Archive for December, 2014

Morocco/Spain diary: Day 6

Tuesday, 9 December, 2014

Thursday, 18 September, 2014. 16:11

We are sitting in the courtyard of our riad and having a mint tea to relax on our afternoon off. Leanne is here writing postcards and Jill is doing something on her tablet.

We had breakfast at 08:00 again, with the same set of yoghurt, boiled eggs, bread, and pastries. This time I had a second egg and stirred some honey into the plain yoghurt to sweeten it up a little. We then assembled at 09:00 for today’s excursion. This was a bus trip to Sefrou, a small town about an hour and a half away on the bus, and famed for its cherries. The harvest is in May, however, so we didn’t get to see any fresh cherries there. The first stop was a bank and water stop for people who needed money and bottled water. I withdrew a bunch of cash to refill our wallets. Then it was a drive through mostly flattish country planted thickly with olive trees in neat rows. We didn’t see any cherry trees, but Karen and Heather said they were lurking a few rows back behind the olives. On the way out of Fes we saw our first camels of the trip, a half dozen or so in a small fenced field on the outskirts of town.

Streets of Sefrou
Streets of Sefrou.


Morocco/Spain diary: Day 5

Sunday, 7 December, 2014

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014. 20:05

We are sitting down to dinner with Maria, Terry, Zi, Jay, Jill, and Leanne, in the hotel restaurant. They have a limited choice of dishes, which changes each night. We can have pastillas like last night, or tajines with either chicken, meat (lamb or beef – it’s not clear), or vegetable. They come in a fixed menu with Moroccan soup and a dessert, or separately. We asked what the soup was, and the waiter said it contained tomato, rice, and “chicken pieces”. We asked if they had a vegetarian soup, and he said it only contained vegetables. We were all confused as he rattled of the ingredients again: tomato, rice, chicken pieces… We stopped him and said chicken isn’t a vegetable, and he said it, “Not chicken, chicken pieces…” Then he gestured that it was small balls, a type of vegetable, and we realised it was chick peas!

We got up this morning and had a leisurely preparation for breakfast, doing some stretching exercises to get the knots out of our muscles. The breakfast downstairs in the courtyard included yoghurt, freshly squeezed orange juice, boiled eggs, and a selection of breads and pastries. The eggs were so hot it was difficult to peel them, but they went well with the bread. There was a warm flatbread which was like a roti, and delicious. The “pepper” in the pinch tray with the salt turned out to be some sort of curry powder, not pepper. The breakfast service was leisurely, and we only had about ten minutes afterwards before the tour meeting at 09:00.

Palace gates
Gates of the Royal Palace of Fes.