Here, everything is good pt. II – Tarifa, Spain

V and I recently loaded the Wagon Queen Family Truxter up and headed off to Spain with my family.  We once again based our adventure out of Tarifa, though this time we actually made it out-of-town and managed to explore a bit of Southern Spain. It was beautiful.

Independence Day – 2013

“From every mountain side, Let Freedom ring.”

My new photo assistant, Rosie, says “hello” – Rabat, Morocco

We haven’t fallen off of the face of the earth or entered witness protection – Rosie, our lovely new puppy, recently moved in with us! 

Yet another new friend in the medina pt. II – Fes, Morocco.

We aren’t silly and we certainly didn’t just fall off of the turnip truck – our furry buddy from the other day was interested in more than just looking cute and purring / chirping at us during lunch.  Specifically, he surely thought that we were his meal ticket to a fancy seafood lunch. Barring a fresh seafood lunch, he may have settled for a squab pastilla…or just the main ingredient.

Yet another new friend in the medina – Fes, Morocco.

A new friend in the medina – Fes, Morocco. 2013

I recently met this gentleman while shopping with family in the Fes medina.  His shop is directly across from the shop / workshop of another friend of ours and we chatted about home-stay programs and preservation of the medina, a sensitive subject to many of those still living inside of the medina walls.

Guarab in the medina pt.II – Marrakech, Morocco.

As repeat visitors to this site probably know, I am a fan of street performers, animal tamers, story tellers, etc., and that I have a certain fondness for guarabs, the traditional water salesmen found in medinas across Morocco.  Jemma el fnaa in Marrakech?  Guarab paradise.  Guarabs carry containers of water and are happy to pour off a cup for the equivalent of about a nickel. These men – I have never come across a female guarab – represent an interesting element of Moroccan culture, as their primary job has been displaced by access to clean running water and the prevalence…

Hamsa – Fes, Morocco. 2013

Visiting with Mohammed and Coca – Fes, Morocco. 2013

V and I have travelled to Fes quite a few times since our arrival in Morocco.  We’ve walked the narrow streets, navigated dark alleys and crowded into the Fassi souks with the best of them.  We now have favorite restaurants and shops and know where the better deals are.  According to one of my co-workers, I’ve been to Fes more times than most Moroccans! During our first visit to Fes I met Mohammed – a merchant whose family weaves cactus silk textiles and has occupied the same location in the medina for over 100 years – standing outside of his…

Tagines ready to be fired – Fes, Morocco. 2012.

There’s a forge in the outskirts of the Fes medina  that produces most of the ceramic bowls, tiles and tables found throughout the markets and souks of Fes and beyond.  The forge is incredible in that the production process is demonstrated from start to finish, from the drying of the raw clay to the arrangement of hand-cut zellij tiles on ornate tables.

Runnin’ fools – the Marrakech Marathon, Marrakech, Morocco. 2013

DJ Cassiouss at Jemma el Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco. 2012

A quick grab of a DJ Cassiouss CD in Jemma el Fnaa, Marrakech, Morocco.  The image shows one of the ubiquitous “music stores” across the medina – they’ve got everything, so long as you’re looking for what they’ve got.  Gnawa and dance mixes for days.  The salesmen will pop your selections into their CD player to show you that it works and you’re off.

Another evening with my friends at Jemaa el Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco, 2012.

A recent visit to Marrakech reunited with me with some of my (new) oldest friends – the street performers, henna artists, restaurant promoters and orange-juice squeezers of Jemma el Fnaa.  Having been to Jemma el Fnaa numerous times, I know what to expect and how to react to the vibe of the place, which often borders on sheer craziness.  First time visitors to Jemma el Fnaa should arrive prepared and in the right mind state in order to avoid anxiety, overload or a total freakout. Yeah.  A total freakout. Any visit to Marrakech – unless you’ve been a few times…

Photographer at Jemaa el-Fnaa, Marrakesh, Morocco.

No trip to Morocco is complete without spending some time at Jemaa el-Fnaa, the Mosque at the End of the World.  Jemaa el-Fnaa is a large public square serving two separate functions – during the day, Jemaa el-Fnaa is occupied by roving street performers, monkeys and their trainers, dancing cobras and other spectacularly wild characters.  At night, the square fills with food vendors and hawkers attempting to steer would-be customers to their stalls. Our favorite feature?  Easily the fresh orange juice vendors.  Try the “melange” – ooh la la! Photographers roam the square offering to capture tourists’ and locals’ experiences alike….

The surf’s up (again) – return to Bouznika, Morocco.

We recently escaped a particularly hot day here in Rabat by heading off to one of our favorite places, Bouznika, home of the Blue Surf School and Eden Wed restaurant.  We had only been to Bouznika once before (yes, it became a favorite that quickly) and aside from running into our friends Ashleigh and Joe we’d had the beach all to ourselves. Not so much this time. All of Rabat had the same idea as we did. Despite the crazy crowds, we still had a great meal at Eden Wed and made friends with our neighboring tables.  This day was…