Monday, May 22, 2006

Morocco

So I have obviously been a way for a while. Sorry for that. I am currently traveling in Morocco with friend and Fogarty fellow Craig Connard. We met up in Marrakech and have been making our way north little by little.
 
Marrakech was an ancient city with a large and lively square. Here you can find street performers, story tellers, snake charmers, dancing monkeys, and traveling bands. The square, called Djenna El-Fna, is an overwhelming maze of interesting colorful people that seems to copme alive with sound and energy each day around dusk. There are also endless souqs or shops where you can buy everything from fresh safron to a fine Arabian carpet. Despite having asked several times, most vendors did not know of any magic carpets. I have yet to ask about genies, but have secretly rubbed several lamps in the hope of coming across one with three wishes to spare.
 
If you can think of any other Arabian myths and sterotypes that I can make into bad jokes, please let me know. I have already used the °rock the Kasbah° joke far too many times. I really need some new material here.
 
Next was Essouria (pronounced ess-way-uh), on the Atlantic coast. This was a very relaxed beach and fishing town with a wide stretch of coastline that was ideal for frisbee, soccer, and getting sunburned. We spent 3 days here dining on fresh grilled fish and cheap beers. Because of a lucky bet with our hotel owner on the outcome of the Barcelona Arsenal soccer game, we essentially stayed in our nice apartment for free.
 
We then met some of Craig's friends in the capital, Rabat. I wasnt expecting much, but this city was really amazing. We stayed at a friends house right on the ocean. The whole neighborhood was painted white and bright blue. It had a very mediteranean feel to it. We wandered through ancient Roman ruins, shopped for gifts, smoked the hooka with our new friends, (which, mom and dad, is very harmless tobacco...) and saw a great musician from Mali play in a 700 year old garden.
 
We have now made it to Fes, one of the oldest and largest imperial cities in Morocco. Inside the ancient city walls are over 9,000 twisting alleys, paths, and streets. We just arrived today, and havent yet been able to get completely lost yet. But if you dont get an email from me for a while, this may be why.
 
We will next head to Tangier where will then cross the straight of Gibralter into Spain. We plan on a few nights in Seville and a few more in Lisbon before heading home. This should put me in Texas around May 31st.
 
Am doing lots and lots of gift shopping and trying to gather presents for as many as possible. Please send me any special requests and I'll try to accomodate. Sending an email or leaving a comment on the blog (which are all forwarded to me via email) has been shown to increase your chances of getting something cool by 85 percent.
 
Regardless, I hope you all are well and safe and happy. While I am having a blast here, I am really looking forward to getting home and catching up with old friends and family. Stay well and I hope to see you all soon.

3 Comments:

At 5/30/2006 07:59:00 AM, Anonymous Merridy said...

Hi Cully,

This sounds really beautiful and I must admit sitting here at work in Durban at your desk which is now mine (we moved out of the witches den you will be most happy to hear!) I am envious. We miss you and kylie and sara terribly! Angus tells me the waves have been perfect (i just threw that in to entice you all back) and other than that Durbs is still chilled and life is good!
chat soon
Merridy

 
At 6/01/2006 05:18:00 PM, Blogger Janet said...

Cully,

I just dropped by after finding your blog listed in the expats directory. I was curious if there were any Americans in South Africa on the list...and there you were. I get to go there about once/year to run training classes (for the oil industry) -- Cape Town only so far -- and it's one of my favorite places to go. The people are fantastic there...and what a beautiful place! And, sadly (or perhaps not???) I get hooked on "Isidingo" every time I go! ;)

Drop by "Lord Celery" some time.

Keep up your great work there. Sounds like you're making a valuable contribution to the world's people.

And I think it's incredibly cool that your mother met Bono!

Janet

(lordcelery.blogspot.com)

 
At 6/14/2006 05:22:00 PM, Blogger Peter Matthes said...

I went there too.

It's amazing how you have to be careful not to walk right into the snake charmers.

 

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