High Mountain Doings

From 8200 feet along one side of the Upper Arkansas River Valley in central Colorado, my blog is about many things: travel including river and bicycle trips, and other experiences as well. The focus is on photography, not lots of text.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Marrakech Streets and Souq

Atop the souq and everywhere else, there are hundreds of storks nesting and multiplying.

Do you know what these things are? I don't know either. They're in the Marrakech souq, which is the very concentrated part of the marketplace with narrow, semi-covered passageways. A large number of small shops are here, and I had the impression that many of the proprietors actually live here. I don't know whether that's correct.

One of several hundred, if not thousands, of shops in or near the souq, Marrakech, Morocco.

Another street in Marrakech, this one a little wider than the one below and lined with shops.

Walking down one of the narrow passageways in the old city of Marrakech. Some of these places date from the 14th Century.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Marrakech, Morocco

This man gave us a tour of Marrakech--particularly of the souq, which is a collection of small shops that will be described in the next post.

The city of Marrakech from our hotel. Note the palm trees, the distant Atlas Mountains, and the color of the buildings. Almost every building in Morocco is this color. I call it "the national color." It comes from building earthen walls, of course, but even where buildings are built of concrete blocks, they're soon painted this color.

To Casablanca, Morocco

Disembarking from Royal Air Maroc in Casablanca the next morning--the night having been shortened by flying eastward: Rick Bauman, trip organizer, was there to meet us. After gathering bikes and baggage and clearing Moroccan customs, it was off to Marrakech which is about two hours south. That is where we would enjoy a day touring the city, and where we'd begin our bicycle trip on the second morning, May 7th.

I'll let you figure out why these lights on Long Island, soon after our takeoff from JFK to Casablanca on Royal Air Maroc, appear to pass in curved lines OVER the wing.

From JFK near New York City, we flew northeast just off the coast of Long Island. Northeast? Casablanca is east and a little south of there. It's called "great circle" routing. On the way home, we would fly over Cape Cod, Providence, and Long Island Sound enroute back to JFK. I'm sure this was Air Traffic Control's way of maintaining separation between arriving and departing aircraft.

Boarding jetBlue in Denver on May 5, 2007. As the screens on the seatbacks say, jetBlue really does have more legroom and that's wonderful. However, the airline does NOT transfer baggage to other carriers (as least not to Royal Air Maroc) so I had to collect it all including my plastic bike box and take it to the international terminal myself.

I'd never been to JFK airport before, but had been told about their train system. A helpful employee found me a cart for free and told me what I needed to do. I made my way to the train terminal, found that I could wheel my cart right aboard, and off I went to the proper terminal. JFK is arranged like a big circle, so it wasn't hard to figure out. You do have to ride an elevator up to a walkway across a road, then back down on the other side to your terminal.

Once there, check-in went quickly, my bike box and largest bag disappeared into the system again, and I was soon sitting at the proper gate where I joined several others that I knew from Cycle Myanmar in 2004. It was late afternoon by then.