In December we enjoyed a few weeks of vacation. We spent a few days in transition in Kinshasa, and then landed in a country that we have both wanted to visit for a long time – Morocco! Coming from Congo, you can imagine how developed and ‘modern’ Morocco felt, and we thoroughly enjoyed the amenities like electricity, smooth roads, and hot showers. It was also a wonderland for our tastebuds, ranging from American restaurants like McDonalds to traditional Moroccan couscous and tangines. Morocco was an especially attractive destination because of the chance to meet up with some friends, and they helped us to see the best of Morocco. :)
We thought we would share a few pictures here. In Casablanca, one of the must-see sites is the Hassan II mosque, which is truly a magnificent building. I was amazed at all of the mosaic tile, the intricate carving in the rock and the wood, the immense scale of everything. The building can hold 25,000 people!
We are standing in front of the mosque – the minaret is 200 meters tall!
Delicious cous-cous! (And beautifully arranged, also, I think!)
Then, we spent a few days in Marrakesh, enjoying the sites and sounds of their central square. We happened to be there at the end of the annual film festival, which perhaps made the square even more lively in the evening. We enjoyed wandering the narrow cobble-stone streets of the old city, shopping in the souk, and eating traditional Moroccan fare at the food stands.
At a roof-top restaurant overlooking the main square in Marrakesh
One of the stalls in the souk selling spices and natural health products
Sampling some dried apricots and dates at a stall in the square
We had a nice dinner at one of the traditional
Moroccan ‘riad’ homes – beautiful setting!
Then, we were off to Essouaria, a small coastal town that was a relaxing retreat after the hustle and activity of Marrakesh. The weather felt a bit like San Francisco to us, and the port where many fishing boats go out each day is a main center of commercial activity. We really enjoyed the chance to be near the ocean again, with the salty breezes and the sound of the waves! We rented bikes one day and rode along the beach for a few hours – it has been a whole year since we have ridden bikes, and it felt like a luxurious treat!
We returned to Kananga refreshed – glad to be ‘home’, but also grateful for the time away!