Friday, 24 March 2017

Went to Morocco: Explored Marrakech

We spent most of our Moroccan week in Marrakech, where we stayed in Riad Kheirredine, which was absolutely incredible. The rooftop sunsets were gorgeous, the staff were really lovely, and we really loved the Riad.





We spent several days just exploring the souk and the city


This was from the El Badii palace on our first day. It must have been incredible when it was first built.



Those mountains.



And the Bahia Palace.


The wood inlays and plasterwork around Marrakech were really gorgeous.


This was from the Ben Youssef madrasa, which is now a museum.




I love how this portrait came out.


I never got tired of taking pictures of the buildings against the sky.


Friday, 17 March 2017

Went to Morocco: Hiked the High Atlas Mountains

We spent a week in Morocco earlier this month, mostly in Marrakech. When I booked the trip, I thought it would be fun to get out into the countryside. I'm SO glad I did - it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

I booked a two-day trip with Atlas and Sahara Tours, and they were super. They picked us up at our Riad in Marrakech, and drove us to the horse-trekking village. We picked up our horses and followed our guide up a hill on a windy little road. The views were excellent and the horses were very entertaining. Charlie's horse kept trying to nip the one in front as he thought we were going too slowly, and mine would dawdle and then trot to catch up. I am NOT a particularly good horsewoman...




After 3 hours on the horses, we were picked up again and driven to our mountain riad, where we had a delicious tagine overlooking the mountains. It was insanely beautiful and the air was so clear and clean.



Thus revived, our guide took us on a 2-hour hike, up past a waterfall, through a berber village, and back down the mountain to our Riad, where we had a break and then a cooking class. PHEW!


This was at 2000m above sea level, halfway up a mountain. At least they have hammam and bread!


These views...


The next morning we had a hearty breakfast (so much bread! and yogurt!), and then set off on a longer hike.

We went all the way up to the snow line, and I was so proud of myself.

This shop proudly declared itself Cheaper than ASDA. It wasn't open so we couldn't check for ourselves!


Caterpillars in the trees - they fall to the ground when they are warmed by the sun and crawl off to become butterflies.


These VIEWS. And that SKY. It was the most incredible colour.


 SNOW!


The view back down the valley:


Happy hikers!


More snow!


And then we had a very hearty lunch, with tomato salad and the most amazing meatball tagine with poached eggs on top. YUM.



It was truly excellent, and incredibly relaxing and head-clearing.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Cruised Along the Thames

Last week I was invited on a riverboat cruise with dinner along with some of the students who hosted us when we were in Japan. It was great to see them all again but they were So. Jet. Lagged. At one point during the evening 6 of them were asleep in their chairs. However, once they woke up, we were treated to some excellent views of London!








The food was mediocre; the singing was pretty good. It felt quite touristy, but it was a good way for the Japanese students to get a sense of what an artery the Thames is.

Can't say I'd do it again, I'm glad I went and I had fun taking pictures!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Had Turkish Food in Bury St Edmunds!

I'd noticed a new Turkish restaurant, The Sheesh, in Bury a few weeks ago, so we tried it for lunch on Saturday.

First off, Ayran yogurt drink with lunch. Brought me right back to the Sultanahmet Koftecisi


We didn't feel like having full kebabs for lunch, so we ordered a bunch of small plates and starters.

Tabbouleh:


Baba ganoush:


Salad:


Kofte:


And proper Turkish tea!


Turkish coffee:


And baklava.


It was a little expensive but really delicious - I can't wait to go back for dinner and I'm really glad that they're here!

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Protested Trump

Still not ok with ANY of the things Trump is doing.

In no particular order:
  • Transgender kids have enough things to worry about. Don't make where they can pee during the school day another one.
  • Immigrants & refugees want to come to America because they want to make things better for themselves and their families. Let them.
  • My body and my reproduction are up to me and nothing whatsoever to do with you.
  • The media are not the enemy of the people and the New York Times, CNN and the BBC are not fake news. Stop saying that they are.

In case you're reading, DJT, how about: 
  • Starting some of those infrastructure projects you keep going on about.
  • Sending fewer tweets, turning off the television, and reading some briefings from those smart people who work in that big government you're in charge of.
Whenever you're ready.

In the meantime, I shall protest. And write. And protest more. And defend people. And donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

Make America (and Britain) KIND again, please.