Sunday, August 6, 2017

Roadtrip To El Jadida, Morocco......

About an hour from Casablanca sits the Portuguese fortification of Mazagan, now part of the city of El Jadida. Yes you did read that right.....a Portuguese city located along the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. Mazagan is one of the earliest settlements of Portuguese explorers in West Africa on route to India. Settled in the early 16th century the city was taken over by Moroccans in 1769 and later was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Around The Town

Bringing In The Catch Of The Day

Donkey Pulled Carts Everywhere

Moroccan Woman Crouched Near Ground

Cows In Back Of Truck

The nearby beaches of El Jadida were overflowing with Moroccan families hidden under beach umbrellas and tents. Children played in the wild Atlantic surf while their Mom's sit covered up in layers of clothing and head wraps nearby. Shirtless men and boys filled the streets, traffic was heavy and chaotic and people seemed to be everywhere.

The Beach

Young boys and even a few women stood by the roadside jingling keys out in front of them. Not sure what this was all about I did some research to discover they are offering rooms for rent to tourists looking for them.
Woman Shaking Keys Out To Passing Cars

Men And Boys Keep Offering Me Keys To Their Apartment.....LOL
Another Key Shaker

We stopped for a traditional "tagine" lunch of chicken with caramelized onions served alongside home made puffy, flat bread. For the equivalent of around $12 we both stuffed our faces using mostly OUR FINGERS ONLY. While we WERE given forks and knives as I looked around the room everyone was eating with their fingers so it seemed appropriate to follow along with tradition.

Lunch Is Served....A Tagine

Chicken, Olives, Grilled Onions, Lemon

Eating Like The Locals

Open Fire Grill For Cooking These

Baking Bread In Outside Ovens

But one big thing missing from ALL restaurants in Morocco is beer or alcohol, because Muslims in Morocco DO NOT DRINK.  Something we have noticed is that men typically sit around roadside bars and cafes drinking mint tea or coffee. The tea is served in little silver teapots and poured into small, clear glasses.

Old Portuguese Fort

Local Swimming Hole


Men And Boys Were Jumping Off The Wall Into The Water

Blowing In The Wind

After lunch we explore the fort, watched children jumping off the wall into the water below and mingled with the locals in this old town that seemed to be lost in time. Charming cobblestoned streets filled with vendors selling most everything, we seemed to be the only white faces in the crowd of Moroccans. Another day of embracing the culture, learning some history, tasting the food and enjoying ourselves in Morocco.....along the gringo trail.

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