Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
No, there were no monkey's paws for sale (as in the Simpsons episode), but we did see monkeys, snake charmers, contortionists, story tellers (in Arabic), food stalls with snail soup, live chickens, mules clogging the streets with their carts, skinny motorbikes and a few camels. Everywhere we went we were served mint tea as a sign of hospitality - even the carpet sellers serve mint tea. Ryan loved mint tea because it is sooooo sugary sweet. We ate lots of couscous and chicken tagines (and Garett learned some techniques at a cooking class). We also ate a delicious pigeon appetizer. Very little English is spoken so we had to use rudimentary French (oui!). Our small Riad had a rooftop terrace that overlooked all of the action at Djemaa el-Fna, which is the main market square. The market was always crowded, loud and smoky into the wee hours.
One day we took a day trip to Setti Fatma in the High Atlas Mountains. We hired a driver, Hassan, and a guide, Zaid, who scampered like a billy goat over many rocks and boulders to take us up to see some waterfalls. It was a bit precarious and he had to carry Ryan across the gushing water and rocks along the way. When a rock slide started , he quickly took us back down. There were a lot of rickety bridges swinging across the river. These were Ryan's favorite part.
I also bought a rug (in theory - it has yet to show up) from a chain smoking carpet salesman. They brought out rug after rug from 1,000's of choices and we then negotiated over a period of hours. Maybe I should have bought a monkey's paw instead!