Photo of the Week: Tannery

IMG_1257Fes, Morocco

Fes is the cultural and spiritual center of Morocco – known for its leather tanneries.   The tanneries in Morocco still follow the ancient method of treating leather whereby hides are soaked in diluted pigeon excrement and water for a few days to be softened.

A visit to a tannery is quite an experience. We walked down twisted and narrow paths in the Medina to one of the leather shops where we could get the best views of the tanneries. We stood on the rooftops and watched the tanners using nothing but their bare hands and feet to dye the leather. The local merchants offered us a few sprigs of mint to ward off the strong odors.

Every week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the Follow button.

Photo of the Week: Thorny Climbers

IMG_1967Essaouira, Morocco

On our way to Essaouira, a coastal city in western Morocco, we saw these tree grazing goats.  They were sitting in the thorny argan tree chilling out, so we had to stop on the side of the road to take a few pictures.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.

Photo of the Week: Souk

IMG_2527Marrakech, Morocco

This picture was taken inside the biggest souk in Marrakech, off of Jemaa el Fna square.  The market is a massive labyrinth with many crisscrossing walkways, each filled with stalls selling everything from leather goods, to rugs, to spices, to almost anything you can think of.

I picked this picture because the other day we met up with some friends for brunch and got to reminiscing about our ‘super duper fun’ trip to Morocco. Did you picked up on my sarcasm there with the air quotes and the italic fonts?  Seriously though, it was a memorable trip, but for all the wrong reasons. Basically Murphy’s Law was at play, where anything that could go wrong, went wrong for us. The weather was awful the whole time with continuous rain and freezing temperatures…in Morocco! We almost got stranded in the Atlas mountains because of a freak snow storm…in Morocco! We had to cancel part of our trip because we couldn’t drive over the mountain.  Then to top it all off, we almost got carbon monoxide poisoning in one of our hotels.

The sad part was, we’d all heard so many great things about Morocco and could not wait to go on this two week long trip! Our experience did not live up to the expectation and we pretty much had cabin fever after a week and could not wait to return home. One day I would want to go back to trek into the Sahara desert and camp overnight under the stars; something we weren’t able to do. Hopefully it’ll erase all the bad memories from the first trip.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.

Photos of the Week: Grotto

IMG_0919Tangier, Morocco

Tangier is a city located on the North African coast near the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic.  About a 15 minute drive from this northern city of Morocco is the popular Caves of Hercules.  The grotto has two openings, one on land and one out to the sea. Entering from the land opening, you descend into a cavernous area with multiple rooms and alcoves. The caves were expanded considerably over the years by Berber tribes. The opening facing out to the ocean looks like the head of a man.  When that same opening is viewed from the sea, it looks like a map of Africa. It is part of the local legend that Hercules stayed here and slept in this cave.

This sleepy seaside town is a great pit stop to grab lunch and admire the grotto. Inside, locals have set up stalls and are selling souvenirs. Outside by the waterfront, there are multiple shops and restaurants.  Make sure you don’t plan your trip around Ramadan, when the attraction is shut down for a few weeks.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.

Photo of the Week: Symmetry

IMG_0533Casablanca, Morocco

I didn’t know what to expect when I visited Casablanca.  Based on the movies I’ve seen and books I’ve read, I expected a vibrant city full of marketplaces and interesting things, but what I saw was a dilapidated city, way past it’s prime.  Streets and sidewalks were broken down and every corner was filled with piles of rubble and garbage.  However, just when I was about to write off the whole city, we went and visited Hassan II Mosque, one of the most beautiful places in Casablanca.

It is one of the largest mosques in Morocco as well as Africa and 7th largest in the world.  The white marble structure rises above the Atlantic Ocean in this forgotten city. Contrasting with the rest of the city, everything here was clean and shiny, the facade glowed under the morning light. Inside, people spoke in hushed tones in deference to the religious significance of the mosque. There was a sense of serenity and quietness that settled over the area.  

This picture captured the elaborate doorway facing out to the Atlantic ocean inside the prayer hall.  The sunlight filtered through the titanium wrought door and reflected on the marble floor creating an interesting symmetry. Even though this photo was taken in color, the light and shadow resulted in a black and white effect.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.

Photo of the Week: Mosaic

IMG_9148

Volubilis, Morocco

This photo was taken at Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Morocco.  This ancient Roman city is located a short distance from the bustling city of Fes.  Scattered throughout the ruins you will find many well preserved mosaics.  This particular mosaic depicts the goddess Diana bathing with her attendants. Growing up I was fascinated with Greek/Roman mythology, so having the opportunity to see the myths come alive in these colorful mosaics was priceless.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.