Sideways Sally

Sailing thru the Alphabet

Morocco – land of life and love.

Sideways Sally is back at it!! Here she is at letter C.

Last year this time I was teeing up plans to sail to Alaska, then spent the summer between Boats, and now I’ve been sailing in Croatia!! I can’t wait to see what D brings.

At the end of March I took a heavenly flight to Casablanca, Morocco. I treated myself for my 65th birthday to a business class flight so I could sleep lying down. OH, the luxury!! The service, the food, the “hot mixed nuts,” toiletry bag, and comfort was something I’d never experienced.

I love flying, and returning to travelling the world again was thrilling. My favorite place to write is from the seat of airplane, 30,000 feet in the air with a window between me and -40 degree temp, going 600 mph. There’s nothing to do about anything except adjust the vent and the light above my head, kick my shoes off and explore the movies offered. I occasionally switch to flight mode to see our progress across the Atlantic Ocean.

I have to start this story with telling you about Yumna, without whom it would never have been possible to have such an enjoyable trip. We met while working at our community mental health team in Vancouver. She was raised in Canada, her family is from Egypt, therefore she speaks Arabic. When she announced that she was going to Morocco to study French for three months, I announced, “I’m going to visit you there.” Then I invited her to come sailing in Croatia. You may recognize her from previous posts where she came sailing on OMOO out of Horseshoe Bay into Howe Sound.

Yumna became familiar with the culture and researched the most amazing places to visit on our one week road trip around northern Morocco. She is an exceptionally smart, fun and “go with the flow” travel companion.

Arriving in Casablanca, Yumna met me at the airport where she had rented a car. Being in another country, everything is a different. Yumna was able to navigate the language, the destinations she had chosen, and the culture. It looked like she did this with ease, but I know it take an extreme amount of energy and concentration.

We left Casablanca on the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean to drive to Fez, approximately a 4 hour drive inland. The “Riad” Yumna booked was a warm introduction to the culture of Morocco. The Riad is a hostel where the hospitality is an extension of the Moroccan culture. As we were driving toward the Riad and looking for parking, two young men met us and led us to a spot nearby, they were eager to meet us again the next day to guide us through the city, but we declined as they were a little too eager.

The hosts of the Riad were observing Ramadan, and laid out a lovely spread “to break the fast” at sunset. After meeting some of the other guests whom we became fast friends with, we retired to our small but clean and comfortable room to rest up for the adventure of exploring the city the next day. My only worry that evening was “is there morning coffee during Ramadan?”

Casablance – Fez – Al Hoceima – Chefchouen – Tangier – Split, Croatia

In the morning Fez welcomed us with morning prayers broadcast from the Mosque. Then the pigeon outside the window sounded a little sick. Yumna was oblivious with her earplugs in and her eye cover on. I got up to greet the day and see what happens in the wee hours with the sun creeping up over the city. There was no movement in the Riad for an hour but then the kitchen got busy preparing breakfast which was served on the terrace, outside on the rooftop.

Although our hosts did not eat after sunrise, the breakfast they provided was delicious, fruit, yogurt, eggs, slices of meat and bread was enough to get us going, along with bottemless coffee or tea.

The same friends we made the night before joined together for breakfast and we were invited to join them for the day. The plan was to go to a lovely garden, then wander through the medina, visit a leather factory and eat out after sunset.

The Medina or City Center was an interesting collection of shops, craftsmanship and food. The outdoor markets with produce of fruit, beans, vegetables, olives and spices were colorful and so aromatic!

I could not get enough of all of it. We walked and walked, stopping for a break of fresh juice or cold drinks on a terrace we would climb 4 stories high. The views, sounds and smells, along with the friendly, sometimes “assertive” attention of the shop keepers all vying for our business was fun, entertaining and overwhelming all at the same time.

The link below is a One Drive video from the cloud of many photos and videos of our travels through Morocco. Next post will visit the country side and the blue city of Chefchaouen before heading off to sail in Croatia!!!AlahcUwgc4FuqyOS9ageY_fsp30k

3 replies on “Sailing thru the Alphabet”

Hey hey Sally, it’s been awhile…
Glad to see you’re traveling and sailing…
The Morocco trip and photos liked like you had an interesting time with your friend…
The dishes were colorful (though no idea except for the kabobs Laff…)
I didn’t know Morocco was that hilly and/or mountainous (the waterfalls were a real surprise)…
Anyway, glad to see a new post…
Keep traveling and Fair Winds…

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