We spent our Thanksgiving holiday in Morocco at the end of last year. It’s a special place for the hubby because he lived there for three and a half years and in many ways, it’s a second home to him. It seemed fitting, therefore, that if we couldn’t be at home with our extended family, at least we could head to his “home” in Rabat.
Morocco, if you’ve never been, is a must-see. We visited the ancient medinas in Rabat and Fes, and nothing prepared me for how layers and layers of civilization have been built upon each other. Winding, narrow, brick-paved streets are full of slices of life. Wander aimlessly, and you might find yourself giving way to a chicken vendor or a donkey carrying propane jugs.
The souk (market) inside the medina is also a hotbed of activity. There, you can buy everything from vacuum hoses to warm flatbreads to just-ripened, juicy clementines.
As if the narrow paths inside the medina don’t already offer incredible sights and sounds, behind hidden doors lie architecture and design beyond imagination. We stayed at riads (an old Moroccan courtyard home) with intricately hand-carved woodwork plastering every single surface of the walls and tiled floors so gorgeous that I wanted to dig them up and take home with me.
Even better was the day when, at a riad in Sale (outside Rabat), a traveling band ventured in to greet us a good morning.
Ge Ge and Meimei loved their first trip to Africa. Ge Ge fell in love with harira soup, a rustic chickpea and tomato concoction that warmed our rained-on bones (it poured almost every day we were there, a real rarity in Morocco). Meimei discovered handmade leather shoes in the souks that are available in every size and color imaginable, and we flitted from stall to stall in a Pretty Woman-esque shopping bonanza that ended only when the hubby declared that five (yes, five!) pairs of leather shoes was plenty for a 3-year-old girl.
Oh, hubby. I think I need to make sure he knows that a girl can never have too many shoes.