• Morocco,  Travel

    Exploring the Fez Medina

    Fez is the second largest city in Morocco, behind Casablanca. Fez has different sections, including “Old Fez” (Fez el Bali) from the 9th Century and “New Fez” (Fez el Djedid) from the 13th Century! Yes, you read that right – “New Fez” was founded in 1276!   Fes el Bali, Old Fez, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Inside the walled city, there is a maze of winding streets filled with vendors and merchants.  University of Al-Karaouine, the world’s oldest existing (and still operating!) university is within Fes el Bali.   Fez is still the most intact, least modernized medina in the Arab world and one of the largest car-free urban…

  • Morocco,  Travel

    An Afternoon in Essaouira

    After spending time in Marrakech, my fiance, Reda, his parents, and I drove to the Atlantic coast for a few days along with the family puppy, Paco!  En route to Agadir, we visited Essaouira for an afternoon.  As we pulled into the town, I saw a coastline full of beach-goers and surfers!  My future Mother-in-Law, Rachida, grew up in Essaouira so it was really nice to have her show us around.  We ended up parking right beside her high school! Whereas Marrakech had all red/pink hues, Essaouira had more whites and tans with splashes of bright blue throughout the city.  We spent most of the afternoon walking through the Medina,…

  • Morocco,  Travel

    Marrakech, Morocco

    We stayed in Marrakech for the first several days during my trip.  One of the first things I noticed was the driving – the roads are pure chaos!  Yet, it is an organized chaos.  In traffic circles, no one is following the lanes.  The road is shared by trucks, cars, motorbikes, sometimes even mules.  I don’t know how they all share the road without crashing, but it somehow just works!  The contrast of coexisting extremes also surprised me.  I saw motorbikes with several people piled on sharing the road with expensive sports cars.  That’s not something that I see every day! La ville en rose We all know Edith Piaf’s song “La…

  • Life,  Morocco,  Travel

    My Moroccan Engagement

    In September, I traveled to Morocco to see my (then) boyfriend’s native country and meet his family.  And I got engaged!!  The most popular question I have been asked is if I knew it was coming.  I probably should have read the signs, but I truly was surprised! Preparation I was told ahead of time to bring heels to wear to a “Welcome Party” with his family and that Reda’s mom, Rachida, had a Caftan made for me to wear.  Reda completely played it down, saying they rented out a space because they couldn’t host everyone at his brother’s apartment.  Made sense to me!  He told me that when you…