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mosaic road
Melbourne, Australia
Recent Activity
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I was keen to visit Montmartre as I had not been there for many years. It really is a big suburb of Paris on a hill with the Sacre Coeur church at the top but has a very bohemian history. Dali, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso are just some of the famous artists who lived there. We took the metro and then proceeded up all the steps. There is a funicular for those who can't face the endless stairways. The architecture is interesting as it has been built on the steep hillside. At the top the view of Paris is... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at mosaic road
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Paris is behind me sadly now but I have lots of Parisienne adventures to blog about but will limit myself to 10 posts so as to prevent total ennui all round. So here goes !! I know its odd to be in Paris and to eat Italian food but Il Suppli just presented itself at the right time. We had been walking and meandering for several hours and it was 2.30pm and hunger had hit hard. It was cold and gray and we wanted a cosy indoor cafe and this was perfect. The antipasto platter with crusty French bread was... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at mosaic road
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Endless clamour, endless heat Rising, swirling, such a beat Moroccan melee, crowds abound Adventure spirits, lost and found Tourists wander, quite in shock Markets and haggling, voices mock Vipers, monkeys, henna too So much to see, so much to do See the Mosque ,hear calls to pray Devout believers enter the fray The caleches have history, way way back Palaces and ruins, never a lack Ancient riads offer peace and a bed A maze of alleys await your tread Memories to treasure will be made The many photos will stop the fade Come and visit, Marrakech waits We can meet... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at mosaic road
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Today is D Day for me, departure day. After nearly a week of wandering Paris and laughing with friends it is time foe me to return to Marrakech, my home and work place of the last nine months. While I feel sad to leave my old friends I am quite content to return to my home and job and catch up with my new friends. I am leaving Paris with many happy memories accompanied by a fair few unwanted calories. The pictures will tell that particular story and I must be honest here, it is the abridged version only that... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at mosaic road
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Day 5 dawned grey, drizzly and cold. Despite this we negotiated the Metro and got ourselves successfully to Sacre Coeur at Montmartre. We climbed the many , many steps only to find the place overrun with other tourists. Nevertheless the inner sanctums of the church are very beautiful and I took a moment to light a candle. The immediate area around the church is full of little cafes and stalls selling artwork and souvenirs. Touristy but pretty. Our afternoon was devoted to wandering the little lanes of Germaine de Pres and visiting the tiny boutiques and fashion houses all making... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at mosaic road
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Our day ended earlier than planned due to bad weather. Rain and chill hit hard after lunch causing us to retreat back to our apartment for coffee and an afternoon lounging in front of TV watching the final stage of the Tour de France. I was hoping to see Montmartre but we were not dressed for winter so abandoned our itinerary. Our morning was spent at the Clignancourt Flea Market , a French version of Bab El Khmis. It covers 15 acres and shops and stalls sell antiquities and vintage furnishings, preloved designer clothes and a variety of artwork. No... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at mosaic road
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Day 3 has ended on a high note just like the other days. Non stop walking and shopping was on the agenda. We witnessed throngs of cyclists madly pedalling past the Louvre, passed the huge 60 metre high ferris wheel in the Tuileries, strolled the markets buying fresh produce for our dinner, visited the flagship Hermes store built in a 1935 swimming pool and lunched at Bon Marche. Our lovely day was completed by watching the very cute Kevin Kline in French Kiss. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at mosaic road
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And so day two ends - very late - I must add. It has included 3 delicious very French meals, a metro trip to the Arc de Triomphe with a walk down the iconic Champs Elysees, a visit to the Louis Vuitton Foundation which was sadly a bit of a mixed bag, an appointment with the coiffure and a bellini. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at mosaic road
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Where do I start ?? Everything is so wonderful !! It has been a day of total immersion in all things French. Images taken throughout the day will tell the story way better than any of my words. Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2015 at mosaic road
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Tomorrow I have a rendez-vous in Paris. I will be en route early full of joie de vivre. I will meet three wonderful , chic friends for a week of cafe au lait, boutiques, restaurants, soirees, crepes, aperitifs, hors d'oevres, couture, esprit de corps, haut cuisine, baguettes and more. En masse and with panache and rapport we will step out each day from our pied-à-terre to see the sights. I am sure we will visit the bureau de change more than once as purchases like eau de toilette, croissants, foie gras, lingerie and a melange of other souvenirs will be... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at mosaic road
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After a dip , a drink and a few olives life suddenly takes on a more positive outlook. The restorative powers of Manzil de Tortue are quite significant and soon you will feel like a stroll to the courtyard cafe for luncheon. Tables are set prettily with local pottery and roses grown on the property. A choice of tagines is on offer then it’s back to the book and sun lounge to await dessert and coffee. An oozing molten chocolate cake was served to me accompanied by a wonderful long black. Way too soon, the afternoon gives way to dusk... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at mosaic road
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When you need to retreat from hectic Marrakech this lovely resort, Manzil la Tortue, although a little pricey, is the perfect destination. A car will collect you and after 25 minutes through the snarling traffic you will find greenery, tranquility and and a pool at a perfect temperature. You are given a towel, a sun hat, a sun lounge and lunch. You do not need to think or do or speak unless ordering a cocktail or two. Take a book and forget the outside world. Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at mosaic road
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The Moorish or Greek tortoise is a common pet here and can often be seen trundling across the floor at cafes or riads. {I harbour a great fear of stepping on one to be honest !!} A little kennel will be set up for them in a corner and a big lettuce buffet will be laid out for them to graze upon. A widespread belief is that keeping a tortoise wards off evil spirits and will discourage snakes from entering the home . The latter alone seems to be a fantastic reason to run down to the souk now and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2015 at mosaic road
Yes Katie - as you can see I have had a lot to keep on blogging about. Today for us here is the end of Ramadan and clocks return to summertime over the weekend. I will be happy about that as I can walk home in the twilight instead of taking a taxi in the dark. I have had F’tour with the staff most nights and done my own reduced version of fasting.Ramadan changes time slots each year so it must hit winter at some stage. The worst would be doing it in the Land of the Midnight Sun as you would never get to eat !!!! I will be coming to Paris this week on 22 till 28 July to se more old friends !! love Kate
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2015 on Kasbahs & Kittens at mosaic road
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Another day, another kasbah you could say about Morocco but they all have their own charm, their own special touches and story. Of course the dozing kittens caught my eye first. It was such a hot day but they lay happily snoozing en famille on the cool stone floor. They looked up at me and my camera blinking very sleepily and sweetly. Their home is the very large Kasbah Toaurirt, preserved by Unesco. There is a maze of rooms and stairways, some restored, others not . The very typical shuttered windows with intricate stucco trim can be seen as well... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2015 at mosaic road
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As dusk falls the gardens of the Sultana Golf Hotel become a fairyland, A myriad of twinkling lanterns line the paths and are scattered through the lawned areas and garden beds. So so pretty. Intricate cut out patterns throw the most fabulous shadows over the cobbled pathways. The lanterns have an aged patina with dents and imperfections and are made from vintaged metal. Such wonderful rustic charm. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at mosaic road
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The Sultana has the perfect terraces for drinks, meals and general slouching around. Half sun, half shade is available all day with WiFi and comfy chairs. The interior eating area is themed !!! and enormous mirrored arched sliding doors separate the in from the out. These mirrored doors reflect the gardens and pool and add the most wonderful backdrop and dimension. They sound tacky I know but the mirroring is on the outside and that makes all the difference. You do not see mirror, you just see massive reflections of gardens and pool and sky. Now to that theme inside.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2015 at mosaic road
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I have recently had two nights at the Royal Sultana Golf Hotel. It is located precisely in the middle of nowhere, 25 kms from the nearest ‘big smoke’ Ouarzazate. The surrounding countryside is flat, dry as chips, stoney and endlessly brown but then an amazing aquamarine lake appears like a mirage right by the hotel. The Sultana is a small oasis of green gardens, kept lush and cool with masses of sprinklers watering the lawns from dawn. It is a small resort with a beautiful pool area and gorgeous outdoor eating areas making it perfect for a mini break. I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at mosaic road
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Aït Ben Haddou , age unknown, is a fortified city or kasbah situated along the original caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. Incredibly four families still live in this ancient compound. . It is such an amazing example of earthen clay architecture and rises out of nowhere against the skyline. Many, many movies have been made here including Gladiator and one of my favourites, Jewel of the Nile. No sign of any movie making when I visited last week. The place was pretty much deserted due to oppressive and inescapable heat. It took all my strength just to take... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at mosaic road
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On either your way into Imlil or out or both there is the opportunity for a camel ride. The ride can be 30 or 60 mins depending on your tolerance for discomfort. It’s is a very bumpy, lumpy, humpy ride for those that have not done it before. Camels are pretty tall and gangly and walk with a jerky gait .But first the cameleer must persuade them to ‘sit and stay’ so you can mount. The camel never seems to embrace this instruction and there is moaning and groaning and hissing. After clambering on board you must lean well back... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at mosaic road
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After the walk we were directed to this great cafe, built over several levels with views in all directions. Due to Ramadan I did not eat but my walking companions ordered golden Berber omelettes and I enjoyed the panorama surrounding me as they waxed lyrical about their meal. It was a perfect light lunch on a hot day. I certainly know what to choose from the menu next time I am in Imlil. Note to self, do not do this trip over Ramadan. This cafe does great traditional no frills Moroccan food and great coffee. They have a vast European... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at mosaic road
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The walk from Imlil village up to this gushing waterfall takes about half an hour. In summer the path is shady, lined with walnut trees. In autumn and winter these lovely old trees turn golden and lose their leaves and then if you take this walk in spring, the path may be mushy but the trees are in blossom. There is great beauty here all year round making it a perfect day trip from Marrakech. Within 1 and 1/2 hours you can exchange the city madness and mayhem for mountain scenery and Berber hospitality. Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at mosaic road
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After breaking our journey at the Asni market we continued on to Imlil, 1740 metres above sea level. This village is a busy hub for the many intrepid trekkers to Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. It is also where Richard Branson has built a very lovely and very expensive hotel. We walked to a wonderful waterfall, enjoying temperatures a little lower than sizzling Marrakech. The shaded but rocky path is used continually by locals, often riding bare back, on doe faced mules with their gaudy bridles and blankets. And talking of blankets, Berber carpets and rugs are for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at mosaic road
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Recently I made an Australian contribution to Ftour, the meal at sunset during Ramadan when everyone breaks their fast. I have loved joining the staff at this meal and it was only right that at some point I did some cooking. I am very much out of the habit of cooking and often feel frustrated as I cannot locate ingredients that I want and/or recognise. Labelling in Arabic is a major challenge for me. So the best thing for me was to keep it as basic as possible. On this occasion I made herby corn fritters and a savoury vegetarian... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at mosaic road
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Once you have completed your fruit and veg shopping at the Asni market then there are other things that you might find tempting. Surely you could not leave without a terracotta tagine, perfect to cook your dinner or how about a few little brown chickens or a sheep or two. If you don’t need livestock then a cane Berber beehive must be on your list or a little grass broom to sweep the patio. And don’t forget a last minute sweet melon - as big as a football. It can be bought as you are leaving straight out of the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at mosaic road