Monday, May 31, 2010

We celebrate memorial day today

This is a very sad video, if you are going to watch it, bring out the tissues. I was sobbing. My car radio is tuned to a Christian music station and this song by Casting Crowns gets a lot of play time. It makes me cry all the time.... Psalm 121, one of my favorites.... I lift my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth..' President Obama, please bring them home already.

The way to Ouarzazate

We've climbed above the lush green fields upto the dry arid mountain top. The many switchbacks on the road is making me sick. I had to take an antihistamine pill for nausea. I'm a mobile pharmacy. When we arrived at the top, our driver, (I never got his name, it's some difficult Berber name) stopped and we got out and looked over the ledge. Wow, that was where we came up from. That was so amazing. It was so lovely. Looking at these pictures I'm still amazed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Way to Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate is a three hours' drive away from Marrakech and is a very busy place because it is the staging place for the Sahara desert. There are lots of tours leaving Marrakech every day for overnight stays in the desert and most of them go through Ouarzazate. We would meet a lot of them at the place where we later had lunch and also on the way back to Marrakech. We see caravans of 4x4 SUV's clogging the road. My driver spoke more Spanish because of visitors from Spain than English. So we communicated in Spanish. Sophie's Spanish was better than mine, mine is limited to telling people in Spanish how to take their medicines. I can't make any conversation in Spanish. He calls those vehicles 'quatro quatro'.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

On our way to Ouarzazate (wazazate)

Here we are on our way to Ouarzazate (pronounced as wa). We have to climb the Atlas range to the top and then descend to the other side. Ouarzazate is the gateway to the desert, the Sahara desert. The terrain and vegetation changes dramaatically. At the lower levels we still see the lush green fields. As we ascend we see the cloud cover below over the Marrakech valley. Berber villages are scattered everywhere in these lower elevations. It is so spectacular. We stopped to take pictures and I took a leak behind some bushes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dinner at Place Djemaa el fna

This are the most delicious grilled eggplants I've ever eaten. Each plate is 5 dirhams and they make the simpliest and the tastiest salads. I'm glad we could eat salads in Morroco, unlike in Egypt where it wasn't advisable because of the water.We love this soup, we had it whenever we can.
Food is cheap and tasty. We love Morrocan food.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Dyer's souk

We've read about the dyers' souk, so we went in search of it. We asked around and found a guy who was even willing to take us there. We told him, we are not buying anything from him or anyone else. Here nobody does anything except that they want to sell you something. He said, 'no pressure'. No pressure is no pressure. So off we went following him through some twisting alleys and up on the roof top. Again just like the tanneries in Fes, the dyers' souk is best viewed from the roof top. Here we looked down on the racks and racks of fabrics that were being hung to dry after being dipped in vats of colorful dyes. They say the dyes are made from vegetable matter but more and more synthetic dyes are being used. In one of the workshop a merchant started draping a scarf over Sophie's head, she protested but to no avail. When she took it off and we started to leave, the merchant started being disappointed for not having persuaded us to buy something. We told them at the outset, we're not looking to buy anything, just to take a few pictures. Oh well, we left anyway, too bad. The guy who brought us there started his sales pitch, 'you want to see my stuff?' No, we don't want to see your stuff, you just practised your English with us, that's it, that's the quid pro quo! We left after taking these pictures. We've become really thick skinned.