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2013 NOV MOROCCO - Coffee is a good thing

We drove from Larache to Meknes to Azrou.

Saturday 2nd November 13 (day 63)

Breakfast today was a yoghurt from the shop opposite the hotel and a coffee in the sun at a cafe on the square. Now I know I'm back in Morocco - the old eating habits returning!

Back at the hotel we collected our luggage and were thankful the car was still in the same spot where I parked it last night in a side street and by 10.30 we were on our way out of Larache, hopeful we were on the correct road that I had googled last night. Really need to get a map. Not that is would be a great deal of help as the Moroccan road signs are a bit non existent or not enough information or not in English! Regardless of all these things we managed to go in the correct general direction, maybe a little long way round but ended up in Meknes exactly where we wanted to be. Again arriving at lunch time, or a little later but we had not yet eaten so first up were on the hunt for food. Parking the car with the aid of a parking attendant - these are guys who direct you into empty car spaces and supposedly keep an eye on your car while you are away for a small fee payable before you drive off.

We walked up through the market and the smell of cooking meat caught my attention. Mobile stalls with small charcoal bbq's were cooking sausages and serving them in bread rolls. Absolutely no idea what kind of meat was used or what was added inside these sausages that gave them a distinctive bright red colour but they tasted ok and filled a hole in our stomachs that was looking for lunch. At 20 dh each it was a hell of a lot cheaper than eating on the main square in Meknes also.
Coffee in our usual cafe at the far corner of the square. Here the coffee is very good and at only 5 dh (62c) a bargain price for a coffee in a big city.

After our refreshment we went for a walk through the markets and picked up a few things that we had especially stopped here in Meknes for. Then before heading towards Azrou went back for another coffee and sat people watching for a little while. More tourists here, but still the square was pretty quiet.

On the way back to the car we bought some tiny mandarines at just 2 dh (12c) per kilo and the parking attendant seemed to be happy with the 4 dh that we handed him after being directed back onto the street.

Getting out of Meknes was the hardest part of the day. With no road signs in sight I tried from memory to retrace the path that the taxi used to take on the days I would visit here from Azrou. I must have missed a turnoff because soon we were lost somewhere in the outer suburbs of Meknes with no idea which way we needed to head. Necessity made us stop at a petrol station to refuel where we were able to get vague directions regarding the general direction we needed to head. Turns out the vague directions were pretty accurate and soon we were on our way to Azrou, just a little later than we wanted as it was dark with we finally arrived.

Luckily the hotel where we wanted to stay had plenty of rooms free and after being shown a choice of two rooms I was quoted 120 dh ($15.00) for a twin room with sat TV. When I pointed out the fact that neither rooms actually had a TV in them the price dropped to 100 dh ($12.50).

Time again to venture out and have a coffee!!! Along the way we met up with friends - most of who knew Lyn also as she had visited Azrou several times. Funniest thing was the waiters in just about all the cafes remembered me! What exactly does that tell you?

Harira soup again was the menu for dinner - again a bargain at 5dh (62c) a bowl - just about the cheapest meal you are ever going to find anywhere.

Would you believe we finished the night with quick coffee in the cafe next to our hotel before going to bed.

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Sunday 3rd November 13 (day63)

We lazed in bed till late. It was a little cold last night and we are going to ask for extra blankets for tonight.

Breakfast started with a yoghurt at my regular yoghurt shop for just 2dh (25c). The shop has had a change of name and a total make over but still selling the same great product. We then walked into the centre looking for something else to take and eat while we have a coffee. My favourite chicken sandwich man was not open (wonder if he is still operating?) so we found another place that sold potato patties in flat bread. This hit the spot and we enjoyed them washed down with a nice hot coffee!

This cafe is one of my old stomping grounds and is fondly referred to as 'the office' because I spent so much time here. It is also an excellent position for people watching - although it did seem a little quiet in Azrou today. Met up with some more friends and then we headed off to visit Abdou who has the best carpet shop in Azrou. Not only that he is a lovely guy and makes great tea. It was just a bonus for him that Lyn wanted to purchase a carpet.

We spent the next 3 hours with Abdou and yes Lyn got the carpet she wanted (and I bought 2 small ones). God knows how the hell we are going to carry them home but will worry about that when the time comes to pack up all our stuff to get on a plane in 2 weeks time.

It was about 4pm and hunger forced us to leave the carpet shop although we had been treated to some lovely home made biscuits compliments of Abdou's mother.

Returning to the harira soup place we visited last night we started with a bowl of soup and then shared a chicken/beef tajine. I say chicken/beef because I ordered chicken but we were given beef. Not a problem it tasted great anyway and this filling meal cost a grand total of 35 dh ($4.40). I had forgotten how cheap it is to eat here.

We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening in the cafe next to the hotel. We met up briefly with Zak who had been out of town with family and had to return to them so we will meet again tomorrow. Our dinner turned out to be a combination of left over cookies from Abdou, yummy coconut ones we purchased earlier from the hot guy in the cookie shop (do you remember him Sarah?) and the mandarines we bought in Meknes yesterday. We'll be eating them for a few days as I purchased 5dh (62c) worth which was 2 1/2 kilos.

The hotel owner was happy to give us extra blankets when we asked, so tonight should be a warmer sleep. We had planned to going to the hammam today, but time just flew by and it's hard to get anywhere or get anything done between visits to assorted cafes.

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Posted by Cindy Bruin 11:24 Archived in Morocco

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