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January 03, 2014


We were in Morocco for a week from Xmas eve to New years eve and had a fantastic time. It was a great escape at least for a week from the bitter cold here although the evenings were quite chilly and the nights were freezing there too. We landed in Marrakech and roamed around the city for 2 days visiting museums, madrasas and mosques and shopping like crazy in the souks and drinking mint tea by gallons! Then through a tour operator went around the country up to Sahara and back the rest of the 5 days. Another family also joined us from here and their 7 year old son and Ashu were quite a company for each other and a sick/throwing up/starving/low energy Antu was quite a company for us!! But of course everything was worth it when we saw the sand dunes! The camel ride and the hike to the sand dunes, the sunset, the sand,.... everything was mind-blowiningly beautiful! We camped in the desert for a night and slept it in a tent in the freezing weather under many, many blankets and the starry night sky was too beautiful to describe. Ashu and Antu have never seen that many stars in their lives and were totally blown away! The winding, curvy roads through the High Atlas mountain range and the landscapes and the gorges and valleys were straight out of a hollywood road movie!

Our Bedouin driver for 5 days was a sweet guy and kept calling the girls Fatima and nagged us to play bollywood music in the car and I am proud to say that I  introduced him to Ilayaraja music! :) Everyone in Morocco knows Shah Rukh Khan! And at the end of a week, I kept saying Insha Allah after every sentence! Its very infectious, I tell you. We saw many, many cats. Marrakech was like 80s and 90s small town India and it was like going back in time. The people are extremely nice and polite and the Riads (tradtional Moroccon houses turned into hotels) we stayed were awesome! I might go back just to stay in these Riads. From the outside, there is this small door in a dark alley but inside its like an Alibaba cave! With huge courtyards and spacious rooms and so unique and charming. And beautiful terraces. And the staff bend backwards to make you comfortable. The last day we stayed at a mountain retreat in the High Atlas and that place was amazing too and the location was fantastic. But the access road was pathetic!

Vegetarian food was a little hard to get especially at the remote restaurants we stopped for lunch but breakfasts and dinners made up for it. At least Hd eats omelettes. I ordered a salad and stuffed them inside the bread and had to make my own sandwich everyday! Ashu survived on bits of bread and salad and the junky snacks I carried with me while Antu went on a hunger strike for her right to starve! :) The five day road trip was a bit much for the kids and us too but when the destination is Sahara, theres no other way, I guess. Now back home and fondly remembering the desert. I think if I give a good shake to our sneakers, I might still find some sand and it would be a sight to the sore eyes!

Happy New Year folks! Hope 2014 brings you all the things you wish for! Insha Allah! :)

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