The last leg of our Morocco trip was a quick stop in Paris. My mom and grandparents who have friends in Montmartre, so we were able to visit them before heading back to the U.S. The gloomy weather in Paris was a drastic change from the warm and sunny days we saw in Morocco, but the grey skies created a kind of calm peacefulness. 24 hours in Paris was not enough, so I will be plotting my return in the near future…
A few months ago, my best group of friends and I headed out west to California for a wedding. Along the way we explored the boardwalks of Santa Cruz and the giant trees of the Redwood forest, experienced the most breathtaking views in Yosemite, and ate the freshest squid in San Francisco. Ever since, we have been trying to figure out when and how we can go back.
Our last stop in Fes was to a ceramic and tile manufacturer. There were so many beautiful colors and ceramic styles… I wanted to be able to take it all home with me, but I settled on two cobalt blue cups (that look purple before heating up in the kiln!) to use for coffee and tea. In Fes they don’t use oil or gas, but crushed olive pits as fuel for fire in the kilns.
After our last stop we all hopped in the car for a long ride through the middle atlas mountains. There were beautiful views of rolling hills and valleys and snow-capped mountains. We stopped in Ifrane – known for its European-style chalets – for coffee (My sister, Natalie, and I ordered our favorite “noos noos” espresso with milk) and later stopped in one of many Amazigh cities we drove through for barbeque. Our final destination before reaching Merzouga was Fossils Erfoud, a factory that excavates fossils and incorporates them into tables and home decor.
The medina in Fes was a bustling place. Between the carts, mules, and rushing people, it was a wonder we didn’t get run over! We took sanctuary along the corridors of the medina in mosques, workshops, and souks, and the tannery – shoes, jackets, and purses galore! There was a scenic view on the top floor of the tannery, but we needed a sprig of mint to mask the smell of a mixture of cow urine, quicklime, water, and salt which is used to break down the tough leather. The medina is rich with so much history and beautiful craftsmanship – it was hard to pack it all into one day!
Happy Friday, friends! I’m sharing a few photos of our journey from Rabat to Fes – with a stop at the Volubilis ruins in between – on this similarly warm and sunny day in D.C. I hope everyone has spectacular weekend plans! Mine involve brunching, working out, and more brunching with mom.
I can hardly believe it myself, but I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Morocco! We somehow managed to cram 5 cities into 8 days, with 2.5 days of car rides (and one camel ride) in-between. I enjoyed every minute of our week-long trek across the country, so I have decided that the best way to share my trip with you is chronologically… After an 8-hour plane ride from Dulles to Paris, a 4-hour layover, and another 4-hour plane ride to Casablanca, we finally arrived.
We were greeted by Aziz, who would be our amazing driver for the duration of our trip, at the airport in Casablanca. He had already met up with my sister, Natalie, who had arrived hours earlier from Senegal, so we all hopped in the car to travel from Casablanca to Rabat, our first destination. In Morocco, the hotels we stayed in were “riads,” traditional Moroccan houses/palaces with an interior garden or courtyard. Riad Kalaa, in the heart of Rabat, had a beautiful Andalusian courtyard with stone and marble architecture. The room I shared with Natalie was super cozy and had amazing amenities. It was so cozy, in fact, that Natalie and I didn’t want to get out of bed. Thankfully, Riad Kaala had a filling and delicious breakfast of traditional breads, yogurt, and fresh-squeezed orange juice that tempted us to leave our room.
Our stay in Rabat was a short one, but a great intro to Moroccan culture and hospitality. I would quickly learn that Morocco is home to beautiful medinas, delicious kefta kebabs, and cats – lots of cats.
I’m back from a most excellent adventure with T in Mexico City and am quickly springing back into my hectic DC life. Things are much colder here than in lovely 70-degree Mexico, but I always love coming home after a great trip. I told Teddy on our drive home from the airport, “the best part about coming home after a traveling to an amazing new place is how it puts my life back in perspective.” There really is so much more out there than the minutia of the everyday, which really brings a wave of positivity into my life.
Teddy and I stayed in Roma Norte, a neighborhood just west of Mexico City’s historic center, with a couple in a renovated apartment that we found on Airbnb. If you have plans to travel to Mexico City, I highly recommend using Airbnb [here is where we stayed!]. The neighborhood eerily paralleled the charming Capitol Hill and Bloomingdale areas of the District, with its brick facades, scattered parks, cute dogs, and young families. It is very walkable, which T and I took full advantage of. The primary focus of our trip was food photography for Teddy’s portfolio [check out his blog for awesome photos taken during our adventures of Mexican cuisine and culture!] and then eating said food, so walking to work off our frequent meals was an absolute must.
We arrived in Mexico in the afternoon, which left us a few hours to acquaint ourselves with our bustling street. After a few minutes of exploring, we found a nice french cafe with outdoor seating [basically every restaurant and bar has a patio that sometimes extend into the street] and quiet charm. It was only fitting to order tequila and mezcal as our first drinks in Mexico, which we quickly learned from locals is meant to be sipped, not taken as a shot. Sipping these strong drinks is made easier and more pleasant by a spice mix frequently used on fruit [and on the rim of cocktail glasses], called chile de árbol. We both absolutely love the spice, so I need to see where I can find it in the states!
Photography also by Teddy Wolff