Marrakech at Ramadan

Here in Marrakech, reputed to be pretty wild, everyone was a bit subdued today because of Ramadan. We took a walk through the souks today, and the vendors were all working, but were not aggressive at all. By mid afternoon, it was quiet, with most laying down taking naps. We did see one seller lose his temper and complain loudly (likely a smoker suffering from nicotine withdrawal), and Zak commented that if you can't maintain a good attitude, it's better to smoke and eat. Walking past the drowsy sellers, I spotted a guy watching Ramadan porn on his phone: a video of meat sizzling on a grill. In the souks,…
More

Zak’s Family

Zakaria, our trip leader, was born and grew up in Marrakech. Yesterday, we drove over the High Atlas mountains, hours on a winding mountain road in a huge bus on a narrow road, back into Morocco's green zone, finally arriving in Marrakech. We are staying in another Riad, an old home built around a courtyard. Tile, fountains, high ceilings. In the late afternoon, we walked to the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech's famous square full of hustlers, snake charmers, musicians, street food vendors and tourists. Crazy, chaotic place. Zak's mother invited the group to dinner. His brother, some sisters, a brother-in-law, some nieces and nephews all joined us. Zak is the…
More

Ouarzarzate

Where Is Zat? Morocco changed its time Saturday night, falling back an hour. Normally, they follow the UK and Portugal on daylight savings time. But because Ramadan starts this week, they changed the clocks for the next 5 weeks. Since everyone fasts (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset, the time change means the sun sets an hour earlier, therefore they can eat an hour earlier. This morning we drove out to a small village where we met a family who was going to serve us lunch. The father is a mason, repairing the adobe that make up the village. In recent years, people are switching to cement, which…
More

Sahara

Maria's birthday started this morning at 6:00am when we got up to see the sunrise. Several other intrepid travelers were also up to see a somewhat uneventful appearance of Sol which rose quickly over Algeria on the eastern horizon. It was cool in the early morning light. A couple of friendly dogs trotted past. After breakfast, the jeeps collected us and we drove to the edge of the dunes where there were 4 strings of 4 camels each. The camel drivers fixed us up with turbans, good protection from sun and wind. We got organized, mounted and we were off into the dunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOIC6npj1Q The camels took us high on…
More

Sandstorm

This is the best OAT group we have been with. No one is obnoxious and any annoyances are very minor. Zak, our trip leader is quite impressive. He is only 25, speaks great English, is well organized and has a great sense of humor. He is giving us a lot of good insight into Moroccan culture, with a millennial's perspective. He is very open, talking about dating and young people in a changing culture. It used to be taboo for a young man to discuss these things with his mother, but Zak talked about it to his mom and she asked around the family and found a prospect. He is…
More

Green Morocco

Wednesday, we had a day trip to Volubilis, the regional Roman capital from about 0 to 200AD. Interesting place, marvelous civil engineering using the gravity of the hillside for water management, beautiful mosaics. The local guide was excellent. Then on to Meknes, a former capital of Morocco. But what I found most interesting is green Morocco. Agriculture is the main industry in Morocco. The bus drove past vistas of fields to the horizon. Wheat, olives, poppies, peaches, mustard, mostly smallish plots for each crop, easy to rotate. Some of the olive groves have other crops planted between the rows of trees. Some irrigation, some relying only on rainwater. Rains evidently…
More

Marrakech at Ramadan

Here in Marrakech, reputed to be pretty wild, everyone was a bit subdued today because of Ramadan. We took a walk through the souks today, and the vendors were all working, but were not aggressive at all. By mid afternoon, it was quiet, with most laying down taking naps. We did see one seller lose his temper and complain loudly (likely a smoker suffering from nicotine withdrawal), and Zak commented that if you can't maintain a good attitude, it's better to smoke and eat. Walking past the drowsy sellers, I spotted a guy watching Ramadan porn on his phone: a video of meat sizzling on a grill. In the souks,…
More

Zak’s Family

Zakaria, our trip leader, was born and grew up in Marrakech. Yesterday, we drove over the High Atlas mountains, hours on a winding mountain road in a huge bus on a narrow road, back into Morocco's green zone, finally arriving in Marrakech. We are staying in another Riad, an old home built around a courtyard. Tile, fountains, high ceilings. In the late afternoon, we walked to the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech's famous square full of hustlers, snake charmers, musicians, street food vendors and tourists. Crazy, chaotic place. Zak's mother invited the group to dinner. His brother, some sisters, a brother-in-law, some nieces and nephews all joined us. Zak is the…
More

Ouarzarzate

Where Is Zat? Morocco changed its time Saturday night, falling back an hour. Normally, they follow the UK and Portugal on daylight savings time. But because Ramadan starts this week, they changed the clocks for the next 5 weeks. Since everyone fasts (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset, the time change means the sun sets an hour earlier, therefore they can eat an hour earlier. This morning we drove out to a small village where we met a family who was going to serve us lunch. The father is a mason, repairing the adobe that make up the village. In recent years, people are switching to cement, which…
More

Sahara

Maria's birthday started this morning at 6:00am when we got up to see the sunrise. Several other intrepid travelers were also up to see a somewhat uneventful appearance of Sol which rose quickly over Algeria on the eastern horizon. It was cool in the early morning light. A couple of friendly dogs trotted past. After breakfast, the jeeps collected us and we drove to the edge of the dunes where there were 4 strings of 4 camels each. The camel drivers fixed us up with turbans, good protection from sun and wind. We got organized, mounted and we were off into the dunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOIC6npj1Q The camels took us high on…
More

Sandstorm

This is the best OAT group we have been with. No one is obnoxious and any annoyances are very minor. Zak, our trip leader is quite impressive. He is only 25, speaks great English, is well organized and has a great sense of humor. He is giving us a lot of good insight into Moroccan culture, with a millennial's perspective. He is very open, talking about dating and young people in a changing culture. It used to be taboo for a young man to discuss these things with his mother, but Zak talked about it to his mom and she asked around the family and found a prospect. He is…
More

Green Morocco

Wednesday, we had a day trip to Volubilis, the regional Roman capital from about 0 to 200AD. Interesting place, marvelous civil engineering using the gravity of the hillside for water management, beautiful mosaics. The local guide was excellent. Then on to Meknes, a former capital of Morocco. But what I found most interesting is green Morocco. Agriculture is the main industry in Morocco. The bus drove past vistas of fields to the horizon. Wheat, olives, poppies, peaches, mustard, mostly smallish plots for each crop, easy to rotate. Some of the olive groves have other crops planted between the rows of trees. Some irrigation, some relying only on rainwater. Rains evidently…
More

Marrakech at Ramadan

Here in Marrakech, reputed to be pretty wild, everyone was a bit subdued today because of Ramadan. We took a walk through the souks today, and the vendors were all working, but were not aggressive at all. By mid afternoon, it was quiet, with most laying down taking naps. We did see one seller lose his temper and complain loudly (likely a smoker suffering from nicotine withdrawal), and Zak commented that if you can't maintain a good attitude, it's better to smoke and eat. Walking past the drowsy sellers, I spotted a guy watching Ramadan porn on his phone: a video of meat sizzling on a grill. In the souks,…
More

Zak’s Family

Zakaria, our trip leader, was born and grew up in Marrakech. Yesterday, we drove over the High Atlas mountains, hours on a winding mountain road in a huge bus on a narrow road, back into Morocco's green zone, finally arriving in Marrakech. We are staying in another Riad, an old home built around a courtyard. Tile, fountains, high ceilings. In the late afternoon, we walked to the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech's famous square full of hustlers, snake charmers, musicians, street food vendors and tourists. Crazy, chaotic place. Zak's mother invited the group to dinner. His brother, some sisters, a brother-in-law, some nieces and nephews all joined us. Zak is the…
More

Ouarzarzate

Where Is Zat? Morocco changed its time Saturday night, falling back an hour. Normally, they follow the UK and Portugal on daylight savings time. But because Ramadan starts this week, they changed the clocks for the next 5 weeks. Since everyone fasts (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset, the time change means the sun sets an hour earlier, therefore they can eat an hour earlier. This morning we drove out to a small village where we met a family who was going to serve us lunch. The father is a mason, repairing the adobe that make up the village. In recent years, people are switching to cement, which…
More

Sahara

Maria's birthday started this morning at 6:00am when we got up to see the sunrise. Several other intrepid travelers were also up to see a somewhat uneventful appearance of Sol which rose quickly over Algeria on the eastern horizon. It was cool in the early morning light. A couple of friendly dogs trotted past. After breakfast, the jeeps collected us and we drove to the edge of the dunes where there were 4 strings of 4 camels each. The camel drivers fixed us up with turbans, good protection from sun and wind. We got organized, mounted and we were off into the dunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOIC6npj1Q The camels took us high on…
More

Sandstorm

This is the best OAT group we have been with. No one is obnoxious and any annoyances are very minor. Zak, our trip leader is quite impressive. He is only 25, speaks great English, is well organized and has a great sense of humor. He is giving us a lot of good insight into Moroccan culture, with a millennial's perspective. He is very open, talking about dating and young people in a changing culture. It used to be taboo for a young man to discuss these things with his mother, but Zak talked about it to his mom and she asked around the family and found a prospect. He is…
More

Green Morocco

Wednesday, we had a day trip to Volubilis, the regional Roman capital from about 0 to 200AD. Interesting place, marvelous civil engineering using the gravity of the hillside for water management, beautiful mosaics. The local guide was excellent. Then on to Meknes, a former capital of Morocco. But what I found most interesting is green Morocco. Agriculture is the main industry in Morocco. The bus drove past vistas of fields to the horizon. Wheat, olives, poppies, peaches, mustard, mostly smallish plots for each crop, easy to rotate. Some of the olive groves have other crops planted between the rows of trees. Some irrigation, some relying only on rainwater. Rains evidently…
More

Marrakech at Ramadan

Here in Marrakech, reputed to be pretty wild, everyone was a bit subdued today because of Ramadan. We took a walk through the souks today, and the vendors were all working, but were not aggressive at all. By mid afternoon, it was quiet, with most laying down taking naps. We did see one seller lose his temper and complain loudly (likely a smoker suffering from nicotine withdrawal), and Zak commented that if you can't maintain a good attitude, it's better to smoke and eat. Walking past the drowsy sellers, I spotted a guy watching Ramadan porn on his phone: a video of meat sizzling on a grill. In the souks,…
More

Zak’s Family

Zakaria, our trip leader, was born and grew up in Marrakech. Yesterday, we drove over the High Atlas mountains, hours on a winding mountain road in a huge bus on a narrow road, back into Morocco's green zone, finally arriving in Marrakech. We are staying in another Riad, an old home built around a courtyard. Tile, fountains, high ceilings. In the late afternoon, we walked to the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech's famous square full of hustlers, snake charmers, musicians, street food vendors and tourists. Crazy, chaotic place. Zak's mother invited the group to dinner. His brother, some sisters, a brother-in-law, some nieces and nephews all joined us. Zak is the…
More

Ouarzarzate

Where Is Zat? Morocco changed its time Saturday night, falling back an hour. Normally, they follow the UK and Portugal on daylight savings time. But because Ramadan starts this week, they changed the clocks for the next 5 weeks. Since everyone fasts (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset, the time change means the sun sets an hour earlier, therefore they can eat an hour earlier. This morning we drove out to a small village where we met a family who was going to serve us lunch. The father is a mason, repairing the adobe that make up the village. In recent years, people are switching to cement, which…
More

Sahara

Maria's birthday started this morning at 6:00am when we got up to see the sunrise. Several other intrepid travelers were also up to see a somewhat uneventful appearance of Sol which rose quickly over Algeria on the eastern horizon. It was cool in the early morning light. A couple of friendly dogs trotted past. After breakfast, the jeeps collected us and we drove to the edge of the dunes where there were 4 strings of 4 camels each. The camel drivers fixed us up with turbans, good protection from sun and wind. We got organized, mounted and we were off into the dunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOIC6npj1Q The camels took us high on…
More

Sandstorm

This is the best OAT group we have been with. No one is obnoxious and any annoyances are very minor. Zak, our trip leader is quite impressive. He is only 25, speaks great English, is well organized and has a great sense of humor. He is giving us a lot of good insight into Moroccan culture, with a millennial's perspective. He is very open, talking about dating and young people in a changing culture. It used to be taboo for a young man to discuss these things with his mother, but Zak talked about it to his mom and she asked around the family and found a prospect. He is…
More

Green Morocco

Wednesday, we had a day trip to Volubilis, the regional Roman capital from about 0 to 200AD. Interesting place, marvelous civil engineering using the gravity of the hillside for water management, beautiful mosaics. The local guide was excellent. Then on to Meknes, a former capital of Morocco. But what I found most interesting is green Morocco. Agriculture is the main industry in Morocco. The bus drove past vistas of fields to the horizon. Wheat, olives, poppies, peaches, mustard, mostly smallish plots for each crop, easy to rotate. Some of the olive groves have other crops planted between the rows of trees. Some irrigation, some relying only on rainwater. Rains evidently…
More

Marrakech at Ramadan

Here in Marrakech, reputed to be pretty wild, everyone was a bit subdued today because of Ramadan. We took a walk through the souks today, and the vendors were all working, but were not aggressive at all. By mid afternoon, it was quiet, with most laying down taking naps. We did see one seller lose his temper and complain loudly (likely a smoker suffering from nicotine withdrawal), and Zak commented that if you can't maintain a good attitude, it's better to smoke and eat. Walking past the drowsy sellers, I spotted a guy watching Ramadan porn on his phone: a video of meat sizzling on a grill. In the souks,…
More

Zak’s Family

Zakaria, our trip leader, was born and grew up in Marrakech. Yesterday, we drove over the High Atlas mountains, hours on a winding mountain road in a huge bus on a narrow road, back into Morocco's green zone, finally arriving in Marrakech. We are staying in another Riad, an old home built around a courtyard. Tile, fountains, high ceilings. In the late afternoon, we walked to the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech's famous square full of hustlers, snake charmers, musicians, street food vendors and tourists. Crazy, chaotic place. Zak's mother invited the group to dinner. His brother, some sisters, a brother-in-law, some nieces and nephews all joined us. Zak is the…
More

Ouarzarzate

Where Is Zat? Morocco changed its time Saturday night, falling back an hour. Normally, they follow the UK and Portugal on daylight savings time. But because Ramadan starts this week, they changed the clocks for the next 5 weeks. Since everyone fasts (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset, the time change means the sun sets an hour earlier, therefore they can eat an hour earlier. This morning we drove out to a small village where we met a family who was going to serve us lunch. The father is a mason, repairing the adobe that make up the village. In recent years, people are switching to cement, which…
More

Sahara

Maria's birthday started this morning at 6:00am when we got up to see the sunrise. Several other intrepid travelers were also up to see a somewhat uneventful appearance of Sol which rose quickly over Algeria on the eastern horizon. It was cool in the early morning light. A couple of friendly dogs trotted past. After breakfast, the jeeps collected us and we drove to the edge of the dunes where there were 4 strings of 4 camels each. The camel drivers fixed us up with turbans, good protection from sun and wind. We got organized, mounted and we were off into the dunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOIC6npj1Q The camels took us high on…
More

Sandstorm

This is the best OAT group we have been with. No one is obnoxious and any annoyances are very minor. Zak, our trip leader is quite impressive. He is only 25, speaks great English, is well organized and has a great sense of humor. He is giving us a lot of good insight into Moroccan culture, with a millennial's perspective. He is very open, talking about dating and young people in a changing culture. It used to be taboo for a young man to discuss these things with his mother, but Zak talked about it to his mom and she asked around the family and found a prospect. He is…
More

Green Morocco

Wednesday, we had a day trip to Volubilis, the regional Roman capital from about 0 to 200AD. Interesting place, marvelous civil engineering using the gravity of the hillside for water management, beautiful mosaics. The local guide was excellent. Then on to Meknes, a former capital of Morocco. But what I found most interesting is green Morocco. Agriculture is the main industry in Morocco. The bus drove past vistas of fields to the horizon. Wheat, olives, poppies, peaches, mustard, mostly smallish plots for each crop, easy to rotate. Some of the olive groves have other crops planted between the rows of trees. Some irrigation, some relying only on rainwater. Rains evidently…
More

Marrakech at Ramadan

Here in Marrakech, reputed to be pretty wild, everyone was a bit subdued today because of Ramadan. We took a walk through the souks today, and the vendors were all working, but were not aggressive at all. By mid afternoon, it was quiet, with most laying down taking naps. We did see one seller lose his temper and complain loudly (likely a smoker suffering from nicotine withdrawal), and Zak commented that if you can't maintain a good attitude, it's better to smoke and eat. Walking past the drowsy sellers, I spotted a guy watching Ramadan porn on his phone: a video of meat sizzling on a grill. In the souks,…
More

Zak’s Family

Zakaria, our trip leader, was born and grew up in Marrakech. Yesterday, we drove over the High Atlas mountains, hours on a winding mountain road in a huge bus on a narrow road, back into Morocco's green zone, finally arriving in Marrakech. We are staying in another Riad, an old home built around a courtyard. Tile, fountains, high ceilings. In the late afternoon, we walked to the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech's famous square full of hustlers, snake charmers, musicians, street food vendors and tourists. Crazy, chaotic place. Zak's mother invited the group to dinner. His brother, some sisters, a brother-in-law, some nieces and nephews all joined us. Zak is the…
More

Ouarzarzate

Where Is Zat? Morocco changed its time Saturday night, falling back an hour. Normally, they follow the UK and Portugal on daylight savings time. But because Ramadan starts this week, they changed the clocks for the next 5 weeks. Since everyone fasts (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset, the time change means the sun sets an hour earlier, therefore they can eat an hour earlier. This morning we drove out to a small village where we met a family who was going to serve us lunch. The father is a mason, repairing the adobe that make up the village. In recent years, people are switching to cement, which…
More

Sahara

Maria's birthday started this morning at 6:00am when we got up to see the sunrise. Several other intrepid travelers were also up to see a somewhat uneventful appearance of Sol which rose quickly over Algeria on the eastern horizon. It was cool in the early morning light. A couple of friendly dogs trotted past. After breakfast, the jeeps collected us and we drove to the edge of the dunes where there were 4 strings of 4 camels each. The camel drivers fixed us up with turbans, good protection from sun and wind. We got organized, mounted and we were off into the dunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOIC6npj1Q The camels took us high on…
More

Sandstorm

This is the best OAT group we have been with. No one is obnoxious and any annoyances are very minor. Zak, our trip leader is quite impressive. He is only 25, speaks great English, is well organized and has a great sense of humor. He is giving us a lot of good insight into Moroccan culture, with a millennial's perspective. He is very open, talking about dating and young people in a changing culture. It used to be taboo for a young man to discuss these things with his mother, but Zak talked about it to his mom and she asked around the family and found a prospect. He is…
More

Green Morocco

Wednesday, we had a day trip to Volubilis, the regional Roman capital from about 0 to 200AD. Interesting place, marvelous civil engineering using the gravity of the hillside for water management, beautiful mosaics. The local guide was excellent. Then on to Meknes, a former capital of Morocco. But what I found most interesting is green Morocco. Agriculture is the main industry in Morocco. The bus drove past vistas of fields to the horizon. Wheat, olives, poppies, peaches, mustard, mostly smallish plots for each crop, easy to rotate. Some of the olive groves have other crops planted between the rows of trees. Some irrigation, some relying only on rainwater. Rains evidently…
More