Morocco and Spain Trip Recap

"Travel Loot" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: SONY SLT-A77V, 35mm, f/4, 1/20 sec, ISO640
“Travel Loot” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Well, I finally finished up with all my back posts of our trip! The photo above shows a few pieces of the loot haul, and in the dish is a small stone that I picked up from the water at Barceloneta beach. I don’t even know if it is imported or not, but the authenticity isn’t important. It’s the memory that it represents that gives it value. One of my favorite movie scenes explains what I mean.

Anyways, here are a couple lists I made about the trip.

Total miles traveled: 12,905

  • Plane: 11,273
  • Train: 921
  • Boat: 29
  • Bus/Taxi: 682

Highlights/Bucket List

  • First trip to Africa – That makes it four continents for me!
  • Crossing from Africa to Europe by ferry – The so-called Strait of Gibraltar have been one of those mythical things since I was a little kid
  • Touching the Mediterranean – Again, like something out of a dream. Isn’t this where the Greek gods/heroes used to play?

Top Food

  • Boquerones tapas (fried sardines)
  • Tagine
  • Papas bravas
  • Almejas tapas (clams)
  • Jamón bocadillos

Post Index

Since I posted my trip entries after-the-fact, here’s a list you can use to easily access each one:

Back in Marrakech

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO400
“Desert Sunrise” Zagora, 2017

Hello! Today started with a 4:50 AM wake up bang on the side of our tent. The sun comes up early here in Morocco and the Berber camp hosts wanted us to see the desert sunrise.

I knew the short climb in the sand was deceptively strenuous so I warned Mariko and she decided to pass on the workout. Of course Koa wanted to just sleep so he stayed behind as well. But I am glad that Bay and I were able to enjoy it together. It was a cool sight!

After a camel trek back to the van and another long ride back to Marrakech, we checked into our next place, Riad Jnane Mogador. It is right next to the square, but pretty small and inexpensive. They also offer a hammam, which is a traditional bath with body scrub. It was so refreshing!

Next was a bit of shopping which was nice because the street the Riad is located on has good prices (many fixed) and the shop keepers were friendlier as compared to the ones in the souks.

We then enjoyed dinner on a rooftop terrace at Naranj before retiring for the night. What a long, but fun, day!


Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/125 sec, ISO500
“Riad Fountain” Marrakech, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO800
“Street Scene” Marrakech, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO800
“Street Scene” Marrakech, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec, ISO6400
“Rooftop View” Marrakech, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/140 sec, ISO200
“Motorbiking” Marrakech, 2017

Jardin Majorelle and Jemaa El Fna

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO400
“Jardin Majorelle” Marrakech, 2017

Hello! Today the sun was scorching so we woke up as early as we could to beat the heat.

We had a delicious breakfast at our riad, Riad Abaca Badra, of bread, crepes, omelet, homemade strawberry jam, prune jam, croissants, fresh orange juice, mint tea, and coffee.
I highly recommend Riad Abaca Badra. Our hosts Dominique and Gilles were friendly, gracious, and helpful for whatever we needed. From a warm welcome with cookies and mint tea, to helping secure train tickets, and helping fix my camera using a tiny hex wrench, our stay was excellent! Highly recommended.

After breakfast, we headed out into the sunny day (it would reach 108 F) to visit Jardin Majorelle. The grounds were beautiful (although smaller than we expected) and the Berber museum was interesting, especially because we would be visiting a Berber camp in eastern Morocco the next day.

After the gardens, we walked to the center of Gueliz, or the new town, stopping one at Cafe Mochi for some organic juice and Wi-Fi. 😀

We walked a bit more to the mall to stop for some local groceries to bring back to the States, then stopped at McDonald’s for a McFlurry.

Next, it was a taxi ride to the opposite side of the Medina to shop at the pottery souk. At this point, the heat was getting the best of us, so we returned to our Riad for some rest.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Pottery” Marrakech, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/100 sec, ISO400
“Street Scene” Marrakech, 2017

After dark, we walked to the main square, Jemaa El Fna and found food stall #14, which Mariko read served calamari that was really good. Dominique had earlier warned us that seafood in the square at this time of year was iffy, but we decided to eat there anyways. We had calamari, fish, fries, bread and eggplant dip. It was pretty good, but not so special. Lots of fun though, and not expensive. There were even cute cats looking for a meal.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Jemaa El Fna” Marrakech, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Moroccan Kitty” Marrakech, 2017

We did a little shopping in the square and then it started to rain. That felt great! We walked back to the riad and called it a night.

I hope you had a great day and kept cool!