Brunch… The thing I will miss most about Morocco.

Brunch Brunch Brunch Brunch BrunchHello, my name is Vinny, and I love brunch.  After neglecting such a delicious part of the week for almost 24 years of my life I started brunching towards the end of last school year.  Brunch is not just endless mimosas, or at least it can not be about that in Morocco.  Drinks were of the non-alcoholic variety but I wouldn’t have had it any other way, at least not in Africa.

Cannelle, a restaurant in the french part of Casablanca was my favorite tried and true brunch spot.  By the second to last week our usual waiter stopped some newbie from giving us menus, a feat that could not have come at a better time.  The traditional, the only meal I got in over a year while eating brunch, consisted of a breakfast tagine with dried meat that was kept in and then cooked in lard with 2 sunny-side up eggs, topped off with a few different choices of Moroccan bread.  Everyone got three types of bread with each brunch, and each had its part in the meal.  The bread could be used as a scoop for the tagine, or a mini sandwich, or dipped in honey. All of this along with fresh squeezed orange juice and a cafe au lait that would time and time again put a smile on my face evened out my favorite time of each and every week.  All of the food and drinks came out to 55Dhs ($6).  Of the things I will miss about Morocco, this meal will surely be missed the most.  (Not counting life-long amigos)



Golfing in Morocco, a perfect sense of the “East meets West” type of culture most travel guides will talk about.  Out of all the times I have golfed since I was a 12 year old, club throwing, snowman having, pitch putter golfer I have only played link style golf a handful of times.  Out of all the times I had teed up, never have I golfed with 40 MPH gusts and a consistent 20-25 MPH wind.  Out of all the times I have golfed, I have never felt so helpless on 50-100 yard approach shots.  The course was well manicured, and looked wide open for the taking before the round actually started.  With the Atlantic staring down on the right rough on 4 of the holes and the rest of the course within a few hundred yards of the breaking waves, the golf gods were anything but kind.  The greens were as fast as I have ever scene, this is usually when you hear about how fast they were rated on a stimpmeter, but with no official reading I’ll just leave it to your imagination.  Anything short of a perfect drive was met with shaggy, deep, colorful rough, which I frequented.  All of this, plus a seven month layover from swinging a golf club led to some high scoring fun filled holes.

After the round, we hit the resort casino, which was small, but filled with Moroccan and Foreign gamblers.  After a great dinner filled with duck bacon and a few beers I found a spot on a black jack table and played for a few hours making back the money spent on the round and then some!  All four of us made money on the day, which almost made up for the scores we posted during the round.

A quick glance back at 2013

Friends were made, beers were drank, books were read, travel was done, fits were thrown, rants were given… and taken.

2013 showed that a good ear is hard to find, and the group of friends I have made here will last long after my time in Morocco comes to an end.  Fair weather friends are easy to find, but finding the ones that will simply sit and listen when you really need to yell and ramble, they are worth their weight in gold.

2013 gave me travel opportunities of epic proportions, with stops in 9 different countries and stints in great cities including Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Budapest, and Munich.  It also gave me the chance to see the Northern “Imperial” part of Morocco.

2013 saw a paradigm shift in how I travel.  With my handy dandy dSLR, my understanding of angles, AND my amazing flexibility, photography has become a big part of my traveling.  Here are the top 12 from the year,  a mixed bag between Morocco, the states and some of the places I visited this year.

A ride through the mountains.

One of the simple joys of traveling is the three seconds after you wave to a little kid as your car passes them on the side of the road.  For those three seconds you feel on top of the world, because in your mind (or at least mine) that kid just waited all day to wave at you,  to the point where they blush or give their friends the secondary high five for their collective efforts.

In terms of travel days, going into the desert was terrible.  The Atlas mountains are beautiful, but the roads and the drivers do not work well with others.  As I moved to the front of the bus a weird sense of vertigo hit me as we went around turns going to fast, on a road that was to narrow, with a driver who did not seem to care or notice the flipped semi truck as we passed it…

Beyond that the views were as good as advertised, and in reality, the amount of landscape change from Marrakech to Merzouga is underrated, just like most of the scenery in this country.

Pit stops included:

– Coffee breaks for everyone

– Cigarette breaks for the chimney smelling French people

– Ouarzazate, the capital of the Moroccan movie industry.  Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Black Hawk Down, Body of Lies were all partially shot there.

– Todgha Gorge