Monday, August 19, 2013

Visit to Tetouan, Morocco, Parts One and Two

 Beautiful and Chilly Mediterranean Sea

Linda (on the left) and I enjoyed two glorious weeks in Morocco this June.

Our stay centered on Tetouan, and we lived in a beautiful condominium in Kabila--twenty miles from Tetouan on the coast--our gracious host, Redouan, let us use for nearly two weeks.

Redouan, on the right, graduated from Ripon College, where Linda is a professor of Romance Languages; I taught there for three years, and Redouan took an English from me, and for which he forgives me.

He could not have been a more gracious host; he took incredible care of us and even lent us his driver, the wonderful Hashim.

I divided the photographs into five sections to chronicle our adventures, both culinary and otherwise.

 King of Morocco's Palace in Tetouan

Part One (Images on Flickr):

This first part covers three or four days of our visit.  I tried to give the photographs a bit of description and will update over the next day.

On our first full day in Morocco, we ate dinner at the restaurant in Kabila by the gated community in which we stayed, and we walked to the sea, right outside the community's gates.  

Our real introduction to Morocco came when we went to nearby
M'diq, a town that includes a small fishing harbor where we enjoyed fresh charcoal grilled sardines with Moroccan bread, a green-pea puree into which one dips the break--and my first drink of something I came to love, hot sugared Mint Tea.

We also visited the Moroccan Royal Yacht Club, which one of Redouan's brothers heads--Redouan served many years a Vice-President of the Tetouan Chamber of Commerce, and will probably serve as his father did, as president.

We also enjoyed a lunch another day in M'diq, and walked through
the market areas, including the fish stall.  In all of the time we spent in Morocco, we never encountered a bad meal, and we prepared many for ourselves.  And what fruit! 

As the photographs indicate, we stayed in a beautiful condo for most all of our time in Tetouan, getting a hotel in Tangiers for the final two nights of our visit. 

As matters turned out, one of Redouan's older brothers also lived in the gated community.  A noted authority on Roman coins, he also helped ensure the survival of the Roman ruins in Lexus, a site we visited later in our stay.  

The top of the table on the right, a gift from those with whom he worked on the site, got made from broken pieces of what was used to make the famous mosaics at Lexus, now to be preserved in a museum being built there.

We visited Tetouan for a specific reason, to check out an
international school there to which to take students for a three-week experience--more later about the school.  After sitting in classes, Linda and I went to the Medina to experience all the stalls, or souks that offer everything from t-shirts to olives.

The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, the Sultan of Grenada,  has a summer palace in Tetouan--and a beach residence not far from where we stayed.  He his two-month stay in Tetouan has enhanced this beautiful city's image and made, as a result, Tetouan and the markets very safe for tourists and students.

Thus some highlights from Part One--and the link will take you to the photographs, and Flickr now offers an excellent HD slideshow.

Part Two:  Chefchaouen.

The Blue Town
This group of photographs chronicles our trip to Chefchaouen for the day.  Situated in the Rif Mountains, pretty much the same distance from Tangiers and Tetouan, sits this famous Blue Town.

Linda and I also enjoyed the beautiful scenery to and from Kabila and, of course, Chefchaouen itself.

Once we arrived, Hashim led us through the town' pedestrian pathways of stone, through the market and to a cafe beside the mountain stream where we

enjoyed, yes, a hot mint tea.

This mountain stream near the cafe also serves as a publish place for washing clothing and especially carpets, which the people dry on roofs and fences near the stream.

We understood quickly why this Berber  town
situated in the Rif Mountains remains a magnet for tourists.  The blue shimmering in the sunlight stuns and looks beautiful.

I always the market places, and Chefchaouen offers a busy one.  As the photographs indicate, one can purchase fresh oranges and mind, colorful Berber
hats and djellaba, a hooded garment one sees all over we we visited and stayed.  

We also loved the colorful variety of spices sold, along with large tables full of various dates and the ubiquitous and delicious

Next time we will experiment more with the local goat cheese, famous in northern Morocco.  

Chefchaoun was for a long time a walled Spanish town that got returned to Morocco in 1956 at the time of independence, though Spain kept to protectorates in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla--Ceuta is not far from Kabila.

Hashim drove us to an areas above the town to a hotel that offers
an exceptional view of Chefchaouen.  And as the photograph on the right underscores, the area is certainly dominated by blue.  While we appreciated the view, the call for prayers began from the many Mosques that dot the area.  Just beautiful sight and sound.

The page became too long, so I will create a new page for two:

Part Three:  Dar Loughat Cross Cultural Language Center, Artisan School,  and Rif Mountain Tea

Part Four:  Tetouan-Lixus-Larache-Tetouan

Part Five: Tetouan-Tangiers-Ripon

No comments: