Join me on INSTAGRAM, my name is ecuadorchick.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mallorca, Spain - Taking the slow way home!

We are traveling with our friends, Clarke and Brenda.  To read their version of this trip click here.

We are meeting up with Audrey and Jim in Palma de Malorca before we embark the cruise ship.  You can read about their adventures in Spain by clicking here.



Dear Family and Friends,

We arrived in Mallorca, Spain on Friday.  Not long after we got checked into our hotel, Audrey and Jim arrived. Finally, all six of us are gathered in the same place!  

Yesterday was my birthday and five out of six of us enjoyed the beautiful city.  The one left behind was still suffering some of the Moroccan revenge.  That happened to be me!  In order to see pictures of this city you will need to click on links at the top of this blog.

By late afternoon, I was doing much better.  The troops gathered and decided that we should go out to dinner.  We went to a great restaurant and had paella.  A very nice birthday celebration for this old biddy!!





Later today we will board the cruise ship.  We depart tonight and arrive in Panama on November 13th.   

I will post about our cruise adventures after we get back home to Cuenca.


Love,
Nancy

Important - When we board the cruse ship today we will be without internetThis means we will not be posting to the blog.  Actually, there is internet on the ship, but it is slow and the cost is astronomical, so we will only check our email once every day or so.
In case of emergency we could be contacted through the cruise line. We are on Royal Caribbean and the name of the boat is Grandeur Of The Seas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Marrakesh, Morocco

We are traveling with our friends, Clarke and Brenda.  To read their version of this trip click here.

We are meeting up with Audrey and Jim in Palma de Malorca before we embark the cruise ship.  You can read about their adventures in Spain by clicking here.


Dear Family and Friends,

We are winding down our visit to Marrakesh. Morocco has been fun and very educational.  I am so glad we came here. I can only speak for me, but I think we are all ready to get back to a familiar culture.

 Here are some pictures I took in Marrakesh.  Enjoy!



Sunrise light on the main mosque.


Getting ready for another day.



Acrobats entertaining for money (sound familiar?)




A high end hotel in the modern part of Marrakesh.


We found Clyde the camel.


Antiques....

Colorful spices.



If you click on this 20 second video, turn up your volume.  The purpose is to give you a little flavor of the main plaza.  The tin horn sounds are the snake charmers playing for the cobras.  The drums, if you can hear them, remind me of the scene in King Kong when the natives are offering a sacrifice to Kong. (Faye Ray)


video


Except for Clarke, we have all had varying degrees of Moroccan revenge the last couple of days. We will be glad to get back to the land of drinkable tap water. 

Tomorrow we fly back to Madrid.  Time to start thinking about cruising.

Love,
Nancy 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fez, Morocco

We are traveling with our friends, Clarke and Brenda.  To read their version of this trip click here.

We are meeting up with Audrey and Jim in Palma de Malorca before we embark the cruise ship.  You can read about their adventures in Spain by clicking here.


Dear Family and Friends,

Here it is Saturday and we are in the city of Fez. We arrived yesterday by train from Tangiers. 

Today the four of us toured the Medina which is the ancient walled city of Fez.  The locals refer to the city outside the walls as the "new city."  Like in Tangiers, people still live inside the walls and like in historic Cuenca, the real estate values inside the Medina are sky rocketing.

This is one of many gates that lead into the Medina.  This gate is known as the blue green gate because it has blue tile on one side and green tile on the other.


For anyone in Cuenca that has their propane gas delivered by truck, take a look at how it is delivered here.


The markets inside are interesting.  Here is a picture of prunes, raisins, figs and other dried fruit.

 
Here are some interesting fish.




We were able to look down on the vats of dye that are used to color the leather after tanning it.




The finished products are so colorful.  They use natural dyes to color all kinds of leather, goat, sheep, cow, and camel skins.




Have a look at some of the other items sold in stalls.




These pots remind me of some of the pre-Colombian pottery displayed in museums in Cuenca.



This is a plaza of metal workers.





Other scenes from our tour....






And a good one to finish up with is a sweet picture of Brenda petting a donkey.




On Monday we take a train to Marrakesh.


More later.


Love,
Nancy

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Snake Adventure in Tangiers - Part 2 of 2

Dear Family and Friends,

While we were in the Kasbah, we met a nice old man.  He had a surprise for us in his bag.


Yep, you got it.  The surprise was a snake.  A cobra to be exact.

He put it down on the ground.  The first thing it did was head away from the man toward Chuck.  I knew Chuck would get in trouble one day wearing that bright red Cuenca football shirt.


The orange arrow in the picture is pointed at the snake's head.  Chuck is just to the right of the snake.  The man quickly got the snake oriented towards himself and away from Chuck.

He then started talking to the cobra.  



Things were going fine until he decided to bring out another one.


He said for us to not worry, this snake is not a Cobra.  Ha! Like that made it good.


He wanted one of us to hold it.  I quickly announced that I was the photographer and I didn't have enough hands to hold the snake.  Chuck finally agreed to touch it so the man would be happy.


Then the old man went back and picked up the cobra.  Nope, no way!!  No touching that one....not even brave Chuck.  The old man just laughed and put took the snake away.


In the end, all was well.  What a fun guy.  I thought it was all fun after the snakes were put away.


Love,
Nancy

Tangiers, Morocco - Part 1 of 2

We are traveling with our friends, Clarke and Brenda.  To read their version of this trip click here.

Dear Family and Friends,

We arrived in Morocco yesterday and our eyes have been popping ever since.  Since trying to do everything as a foursome is difficult, we do our own sightseeing and Clarke and Brenda do theirs.  We meet up later and share our adventures. 

We are meeting up with Clarke and Brenda tonight at 6:00pm and we are so anxious to hear their adventure tales. 

Once again, I have too many pictures to share.  I am doing two consecutive postings about Tangiers.

First, I will share market pictures.  Today, Thursday, is the big market day. 

I've never seen so many different types of olives before.

 

Some bread for sale.

A big bag of sea snails.  They sure looked yummy!


Did you know that tangerines get their name from Tangiers?  Well, they do!


Our Cuenca friends will appreciate this.  These women with the funny hats are from the campo (countryside).  They dress in their traditional dress which includes these hats.



We had dinner out last night...these are typical starters.

Anchovies, these were not too salty.  I think they may have been fresh.  They were delicious.  This picture is for you Rich.


Bread with a light dusting of cornmeal on the crust.


and a delicious assortment of olives.


We even had entertainment.


While I am on food, this is a typical tea served here in Tangiers.  It is a hot green tea, very sweet with a massive amount of mint.  It is very good.

The Kasbah

The Kasbah is the old town center.  It is where the Sultan lived.  It is a strongly fortified with tall walls and now it is the home of many rich foreigners.

Chuck and I met this wonderful man on the street.  He spoke good English.  He was very nice and offered to tour us through the Kasbah.  This is Maalem Domnati.  His telephone number here in Tangiers is 00 212 06 66 90 29 80.  Although he is a musician, he said he would be happy to be a tour guide for our friends.  So if you come to Tangiers, give him a call.  




Here is Chuck coming through one of the four gates that open into the Kasbah.

This is one of many places that the residence come to get water.  Many still do not have water plumbed to their houses.


The Kasbah is surrounded by high walls.  It is probably the number one tourist site in Tangiers. Many Hollywood movies have been filmed here.


Many of the streets are so narrow that cars cannot get through.  So when work is being done, material has to be delivered on carts, pushed with manpower or pulled by a donkey.  These guys are moving bags of cement in the picture below.


The Kasbah is a small self contained city.  Here is a bakery we were lucky enough to get to visit.  Many people who live in the Kasbah make their own bread at home but bring it to a bakery, such as this, to have it baked.


This is a typical tourist shopping store.



This is the 9th of April plaza.


And here my friends is a STOP sign in Arabic.  Glad we are not driving here.


Tangiers, is an Arabic city with a lot of European influence.  Tomorrow we will go deeper into Morocco by train. Our next destination is Fez.  

In my next post I will share about our snake adventure.


In the words of my friend, "Life is Good."

Love,
Nancy