Morocco & a Hidden Marrakesh Treasure

Most of the people that read my blog find it on Facebook.  With that being said, you probably already know that I spent my birthday in Morocco, in northern Africa, and you’ve seen some of the pictures from the trip.

Today, I want to share a few thoughts, some things I learned about the country and details of one magical evening.

In Morocco, we arrived at the airport in Casablanca.  From there, we were driven to Rabat for a night, spent two nights in Fez, and two more in Marrakesh before heading back to Casablanca for a night.

Marrakesh was my favorite city.

Blue 1

Casablanca was my least favorite.  In all fairness, it could have been the short time there (about 12 hours), the congested traffic, and/or the neighborhood surrounding the hotel.

However, the exterior of the Hassan II Mosque, the largest in Morocco, and the stained glass of the Notre Dame de Lourdes Cathedral in Casablanca were stunning!  (I’ll be sharing many more pictures on my Facebook page in the coming days!)

mosque

stained.jpg

THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT MOROCCO

The country makes most of its money from two things that come from the sky:  the rain (agriculture) and planes (tourists).

Olives are everywhere and the trees are handed down in the family and some of the trees can produce for thousands of years!

olives.jpg

There are three pickings of olives.

The first is in late November with green olives.  Those are the highest quality and many are used for olive oil.  The second picking is later in December when the olives are turning red.  And, the last harvest, in January, is of black olives — the lowest quality of olives!

Every Moroccan home has a cat (mice control) and a turtle!  The turtle is to ward off evil spirits or black magic!

Although the country is 99% Muslim, only about 45% are practicing.

Many in Morocco, especially in rural areas, live in poverty, but it’s slowly improving.  Meanwhile, there are some well off and very rich people in the country.  But, it’s a culture where most don’t flaunt it.

The exteriors of many dwellings look very basic or run down, but the homes inside are lavish and filled with riches.

A MAGICAL EVENING

That leads me to the dinner I mentioned earlier.

Here I am with my “Crazy Asians” (Pom, Sheila, Po Po, and Izzy).  I met these fun ladies at the beginning of the trip and I shared a lot of time with them — an incredible group of friends!

Carriage.JPG

The evening started with a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of Marrakesh at sunset and a jaunt through the crowded souk (an Arab marketplace or bazaar) in the Medina (the old quarter of town) on the way to dinner.

Marrakesh Night.jpg

Once we were dropped off from the carriage ride, we made our way through a series of alleys that looked like a deserted, bombed out part of town!

But, at the end of the maze was the incredible and gorgeous Lotus Privilege Restaurant!

Lotus

Once we stepped inside, per custom, we washed our hands with warm water from a elegant silver tea pot.  We were then handed a tasty drink and took in the spectacular scenery.

I’m not being vain here.  I just couldn’t choose which beautiful backdrop to choose to share!

Pool

ap cactus

And, this is Elizabeth and Stephen, a delightful Texas couple.  Stephen celebrated his birthday a day before me!

I felt like royalty at this lavish dinner with this gorgeous group!

Group

Our three course tasting menu stated with incredibly colorful and tasty Moroccan salads.

This was followed by entrees of either cockerel (chicken), veal, or fish Tagine (my pick), and three choices for dessert.  I chose the pastilla with light cream and crushed almonds with fresh mint!

dessert

And, we were treated to live, energetic African music and an elegant, gorgeous belly dancer!

What a memorable evening!

CELEBRITY SIGHTING

By the way, Keanu Reeves was standing right in front of me as we boarded the flight from Paris, France, to Casablanca.

He was heading to Morocco to film scenes for “John Wick 3: Parabellum”, which is scheduled for a May 2019 release which also stars Halle Berry.

My posse got a picture with him! 🙂

Keanu.jpg

If you’ve ever considered going to Morocco, do so.  And, if you’ve never thought about it, I’d recommend it.

Anthony

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: