Talking the Talk: Bonjour! The language du jour in Marrakech is ooh-la-la French! Luckily for the crew, Jen is bi-lingual, James is fluent and Cridlin is knowledgeable. Me? I took French 101 twice and only can say with certainty- 'bon vin blanc' and I don't drink white wine. At our Riad, the staff speaks some English. To make plans and reservations, we rely heavily on Jen's ability to translate our requests! Out in the city, the vendors know 'yoo hoo lady!', 'bargain', 'you want', and 'come see.' We ended the day with a champagne toast at midnight. The Le Tanjia restaurant staff encircled our table and sang "Happy Birthday" to Bill in Arabic. I must be getting acclimated to the culture because I followed along perfectly. Here's a tip when ordering champagne in a foreign country OR really anywhere. Ask the price, Shawn! One round of drinks and two bottles of champagne for our crowd came out to 4,000 dirham or 500 bucks! In a huge gesture of generosity, Willie treated! ENCHANTE'!!!
Review Morocco: Day 2 Eat, Pray & Love!
Eat, Pray and Love! This vacation is like a movie. Colorful costumes, extensive scenery, and just the right amount of drama! We continue to eat the local cuisine. We are fascinated by the regular hours of prayer... over the loudspeakers. And we are loving every minute of it.
Walking the Walk: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended. The streets are cobblestone and uneven. Even if something looks close by on a map, getting lost in the maze of souks (merchant stalls) is inevitable. Street signs aren't plentiful and souks start to look alike. Out and about sightseeing, toilets or W/C aren't easy to find. There is no Starbucks to pop into and latte a relief. What worked for me is buying a ticket to see the trio historic sights for 60 Dirham ($8 -ish)! Medersa Ben Youssef, Musee de Marrakech, and Koubba El Badiyin. Don't get me wrong, the architecture and decor is amazingly detailed and exquisite too!
Eating the Eats: Delightfully, Marrakech is carb-ilicious. Bread, pastries, cookies... it's a little slice of heaven! There are plenty of street options for a casual nibble. Plus, our Riad starts every day with three carb selection plus eggs and yogurt. Today, we had a crepe, bread and almond cake. The yogurt is creamy and to be mixed with honey. Yummy! The coffee is a pure jet lag jolt. Whew! Of course, main cuisines are spiced to perfection. Traveling with a big group allows tasting everything! So for dinner at KosyBar, I had duck, lamb, quail, and chicken. I would have fish too but the man to my left was too quick with his fork (Dick). All the locales want to help you get to your or their destination... for a price. Showing hesitation invites assistance. Tonight, we received it from duo of ten year olds. We were only a block from the restaurant but the kids did help. I didn't have anything smaller than 100 Dirham ($9) so Dick tipped 20 Dirham. Our young guide responded with 'that's all' which Dick retorted with 'give it back then.'