almost every day for the first week here in Marrakech which I love because its always a different feel when you get lost and just explore. The food has not disappointed me yet even though I am not a lover of spicy foods, but Morocco does have some of the most flavorful foods around. Pastilla is one of my faves and Pigeon Pastilla is my favorite (Yup Pigeon). As usual I can not sit still so I went on a 8 day road trip to the Atlas Mountains, Ait Benhaddou, the Dades Gorges-Todra River, spent a night Glamping under the stars in the Sahara Desert, Fez for a couple of days and passed through Ifran and Meknes also. The highlight was sleeping in beautiful tents in the Sahara and arriving by Camels. The stars were pretty amazing too, clear as can be with little moonlight that night.
Back in Marrakech I plan on hitting Essaouria the beach area on the west coast for an overnight trip this week and I then head to Egypt for a week on a tour from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor up the Nile from February 20-28th. This should be an amazing trip, I’ve been to Cairo but not down the Nile. Once I get back we head on to Lisbon for March. See you in Europe.