Monday, September 21, 2020

16 DAYS IN MOROCCO, Part 2: Guest Post by Tom and Susan Weisner

Fez, Morocco.
Our friends Tom and Susan Weisner went on a tour of Morocco last year and have kindly agreed to share a few of their wonderful photos and memories of the trip. Part 1 posted last week. This is Part 2.
Our guide.
Our trip to Morocco was  part of a group tour organized by Reed College, where Tom was a student in the 1960s. There were 15 in our group, including Paul Silverstein, an anthropologist who teaches at Reed and who does fieldwork in Morocco. We had a great Moroccan guide too!

Rug merchants, Fes.
Susan dressed up inside a weaving store somewhere in the souk.
Fes is the second largest city in Morocco, 1.4 million, historic cultural center, former capital until 1912. Souk (market) and Medina (old quarter) of Fez is a World Heritage site –a huge, endless twisting world inside!
Want some rugs, slippers, shoes, jewelry, DATES, weaving and cloth - or about any other thing you could think of? It’s in some alley somewhere. But just  try and find your way back out!

Berber Villages (Meknes-Tafilalet)
Our group had lunch in a Berber village.
Two friends in our small tour group playing dress-up inside the Berber village.
Paul Silverstein, Reed anthropologist, did field research in this Berber area in the South near the Atlas Mountains. This led to side events such as Paul taking Tom to meet Moroccan informants of his, journalists, etc. He took our group into enclosed walled villages (Meknes-Tafilalet) and we had lunch inside – tea in a field basically. Awesome. There was a small “museum" inside as well.

Ouarzazate, nicknamed the "door of the desert"
Our “rock” hotel was like a fort!
Ouarzazate is a historic city in the Southern Berber area in Morocco, in the High Atlas Mountains. Gateway to the Sahara desert to the South. Famous “Kasbah” there. It was also turned into a location site for making movies with an exotic, middle east/desert setting (Gladiator; Game of Thrones, etc.).
Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou outside Ouarzazate in the walled Berber communities of the South of Morocco.
Then driving over the Atlas Mountains – steep, curvy. Susan loved it. (Not really.)

Marrakech market square
The VAST main market square famous in Marrakech; we spent several hours there. There is a huge souk (bazaar or marketplace) surrounding it.
Susan bought some green plates here.
Susan and Tom with camel.
Yes; there are camels but this is just at a tourist rest stop where you could take a picture with one. We never got near any actual desert oasis with camels. There are stray cats EVERYWHERE.
We all got various stomach problems in Morocco. There was a Burger King near our hotel in Marrakech. An exotic one, of course, but just what we needed. We got dinner there. Mmmmmmm.

Essaouira is on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. It is a beautiful city – historic French and colonial. 
One of the many shops in the Essaouira medina. (Medina is an old Arab word for the non-European part of a North African city.)
Viagra for men and women available in the Medina..
Susan sees a totally torn up violin in a case at a museum in Essaouira.
And yes, there are goats that climb in the trees and eat stuff along the roads….
 For Part 1 of 16 DAYS IN MOROCCO, see the post for 9/14/20..

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