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(Say it with me now - I'm not getting sick; I'm not getting sick; I'm not getting sick. Bleh. Woke up this morning feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. Am hoping the sheer quantity of fresh-squeezed orange juice I'm consuming will have some sort of effect.)

Here's a whack of photos from my afternoon toodling around Rabat, gosh, almost a week ago now. The Hassan II mosque photos are plentiful and require a little sorting, so those will have to wait for another time. I haven't downloaded my photos from yesterday yet; they'll feature a lot of scenic(?) tannery shots as well as a passel of kinneared shots of the souk, aka my attempts to document things without bringing on a dozen requests for payment.

Anyway. Back to the photos. You can click on any of them to make them bigger, then click again to make them huge.


Across the river towards Sale.


The walls of the kasbah overlooking the sea.

More kasbah, a little souk, and lots of monument. )
notyourmonkey: (Default)
Well, we've just gotten back from our last official group shindig, and I am semi-officially On My Own. (The group is arranging to take me back to Casa tomorrow to the train station, which I will board for OMGMarrakech.) I plan on celebrating the On My Own-itude by ordering something foofy from the restaurant by the pool, maybe napping in the sun, and definitely sticking my feet in the ocean again. I keep idly contemplating the spa, but I think I'm holding out for a day at Les Bains de Marrakech.

This morning was pretty nifty - the tour of the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca. The first word that springs to mind is "big." The second is "ornate." I don't think there's a single unadorned inch in the entire place. (Third largest mosque in the world, largest minaret, built 3/4ths in the sea, etc etc etc.) We had an official tour guide, but I spent most of my time walking with the Dutch guy whose was born in Meknes. He'd been to the mosque many times as a worshiper, and his comments were way more interesting than the official spiel. I wore out my battery taking pictures; maybe this evening I'll get around to uploading.

Not too much else to report back. I said goodbye to several of the group who I'd gotten to know halfway well over the last few days, and I was very pleased to realize that I had several acquaintanceships conducted entirely in French. I have not spoken French this confidently nor this frequently in, I don't know. Ever? It's kind of awesome.

Tomorrow I will bid farewell to my workmates, who are headed back to Casa for a few days. (After our brief tour, I'm even gladder that I didn't make that my primary destination. Ooops.) I will bid a temporary farewell to the other woman from DC, but she and her mom will be in Marrakech my last night, and we've arranged to have dinner together. That's awfully pleasing.

Okay. Lunch, sun, nap. Go.

(Oh, and I did finish The Girl Who Played With Fire last night. I am so glad I have access to an international copy of the sequel. I don't know how you're supposed to wait another six months or so omg.)

(Oh x2, I also found out that the well-marinated, incredibly tender but slightly odd-textured chicken in this one cold salad we've been eating for the last four days is actually sheep brains. I'm debating whether or not to tell my workmates.)

o.O

Nov. 11th, 2009 11:20 pm
notyourmonkey: (Default)
...I think I'm currently watching the Arabic version of that one Shania Twain video where she's in the desert wearing the leopard-print catsuit.

Why oh why didn't I turn on the tv for my first two days here? This is quality. I've got Arabic MTV, CSI:somewhere dubbed in French, a whole channel in Italian, and half a dozen soap operas split between Arabic and French. Oh, and BBC, but whatever. Arabic MTV.

Tonight I had two different kinds of couscous - one sweet with chicken and one savory with lamb and carrots, lamb with dried figs (amazing), roast mutton, artichokes the size of a grapefruit, more lamb, pigeon pastilla, seafood tartine, and that was about half of the options available. For dessert, there was this epic pecan tart/pie hybrid, a pastilla with milk, almond paste, rosewater, and honey, and my new favorite - oranges with cinnamon. There was mint tea and Ghanian dancers and Berber singers and there are pictures somewhere out there of me wearing a fez, possibly doing finger-guns at my tablemates (in my defense, they started it).

"Epic" doesn't even begin to cover it. Marrakech is gonna have a lot to live up to.

Now there are Arabic Rastafariwannabes on my tv. ...I don't even know. Life! Experiences!
notyourmonkey: (Default)

What a lovely hotel room. But what do I spy there beyond the curtains?


Why, yes! Yes, that would be beach! Right out the door!

More beach and Hitchcock underneath the tag. )
notyourmonkey: (Default)
(Actually, I have a lot of words. But the words are interspersed with a lot of nonverbal hand flailing.)

(Also, I just deleted a few hundred words of detailed recap of my last twenty-four hours. I promise you're not missing anything. My frozen chocolate muffin at three am was just not that exciting.)

To sum up: no travel hitches, landed an hour early in the driving rain, drove along the coast for an hour until the sun broke through, and now we are in the most ridiculous hotel I have ever stayed in, much less for work.

I HAVE A BEACHFRONT SUITE. SUITE. ON THE BEACH. LIKE, WALK OUT THE PATIO FROM MY SITTING ROOM THROUGH MY OWN TENT THINGY, DOWN FOUR STEPS, AND WHAMMO! BEACH. BEACH. RIGHT THERE.

This is what happens when you check in at ass o'clock in the morning - you get the first pick of rooms. AND THEY ARE NICE. I've got a single with soothing watercolors, a marble floor, and a purple faux suede couch. I have a shower and a jacuzzi and a bidet and a heated towel rack and A BEACH. When I got back from breakfast, there was a fruit plate and fresh flowers on the desk, as well as two different French newspapers.

I booked some stuff at the on-site spa for the afternoon - not entirely sure what, due to some dodgy translation issues, but it is mindbogglingly cheap and mindbogglingly awesome. The closest thing I can liken it to is the Canyon Ranch spa at the Venetian in Vegas, but I can get an hour's worth of massage for $30-40, instead of, well, adding a zero to that. They have EXPERIENCE SHOWERS. (or douches des experiences, if you prefer.) I'M NOT ENTIRELY SURE WHAT THOSE ARE, BUT I'M SURE I'LL TRY THEM OUT.

There's an infinity pool (cold) and a hot tub (also cold) and a massage tub (really cold), but I just ran out to the ocean (wait for it...also cold) for a little bit. BECAUSE IT'S RIGHT THERE. There was a guy surfing off to my left, and there was a shack with military guards off to my right, and this whole place is a little surreal, but I plan on thoroughly enjoying it. Pictures to follow, I'm sure.

(Speaking of surreal, my traveling companions have a hugemongous double with. um. a Hitchcock theme? Seriously. There's a series of prints of his face in a pop-arty sort of style, and two different giant oil paintings of him, and then in the bedroom there's a series of paintings of CREEPY BIRDS. I think there's such a thing as taking a theme too far. I also think I totally lucked out with my abstract watercolors. AND BEACH.)

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