Living Large in Azrou

While at the mdina (city/shopping center), I took the opportunity tkellem (to speak) with an artisan-jewelery maker about his craft; it was early in the day, so there were few customers milling about. There was no pressure to buy anything, but I did get a couple of rings (to ward off the evil eye) after spending some 30 mins of chatting with him; we even had a mid-morning cup of refreshing atay (mint-tea; again, too sweet for me) and sweet dates.

Aside from the influence of French pastries, Moroccan typically have fakiya (fruit) for desserts. In season are teffah (apples), grapes and Cabasa melons. Though I do not eat fresh teffah (upsets stomach, re: ethyl gas) and avoid grapes (result of my involvement in the the Grape Boycott Campaign of the 90's), the melons are delicious here -- very sweet and ripe. Fakiya and khdra (vegetables) are grown organically here.

Our group has been spoiled with delicious makla (food) prepared three times a day for us. This is a platter of rice-stuffed eggplants. I'll have to get the recipe, but am told that the kitchen is the sphere of woman, and secrets are orally passed to daughters.

Across from the main mosque is a local attraction (I'm getting it doubles as make-out point at dusk): a huge metal crown. I have yet to get the story of what it represents (probably homage to the Moroccan royal family), how long it's been there, and why the electrical cord isn't more out of sight.

Hiking above Azrou, I was able to get a better sense of the size of the town and noted immediately the numerous satellite dishes on many rooftops. I'm told that television plays a big part in communicating the exact date of the start of Ramadan.

While on the hike, I came across a few sheep/goat herders. I spoke with some of them to practice my Arabic (and French, they all spoke French) and to ask about their flocks. After speaking with the herders, I know exactly what is on every Moroccan's mind who I come across them: who is attending my flock while I'm out taking pictures?

Azrou is known for its surrounding cider ghaba (forest). I can assure you this is a picture taken above Azrou; I am not in front of a blue screen, then Azrou city/forest photoshopped post-production for realism.

Some will argue that a sunset is the same the world over, but in Azrou it is punctuated with the last prayer of the day coming from mosques.
another point of view ...

Anonymous Anonymous

you're so lucky to get to go to morocco. i was in the peace corps 10 years ago and went to south america. my experience wasn't very good, mostly because i got sick all the time from food, and i was always cold and went (rainforest isn't as fun as national geographics make it out to be).

Anonymous Anonymous

Good to see that you are back in the blogsphere. What an opportunity to see such interesting sights. I'll start checking back more often.

Blogger Jaded Maniac

great pics! thanks for sharing.

Blogger Nam LaMore

ANONYMOUS: thanks for stopping by!

CANADIAN DUDE: as usual, i always love topics on your blog - I cracked up reading your egg jokes.

JADED MANIAC: you are too kind (as usual). wish i had more time to post other pictures, but i must reserve some for the book (just/kidding)!

speak up!

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