Thursday, July 28, 2016

Goodbye Morrocco, Hello Portugal and Cape Town

Ten pm came quickly. Our riad staff came out with  mint tea and almond cookies. We toasted the fact that we had an awesome vacation in Morocco. The riad staff went over and above for our whole stay with friendly and accommodating.

The luggage guy with no teeth was right on time to collect our baggage into the cart. He made sure we carried our purses in front the whole time. Really considerate.

Abdul's cousin drove us the three hour trip to the airport. I slept the whole way.

Our tour was organized and booked through Destination Morocco. I would definately go with this company again. They were reasonably priced and they delivered on everything they said they would.

Our driver, Abdul was personable and friendly. He was also a very skilled and safe driver.

Our accommodations were all outstanding. I was wowed every time, and not just with the beauty of the properties but the warmth of the staff.

Restaurants- these were a bit hit and miss. Most of them were fine except for the one in Meknes that said they were Moroccan food and then didn't offer antything on the menu they gave us. Their food was disappointing and way overpriced.

If you go to Morocco, no matter who you book through, let them know you want good, safe food at a reasonable and fair price or you may end up going to over- priced restaurants all the time.

We advised the company of my sons peanut/ tree nut anaphylactic food allergy. Some of our accommodations seemed aware of it and others totally surprised by it. We were greeted in the desert with Moroccan tea and a bowl of peanuts.

Despite the peanuts, the desert camp was a not to be missed experience.

Overall, Destination Morrocco was great to work with. They were flexible and patient in fine tuning our itinerary. They are definately good value for the money. I would travel with them again.

We slept through our flight from Casablanca to Lisbon.

When we were landing in Lisbon, I couldn't get over how clearly I could see Belem Tower, the Henry the Navigator monument and St Geronimo Monastery.

Lisbon has a very well organized airport. After going through immigration, we checked our bags and took the subway from the airport to St Jorge's Castelo. It was so easy.

The weather was perfect...sunny and warm but not too hot. I am still a bit under the weather but much improved over yesterday. I think it was a bit of heat stroke.

Lisbon is a gorgeous city. We walked uphill and toured the Castello. What awesome views we had from the ramparts.

We then walked downhill and visited the beautiful, old church of Santa Maria Major Lisbon Patriarcal cathedral from the 12th century.

From there we walked over the lovely pedestrian street ( Rua Augusta) where I had grilled sardines and sipped on port while Graham had a burger at a sidewalk cafe. This was a touristy restaurant and I still prefer the grilled sardines that you get from the sidewalk vendors ( like our hot dog vendors), but I still enjoyed my meal.

We checked out the beautiful square with statue and arch at the beginning of the Rua Augusta before we headed back to the subway

We are both really tired. Graham fell asleep in the waiting lounge and started snoring. Then we got on our flight to Madrid and both of us fell asleep before the plane even took off. I came to for a minute and couldn't figure out which flight I was on and where we were going. Yikes!

Our next leg was from Madrid to Addis Ababa, which is in Ethiopia. I was rather disturbed to find that we were seated in the very back of the plane. It ended up being ok because I was asleep in an instant and only woke up to eat my meals. We stopped but didn't get out in Malta. The guy on the outside of my row disappeared for hours from his seat, however his flip flops remained on the floor. Where does one go for a number of hours on a plane?

As we were being bused from our plane to the terminal in Addis Ababar, I noticed that there appeared to be an abandoned and destroyed looking plane at the side of one of the runways. Hmmmm.

Our 1 1/2hour layover in Ethiopia was interesting. We are definitely in a different part of the world. I had to walk a long distance in the airport to find a washroom and of course there was a huge line snaking out of the women's washroom... there was no lineup at the men's which only goes to prove that some things are the same all over.

The airport here is very low tech and confusing at times.

It is much cooler here (jacket weather) and raining. We are now onto the last 7 hour leg of this flight journey. I fear that after almost 48 hours of travel, I stink and look like hell warmed over. I

It was during this last part of the trip that I had a bladder infection on the plane , ( which in my estimation is worse than " Snakes on a Plane"). The flight couldn't end quick enough for me.

John and Cameron were stuck in traffic so they were late in picking us up, I was put on hold with our travel insurance company for 7 minutes and the 24 hour medical help centre at the airport didn't have a doctor there till the next day. We finally found out where our closest hospital was and went there. John dropped me off and took the guys to the condo.

I was seen fairly quickly. The hospital was not as well equipped as ours. John was going to walk over and pick me up ( our condo is just around the corner) but the staff said it is not safe at night so he and Cameron picked me up in the car. After filling my prescription, we went out for supper, had showers and we are off to bed.

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