Sunday, August 12, 2012

We're back!

So, some words now to go with the pictures. We have returned from a week in Morocco. This is not our first time to an African country, but a first in an Arabic country and it was truly wonderful. We flew to Marrakesh and then took a car to Essaouira on the coast.

First we saw lights...and pots...and tagines....
Then we saw Argan cooperatives.

We stayed at an apartment that was within the city walls and within the streets where other Essaouirans lived rather than in a large hotel 1km away. We smelt the sewers, heard the kids playing football against our door at 10pm, heard the time screwed rooster at 2am...and 6am....and 10am (obviously catering for all tourists and not running on GMT!), ate the local food, walked back through the local streets.

We ambled through the spice markets - an explosion to the nose, eyes and ears.

How cool are these pyramids of ground spices?

We had henna tattoos on our hands and feet.

Bought hats from this amazing guy who puts my hat knitting to shame. Each day he churns out at least three or four! They were made from exquisitely soft wool too - none of this itchy, scratchy shite!  We managed to relieve him of a day's work and are now suitably attired for British winter dog walking and chicken minding.

Boys (and girls) found large artillery and felt the need to lie across it, or pose with the wind blowing scarves into pointy elf attire.

Then there were fantastic finds on the beach. This shell made it home with us...still stmelling rather fishy!

Watched camels getting the hump ;-)

Oh and no trip to Morocco would be complete without haggling for a carpet...or two. This is the lovely Abdullah who sold us a carpet...and another.....

By luring our kids in with kittens! Sigh!

And then there was the fish market. Essaouira is a fishing port and the hustle and bustle of afternoon life revolves around the sale of the day's catch. We should have been warned to wear wellies in order to not slip in the fish heads and guts that were thrown down for the plethora of stray cats that were resident both in the town and the port. LMB was horrified with the treatment of some of the animals and the quantity of cats, kittens and puppies that were roaming without owners. i think she'll be back to open an animal sanctuary there one day!

The calls to prayer five times a day. We were there during Ramadam so we were also witness to the siren sound to end and begin the fast each day.

We waited for the sun to set....

and waited....

and waited some more....

and posed whilst we waited....

Then we got it!

Footprints in the sand...

and handstands.

Brotherly conversations....

and football games.

A meal at a Berber home begins with washing the hands outside the house.

Then removing the shoes before entering. We were then treated to bread with argan oil, honey and a paste made from argan oil, the ground nut and honey - tasted rather like almond butter - very more-ish.

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