Hotel Wassam – Fez, Morocco

Hotel Wassam is a four star hotel in Fez. It’s fairly close to the station, restaurants and other modes of transport.

You must enter through the door with a metal detector. Guessing they fear people with suspicious gear.DSC_3578

I was given a room that was in the quiet part of the hotel. People actually party in the middle of the night until the morning. I had two nights of ok sleep. I really needed it after the wedding.

The room is pretty spacious and quite neat!
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My first disappointment was that they don’t provide hot water when you shower. It was all cold!!
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My second disappointment was that there was no wifi in the room. You actually have to sit in the lobby area to get any wifi reception…

It was a nice hotel with nice staff but I think they could do something with the hot water and wifi. I know Morocco was hot at the time, but people like to shower in hot water.

Address: Rue Du Liban Av Hassan Ii, Fès 30000, Morocco

Tel: +212 5356-54939

Morocco – Day 8: Around Fez

Saturday 3rd August 2019

I suddenly woke up on Saturday morning, I think my brain was telling me to look at the sunrise…
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Breakfast at the hotel was a bit disappointing…

It was then time to explore the town of Fez…

I took a taxi to the medina, the taxi driver was really, really nice. Moroccans really drive a little crazy.

I arrived at the medina, and just went in and went down one way, I stopped at a shop and then one of the shopkeepers led me around the back alleys to look at the dye… Hmmm I forgot to listen to Mr Travels words to not be led by shopkeepers to places around the medina. What they want is money in the end. Well, luckily I had not much money, and I had to keep telling the person I was leaving the next day, so I have no money to buy things. 

I think I got too scared, so I ended up walking up, then out, then back into the medina again. Bought a few souvenirs, and then back out again…

Took another taxi back, but ended up in the wrong part of town, so I just used Google Maps to find the hotel area again.

I sat in a restaurant that wasn’t opened yet, but the workers were fine with it, they even let me use the wifi! ^_^
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I couldn’t bear the heat any longer, so I went back to the hotel and sat and watched TV… It was time for dinner, so I went around and went to a street at the back of the hotel area. There was just a long street of restaurants. Wow.

In the end I chose a quiet place. The green lentil soup was amazing! I really want to make it one day. The Moroccans really love their bread too…

After dinner, I went walking around the area before returning back to the hotel…

I don’t think I did much but all I needed was rest.  Don’t think I would go back to Fez anytime soon.

End of Day 8.

Morocco – Day 6 & 7: Recovery and Fez

Back to blogging! No time to sit, think and write these days unless you’re thinking I do have time when I sit on the train to go to work… Hmmm, my brain is thinking about work still.  

And now we continue with the rest of my trip in Morocco…

Thursday 1st August & Friday 2nd August

Straight after the wedding, we all slept till the afternoon. And then went back to to the bride’s home for late lunch/dinner… Then back to bed again. ^_^

On the Friday, we left the apartment quite early and returned the key back to the owner… Well Mr and Mrs Travels did.

Here’s a picture of a stork’s nest from the view of the apartment.DSC_3518

Then off we went to a family friend’s home of the bride… This family own an avocado farm. There were so many avocado trees!!
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On our way back to the house we saw a couple of insects. Can you spot where the first one is?
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Crickets are so beautiful!!!!!
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Lunch was served. So filling! I think there was meat inside, or was there a dish I forgot to take pictures of…
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It was time to leave. Everyone said there goodbyes… and it was time for me to leave the Travels Family and co. I took a train from Kenitra and sat in one of those private cabins. There were already some people inside and the view outside was amazing of fields and the sunset… It was too bad I couldn’t capture any of that.

I was suddenly sitting with two men. I had a feeling I had to be a bit careful… One spoke to me in English, and I think he wanted to know what I was doing in Morocco and where I was staying… Hmmm… Dodgy!! I had to keep diverting the conversation. Then they suddenly left the cabin. Dodgy again!!

In the spur of the moment, I was greeted by another person, two women. One lived in Fez and the other was a visitor. I think they felt the same… Dodgy people on the train.
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In the end, I took a taxi to the hotel even though it was a 15 minute walk but faster by taxi. I’m sure I was cheated on, but it was better than being robbed by people on the train.

After checking in, I went out to find food… Found a cheap place. Although I got cheated again by 10Dh and a cat who was practically begging for food.DSC_3541DSC_3542DSC_3543DSC_3544

After a dodgy afternoon/evening affair it was time for bed!

End of Day 6 and 7.

Morocco – Day 4 & 5: Beach, Henna Party and Wedding Night

Back to working full time now! I’ll be travelling from place to place… 🤣

Tuesday 30th July

Another super hot day in Morocco. The people there just seem to be used it, but not me. I dislike hot weather, but I like getting tanned. LOL.

We ended up in a taxi which could fit us all in, and went to a far-away beach somewhere near Kenitra. I have no idea where we were. The Travels family played in the sea whilst I sat around and had a catch up with Mrs Travels.

 

When it was time to go, we had a bit of food before leaving. I believe we were on a budget, so we had a plate to share of this fried fishy stuff, panini and some chips…

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It was a bit of a short day as Mr Travels parents and elder cousin came and were staying with us during the trip.

The henna party for the wedding couple was on this same day in the evening. I don’t know if Moroccans have hen nights, but this seemed like one. Moroccan women seemed to be relaxed when there’s no men around. They take off their head scarves, and it feels like those African night parties. When the groom came to take pictures, I was so surprised to see the women put on their head scarves quite quickly. Wow. Super maneuver! DSC_3427

Missy S had a similar pattern to what I had… I think the lady was too busy and had to quickly clear up to get ready for the bride’s henna to be painted on her hands and feet.DSC_3429

Henna has a long drying process. It takes around 2 hours to dry… After waiting a fairly long time, with some dancing in between… it was time for the very late meal. I think I would never be able to slim down if I were a Moroccan. LOL! First up was some sweetened vermicelli/rice noodles. The second dish was some stewed lamb. I really loved it… Oooh. I was craving for meat (but not anymore). And then there was watermelon…DSC_3435DSC_3436DSC_3438

It was a long night, and we ended getting a cab back to the apartment… Had some mint tea, and then back to sleep again. Missy A got upset with during the day, as I was going to sleep in the room she had the night before… My bags got dragged around a bit. Hahahahah. One day, she’ll get her own room…

End of Day 4.

Wednesday 31st July

It was going to be a long day, and I got up late compared to the others. I like my sleep. 10 hours if I’m allowed, and 6-7 hours at the least. I must have sleep!

The girls showed me a stork’s nest, and wow I saw a stork standing on its nest. We went to the family who was getting married, and had lunch there.DSC_3439

We even went to a local market to try and find some dresses for the girls to wear at the wedding… Mr Travels said I should be taking pictures of the food. 🤣DSC_3440

As soon as we finished with the late, late shopping, we all went back to our place of stay, had a quick change and shower… then out to the wedding ceremony!!

It was a very, very long night… several dress changes, lots of dancing, and lots of music.

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I really loved the food, but it all started coming out from 3am in the morning!!!! Wow!! Late night dinners are not for me, but the food was great.DSC_3498DSC_3499DSC_3500DSC_3502DSC_3503

The Travels family and I were all tired, and we ended up going back around 5.30am… Sleeeeeeeep neeeeeded!!!

End of Day 5.

Morocco – Day 3: Back to Rabat!!

Right… The job search is now over… Going back to the public for a little while, before I decide on my future. Hopefully Brexit worries will be over next year. 😐 Will be travelling around London a bit, so thankfully I won’t be in just one place at all times.

Monday 29th July 2019

Back to Morocco. After a kind of big but quick breakfast, Mr Travels had to return his loaned car back to the Rabat shop, so we left our luggage at the hotel. The Travels family went to Rabat by car, and I went there by train…

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I think I got to Rabat before the Travels family, so I was waiting around at the station… Then Mrs Travels sent me their location and started walking.

We started walking around parts of Rabat that I never got to see…

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It was a long walk through the market in the Medina and out and around! 😣 Make sure to wear walking shoes!!

We ended up at the tomb of the late king…DSC_3397

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We found lunch at a cafe/restaurant. The Travels had recommended Tajine, a local Moroccan dish. This had meatballs (can’t remember if it was beef) with egg but it was delicious with the bread. It reminded me of the burger dish I had in Japan that I found too salty. The Moroccan version tasted better. 😅

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After lunch, it was time to go and play. The girls played on some toy cars… It was too hot for me, and I think I became too sensitive. A poor man started asking for money, and I lost to my emotions after he started swearing at me and believing that I was insensitive. Ugh. Grrrrr. Mrs Travels called me stubborn (yep I am) and I ended up being teary. Eek. Emotional Geek came out!

After an emotional afternoon, we went back to Kenitra by train… And walked back to our next destination. It was another long walk back to the next place we were staying in. An Airbnb place.

Then time for dinner… A shared one…

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Mr and Mrs Travels wanted to talk all night, but I was so tired… I ended up sleeping on the sofa that night with sunburnt shoulders. Miss A wanted to sleep alone in the room I was going to stay in. 😅😅😅

End of Day 3.

Hotel Ambassy – Kenitra, Morocco

Another hotel review.

A slightly expensive hotel in Kenitra – it was €60 for one night for this room… Apologies for taking a picture of a used bed and bathroom. We were all tired, and I only had time in the morning to take pictures.DSC_3363

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My kitchen facilities were better than the Travels’ family room. Nothing was broken.DSC_3365

Breakfast takes a longer time to prepare…DSC_3366

The only problems I had was the WiFi – didn’t have any in the room!

Also, right before sunrise, you will hear the call out for people to go and pray at the mosque or in their homes  (I think)… It’s sung in minor key. So make sure you sleep early!!

Address: Avenue Hassan II, Kénitra 14000, Morocco

Tel: +212 5373 79868

Hotel Tuxeda – Rabat, Morocco

In Rabat, I stayed in Hotel Tuxeda. It’s near the sea, but a little further away from the city centre.

It isn’t far from the medina, where the people are really nice. The hotel staff are really nice… even when I had trouble opening the door, the receptionist came to open the door for me!DSC_3310.JPG

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Facilities aren’t too bad. Thought the shower was a bit too close to the toilet, but at least there was hot water in this hotel!DSC_3298

The room was a bit stuffy because I couldn’t find the remote for the aircon… it may have been with the receptionist. Hmmmm. WiFi was ok. Breakfast was boring.

A nice place for a cheap price.

Address: 32, Bv Al Moukawama, Rabat 10040, Morocco

+212 5372 04223

Morocco – Day 2: Rabat to Kenitra

Currently jobless. Currently not feeling sorry for myself. 😆 Maybe it’s because I actually have loads to catch up on, like crochet, studying Japanese and doing housework which I’ve been avoiding.

Sunday 28th July 2019

I woke up on time for breakfast, but I was actually lounging around the hotel room feeling lazy to move.

The breakfast lounge of the hotel I was staying was on the top floor (fifth floor) which was the floor above me. You can actually here the scraping of chairs on the floor from my room.

I would say that the selection for breakfast was quite minimal. Even the coffee cups are small… This was when I started reminiscing my breakfasts in Japan, how grand they were, and the selection in Japan was much more satisfying… No wonder the breakfast lounge looked a bit diminished.DSC_3306DSC_3308DSC_3309

It was time to check out, and to explore Rabat before moving onto my next destination.

Thought it was quite interesting to see street names of worldwide cities in Rabat. It might be where foreigners used to stay when they came to Rabat.

 

Next I moved towards the station but ended up in the market which is inside the medina!

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This is where I bought a cheap Nokia phone for 200 Dh. Not bad!! DSC_3352.JPG

After about an hour or so in the market, I needed to get to the station.

 

After a long walk and a bit of a search for the station – had to ask some guards for directions in French/English. (Maybe I need to start learning and speaking French again).

Bought my ticket to Kenitra Station and prepared to wait for the train.

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I arrived in Kenitra quite quickly! So I had my lunch and a Starbucks… I actually sat in the station for about 6 hours in total waiting for the Travels family to arrive.

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After the six hour ordeal of waiting – thankfully there’s free WiFi to use, I received permission from Mrs Travels that I can go out and walk around plus look for food! I ended up walking along a long street… The thing I realise is that there are mostly men sitting out in the cafés and rarely a muslim woman would sit outside and join them.

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I ended up in a Japanese restaurant for dinner… Erm… I needed something that I was familiar with. I think the owner thought I was Japanese because I started talking in basic Japanese… 😅 Nevermind. A little boy was sitting inside, and he said the food is super great! ^_^DSC_3359

The food was fairly basic. They didn’t have some of the things that I wanted, but that’s ok. It took a while to prepare the food, but you know what the chicken karaage was worth the wait! The bitesize karrage was very tasty – probably tastier than the ones I’ve tasted in London and Japan!!DSC_3361DSC_3360

I think it came to less than 200 Dh and the owner was trying to sell me some miso soup to make 200 Dh… Moroccans really try to make a deal out of everything!!

Address: Tokyo Sushi, Kenitra, Morocco

Finally got info from Mrs Travels; they were looking for a hotel for all of us to stay in as the Airbnb owners abandoned ship, and it was hard to find a place in short notice. I walked to the place that we were going to stay in… And finally met them!! 😊😄

 They haven’t had any dinner, so we went out to find food… and a smoothie… Think I was a bit constipated, as I was passing out wind in public. LOL!! I think Missy A missed me. Heheheh. The Travels family said she changed when I appeared. DSC_3362.JPG

After this long day of waiting around, we all went back to the hotel… I seemed to have a better room than the family room, LOL – so they say. But it was expensive for €60 a night!

The girls, Missy I, Missy S and Missy A all used my bathroom – I’m not sure what Mr Travels was thinking. Why my room???  😫

Well…

End of Day 2.

Morocco – Day 1: Entering Rabat

So last month I ended a 3-month job as a freelancer in the private sector of doing something similar to my old job – I was given too much freedom, and I enjoyed it. Will still be freelancing (currently working two jobs at the moment – old and partly my new job), but I’ve also applied for a job that’s one day a week – a management role involving some old managers and teams of mine in the public sector. We’ll see how things will go… Scared and grateful of all these opportunities I’ve been given at the moment. ^_^ I just need something secure!!! Life is not so simple for now… 😅

As the 3-month verbally agreed contract ended, it was my time to go on holiday! Another one? Yeah!!

Saturday 27th July 2019

I was invited by the Travels Family a long time ago – I think it was when I was in China at the time, to go to a wedding of a very close family friend of Mr Travels’ parents in Morocco… I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco, so I decided to go in the end! Just for the experience.  😉

Travelling around the world seems like second nature to me, but this time I really had to travel like a cheap skate, so I took a National Express coach to Stansted Airport from Waterloo – an hour and a half on the coach for £5!! That’s a mega deal!! Hint: The coaches are quite regular, and they have a tight schedule to keep to, so make sure you either have cash on you in case the driver’s card machine doesn’t work.

I went via the fast-track route, not sure why I paid for this but it was better than waiting in the queue… I had a couple of hours to kill, so I looked around and also had a late lunch. The waffle fries here were good, but the chicken burger needs improvement… Not sure if this “secret sauce” of mayo and thousand islands suited the burger well enough. Disappointed.DSC_3281.JPG

Once in the air, it felt like I was back home in the skies… I sat next to a family and their youngest daughter screamed too much. I tried not to get so angry, so I giggled to myself at all the bad experiences I’ve had. I started reading “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang (I haven’t finished it yet) and listened to a lot of music.DSC_3283DSC_3290DSC_3293

Once I arrived in Rabat Airport, passport control was right in front. You have to fill in one of those landing cards beforehand… The queue was long, and the wait was more than an hour! People behind me were so inconsiderate that they kept bumping into my backpack. I hate people who bump into me for no reason. I am obviously in front of you, stop pushing me!!

The officers worked diligently, as they have to check your purpose for entering the country. It’s a Muslim country, so they suspect everyone who enters. I get it… but hire more staff. It was my first time in Morocco, and I kind of felt disappointed already… 😫Mrs Travels text me for a bit, and she couldn’t even understand why I wasn’t in the taxi yet.

An old taxi driver was waiting for me, and I had to explain in easy English that the queue was sooooo long. I felt sorry for him, but at least he tried to guide me in broken English and some easy French some of the sites in Rabat. The hotel said it was 200Dh for the taxi, but the driver asked for 250Dh because of the wait… a bit sneaky, but at least he waited. Really grateful.DSC_3296

Once at the hotel, I went to my room (and I couldn’t find the air con remote), rested a bit beforehand… and tried to figure out how to use this free sim card from Maroc Telecom which you can get at the airport. The staff take a copy of your passport picture before you use it. Unfortunately I realised the phones that I brought along were both locked to EE, so I couldn’t use the sim card. Make sure you always bring an unlocked phone.DSC_3301

After the ordeal at the hotel, I really needed food. They serve Spanish food at the hotel, and they recommended the fish… I don’t like bony fish that much, but I had it in the end. This cost me 200Dh (~£18). The bread was a bit too much. The veggies was nice. The fish was ok, just too bony.DSC_3302DSC_3303DSC_3304DSC_3305

It was time to get some rest, and plan what to do the next day.

End of Day 1.

 

Manga Exhibition @ The British Museum

On June 2nd 2019, I decided to go and view the Manga Exhibition at The British Museum.

I was having a Japan moment. Missed the country and the food! The exhibition ends today, and I didn’t want to spoil it too much for those who wanted to go and have a look.

Here’s some pictures from the exhibition…

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Manga version of snakes and ladders – I think Japanese people love this gameDSC_3058

I really loved the basic introduction to manga and features for fans. I really liked the reading section which was in the middle of the exhibition. I really want there to be a real manga library somewhere (so that I don’t have to keep buying the books) – I know lots of public libraries lend out manga, but it’s not enough (for me)!

Hopefully we’ll see an English Manga library available to let us borrow books… maybe an Online-Delivery service… It might be expensive but considering costs of manga these days… Hmmmm… 🤓