Friday, December 2, 2011

A Haven

Morocco was a tough time for all of us and yet, we loved it. We just couldn't seem to get healthy. Jim was sick the entire 2 and a half weeks, and lost a hearty 15 pounds to prove it. I had no voice for about a week, and an intense cough and sore throat for the rest of it, which left me pretty sleep deprived. Both boys had an allergic reaction to nappies we bought which were strongly perfumed, Levi went through times of feeling very tired and emotional, and Owen finally came down with a fever toward the end of our stay.

When you are feeling ill and traveling, everything rests on your accommodation. The ease in which you find rest and relaxation, your motivation and, most importantly, your ability to cope are all highly affected by that room you call "home", be it for a couple nights or several.

I believe somewhere in that talk of illness I mentioned that we did, in fact, love Morocco? This had a lot to do with our accommodation, since there were many days where our adventures out were quite brief. At every place we stayed we encountered amazing, helpful people, and a clean, comfortable spot to kick back, rest our heads, and let our kids play freely.

In Chefchaouen we stayed at a little family owned guesthouse called Casa Annasr. When we arrived by bus and realised it was directly across the road from the bus station we tensed up a bit. In our experience, being adjacent to a bus station does not a lovely accommodation make. This was the exception. Our hosts were extremely friendly and helpful, sharing their computer with us, making us a pot of mint tea whenever we passed by, and were great to just sit and talk to. Levi had a great time kicking a ball around with their kids, we had an amazing breakfast every morning, and our room was very clean and comfortable enough that every day we spent the hottest part of the day (from around 1 to 4pm) relaxing and playing there.

In Meknes we stayed at a Riad called Riad Felloussia. As things were getting progressively worse in the health department, this place was very timely. The breakfast here was another crazy smorg of goodness, another spotlessly clean place, very friendly staff, internet access (though unpredictable) was available in the riad, Levi and Owen both had their own beds which meant more sleep for all, our shower was awesome, and we could sit on the rooftop overlooking the main square and take it all in - the music of the snake charmers, the crowds of people, the calls to prayer - and to top it all off, it was so easy to experience and enjoy the medina as we were staying right in it.

In Fes we stayed at Dar Fes Medina. This was the place where we broke. It rained A LOT, Jim was at his absolute worst, and when little Owen started in with a fever and began acting very different from his usual self, we packed it up and headed back to Tangier for a night and then across the border to Spain. Again, despite how horribly we felt, the wonderful people and how comfortable we felt at this riad enabled us to enjoy our time in Fes even though we were pretty much at our lowest point. Fes was our biggest disappointment due to all the plans we had to let go of - visiting the tanneries, and day tripping to the nearby mountains among them. Nevertheless, my memories of trying to supress my coughs through the long nights so I wouldn't wake one of the sleeping boys, or worrying about Jim as his weight dropped and appetite followed, are happily topped by my memories of colouring at the tables in the breakfast room, watching Levi show Owen how to crawl along the beautiful tiled floors of the common area, and sitting down to a big silver platter of biscuits and mint tea.

Through it all, we were amazed at Levi's ability to stay healthy despite his lack of nutrition (basically yoghurt, bananas, and french fries were all he would eat - chuck in the occasional pizza and cheeseburger). We voiced this fateful thought as we arrived in Tangier for our last Moroccan night. Just a few hours later (3am) our "healthy" little boy awoke scared and crying as he vomited his way through the next hour. Not cool.

Morocco 1 The Family D 0
We will meet again!


  1. BUMMER that you guys were all sick- but gosh, what a BEAUTIFUL place!

  2. So very glad to hear you had nice places to stay. Indeed it is the basis of all. (I am so sorry I'm so behind here... I hadn't realized how far!)