Thursday, January 2, 2014

Welcome to Africa - Morocco

Morocco would be the first country for both of us in which the main religion is the Islam. How do you prepare if you travel with dogs and have "different" looks? We searched the net and we learned beforehand things like:
  • dogs are impure.
  • people are afraid of dogs as they might bite.
  • people might throw stones at dogs to keep them away.
  • Koran says that you cannot pray if there lives a dog in the same house.
  • Homosexuality is forbidden and punished.
  • Sexual contact before marriage is forbidden and punished.
  • Tattoos and earrings are considered a sign of homosexuality.
  • Wearing flip-flops in public is like being in your underwear.
  • Western females wearing a scarf is likely to cause more attention then without.
  • Lonely females in mountain areas are not safe and they are not really safe anywhere alone.
And here we were. Skippy - a bold and beautiful lady with tattoos on her head, walking hand-in-hand with me and our three little girls. What a combination!
First break in Morocco
Finding our way
For the first 100km on the road, we made lots of people smile and laugh. We got many thumbs-up for the sidecar and for Skippy's Suzi. Many people who saw the dogs in the sidecar could not believe first what they saw. Many took pictures, others were finger pointing indicating surprise, astonishment, admiration and generally they seemed amused. So far so good.

And we arrived in Chefchaouen - the blue city...
Chefchaouen - a compact village in the mountains
The city in blue colors :)
Kasbah by night.
Our bikes directly in front of our apartment.
Enough is enough! Skippy rescued her companions from the little monsters.
Our apartment.
The medina is a labyrinth of small alleys and they have a big difference in height so I got sweaty ;)

The medina...

Olives, herbs and veggies
More veggies
OMG - light poles of plastic with construction foam inside!
Brutal way how to treat animals! Alive chickens tied up and in straight sun!
No supermarket - only street sales...
The "grand taxi" station - in a regular Mercedes fits the driver + 2 passengers in front + 4 in the back + luggage :D
Nice looking citrus trees.
Those little monsters - seriously they attacked our little girls and wanted to grab them! We demand: kids on lead!!!

Lyra peekabooing over the edge :)
Posing by the city walls of Chefchaouen and girls had their interest somewhere else...
This was the reason that girls were "occupied". About 10 weeks old puppy trying to get our attention, heart-breaking!
We also tasted some of such prickly pears.
Walking on the hills of Chefchaouen.
Delicious tangerines for Christmas dessert.
Always something small to install, fix, change...
We survived our first stay in Africa :)

In our flat we got about 300 TV channels in German - good for me. The food was cheap, a pizza costed 45DH (abt. 4EUR; 1EUR=11DH)), Couscous 30DH, Tagine 30DH, Bottle of water 15DH. We needed to get used to those pushy guys who tried to lure us into their restaurants. The weather was mostly sunny and warm with temperature about +8C in the night and +18C in day. In the sun it got almost hot, especially when walking the hills. There are no more streets in the upper part of the city and all the rest of the transport is done via donkeys.

I also needed to send a letter to Germany and we went to the post office. First I went to take a number only to realize that there are about 40-50 people ahead of me. OMG! But then I am a fast learner :) So I waved my letter around so that I got the attention from some other official-looking locals. They understood what I want and a few minutes later I had done my sending and could leave. There is no room to be shy, overly polite and just wait. A little pushy and "honking the horn" helps :D

~ Wolfi

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