Morocco, Day 9

Posted by Ted on Nov 4, 2007 in Travel

We slept late, and then had a mediocre continental breakfast, sharing the roof terrace with the English guests. When they left, we stayed and enjoyed the warm sun and salty air. We looked out over the rooftops, which hinted at the maze of streets below. More residential terraces had the morning’s laundry drying in the sun in a clear blue sky. The white buildings of the medina were all about the same height, about 3 stories, and we could look across them to the blue Atlantic ocean to the west.

After breakfast we window shopped our way down the street, past numerous shops selling mirrors, spices, wooden and ceramic bowls, fabrics, lanterns, and leather goods. We got to the main plaza, and went to the ATM to take out some more cash. Only then did the cost of our vacation start to dawn on us. We were looking at having spent about twice as much as we had planned; Morocco was full of shopping temptation. Then we had lunch on a second floor restaurant, overlooking the plaza, and we were visited by a white cat. Afterwards we walked back down the street, and stopped in at a music shop. We found two CDs from Tinariwen, the band from Mali that we had heard in the chill tent at Prends Ton Temps. We sat down with the proprietor for the traditional pot of mint tea, and he introduced us to even more music.

Then we wound our way back to our riad for a lovely nap before heading back out again to watch the sunset from a Portugese fort, built during the early 16th century. The sky was filled with seagulls, and the sun slowly approached the horizon amid salmon-colored clouds. We made our way back slowly, and stopped at a shop selling fabrics. It was small, about the size of a large closet, and we haggled with the shop owner, Rachid; 4 beautiful cactus-silk scarves for about 380 dirhams. He was one of the friendlier and less pushy of the merchants that we’d met, and he welcomed us to come back any time.

Suddenly it was getting late, and we went back to the riad to change, and then it was dinner time. We decided to see where our whims led us, and we wandered down random streets in order to find something unexpected. Along the way, we came across a box of kittens. This was notable particularly because this was the third such box that we’d seen that day. We ended up at Les Alizes. We sampled more olives, and the pink ones continued to be the ones we gravitated towards. We also had the best Harira and a goat tagine. However the highlight was the dessert. Very simple, it is one of the traditional desserts of Morocco;
finely sliced orange with cinnamon.

Finally, we returned to our riad for the third time that day, relaxed, played some Sudoku, and went to bed.

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An adventurer at heart, Ted Beatie is at his happiest when he’s off the beaten path. His deepest passion is sharing the world through photography and writing, found at The Pocket Explorer. He is also managing editor for Rolf Potts' Vagabonding, where he curates a Case Study series. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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