Archives for November 2013

Essaouira Part 2

A quiet morning.

The next morning in Essaouria we took advantage of an early start to walk about the medina. People seem to sleep late in Morocco. Even at 9am only a few shopkeepers were ready to open their shops. It was pleasant to experience the medina without crowds of people, motorbikes, or carts competing for the narrow lane ways. Friends joined us on our walk and we were actually able to hold a conversation while walking, something that’s nearly impossible in the Marrakech medina. Should you ever visit Essaouira, I highly recommend an early morning walk.

Here are a few photos from ours:

Mike and I returned to Essaouria a few weeks later when my mom came for a visit. Unfortunately, my camera battery died before I could snap any photos. I had brought along the charger but totally forgot the plug adaptor. Classic travel fail.

xo, jill

Essaouira Part 1


Back in September, Mike and I headed out to Essaouira with a group of friends. Essaouria is a popular beachside getaway only a few hours from Marrakech. We hopped on a morning bus and had arrived at the beach by midday. There are enough tourist sights in Essaouria to keep you entertained for a day or two, if you meander at a leisurely pace. We enjoyed walking through the medina, exploring the ramparts, and visiting the (pretty gross) fish market. However, I think I’ll save my very favorite part of Essaouria for a different post on a different day. Essaouira was also the filming location for Orson Welles’ 1950s classic, Othello. Knowing that information almost makes me want to watch the movie, but I don’t think I’ve fully recovered yet from Citizen Kane.

xo, jill

A Moroccan Melon Halloween

Creepier than pumpkins.

Mike and I just returned home from a week spent in northern Morocco. It was quite the adventure through some very different terrain. But before I get into that (or my trip a few weeks ago to Spain), I want to share our jack-o-laterns before Halloween is too far gone.

Halloween fell in a pretty busy week for me. Not only was it the evening of a friend’s birthday dinner, it was also the night before parent-teacher conferences. Boo! Scary indeed. In order to fit it all in, we decided to postpone our celebrating until the evening after Halloween (and only a few hours before our train departed for the north!).

Mike and I invited a few friends over for some pumpkin carving, except that pumpkins are quite expensive here. In fact, at the supermarket you don’t actually buy a whole pumpkin, you just take a knife and slice off the amount you want. We were in need of an alternate. When someone suggested carving melons instead, it sounded like a good idea.

Left to right: Mine, Mike’s, Ritchee’s, Katie and Adam’s

Turns out, it was a great idea. The melons were the perfect size for carving so you don’t get bored or tired midway through scooping out the goop. Also, the flesh was easy to pierce and carve. But perhaps the most perfect element of carving melons was that they are so much creepier than pumpkins. Although it’s hard to tell in these photos, the glow of the melons was an eerie yellow-green. In addition, they are the size and shape of human heads! When the first candle was lit we were all genuinely creeped out for a few moments. Bingo!

We were supposed to be making creepy faces.

Adding even more to the evening, for two of our friends it was their very first “pumpkin carving” experience. I think it’s safe to say it was a positive one for both of them. Ritchee has already vowed to bring pumpkin/melon carving back to her friends and family in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, because we were off to the train station later in the evening, our melons went straight in the dumpster. They were fun (and spooky) while they lasted!

xo, jill

From the Hip Friday


Today’s photo from the hip comes from my recent trip to Sevilla, Spain. My mom and I were enjoying our churros con chocolat across the street from this busker. I must say, his routine was a little lackluster. His friend played the accordion in an attempt to entice a few coins from a passerby. As soon as the coins clinked in the box, the matador waved his red muleta and… that’s about it.

Not much of a bullfight.

xo, jill

From the Hip Friday features photos taken without the use of a viewfinder. If you have a photograph that was taken from the hip you’d like to share here, please contact me!

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