BRAND BALLOT'S TOP 100 MOM BLOGS FOR 2018!!
Interesting Facts About the Mediterranean Sea
Happy Hump Day!! Wednesday already and rather cloudy here on Long Island.
I woke up to frost on the windshield, the skies are gray - all the signs of snow??? We'll see.
Anyhoo, it's been a very productive week. I've been working on some wonderful affiliations with other bloggers from around the globe and as a result, we will be sharing articles with one another in the coming months. So, what that means for Travelin' Cousins is that we'll be featuring Guest blogs about a variety of places and topics that we are sure you will enjoy!
Our first new Guest Blog will be featured this coming Monday (January 21st) by our China-based fellow blogger (and interpreter), entitled: 5 Top Best Cities to Visit in China.
We are super excitd about all the new, fun travel info we will be bringing to you in the coming year!!
As for your favorite cousins - well, I'm going to be busy today helping a friend set up her own blog, while Tanya is enjoying her fifth day on her Mediterranean cruise trip.
I thought I'd enlighten you with some interesting facts about the beautiful Mediterranean sea to celebrate Tanya's day at sea.
8 Interesting Facts About the
1. The Mediterranean Sea is almost completely enclosed by land.
2. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.
3. Throughout history, it has been called many things by different civilizations.
4. Large islands in the Mediterranean are numerous:
5. Being nearly landlocked affects conditions in the Mediterranean Sea, one of which is that tides are very limited as a result of the narrow connection with the Atlantic Ocean.
6. The Mediterranean Sea is best known for its deep blue color.
7. There are 22 countries that have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. These include:
It certainly appears that one of the best ways to truly get an overview of this world-renown body of water and the nations that surround it, is, in fact a cruise! I do hope Tanya will have lots of photos and stories once she has wifi!
Wishing you a good one!
Greetings from the Atlantic.
We are floating off the coast of the Western Sahara.
Today is another sea day for us, but let me tell you all about our day in Casablanca…
Whew we made it back onto the ship! Gotta admit that I had my concerns.
And I can’t believe that I actually even made it back with clean shoes. Absolutely amazing!
Before leaving the ship we attended a port overview and had a few things explained to us. This was my take:
10 tips that are not sugar coated for visiting Casablanca
Well well well, I can hardly believe that I’ve now been to Casablanca, Morocco.
And it was kinda just what I expected. I do highly doubt that I’ll ever be heading back.
It was one of those places for me that once was enough. Ya know one and done.
As for the people, well, I’ve known my fair share of Moroccan people to know the type that we’d be dealing with.
Dave on the other-hand straight up got scammed (by a postal worker at that) out of some euros (which for those of you who don’t realize are worth more than dollars) luckily he didn’t have any more cash to get scammed out of.
What can I say, he’s a bumpkin from Mountain View, CA and I’m a city girl from Queens, NY.
You can take a girl out of the city and a boy out of the burbs.
But you can never take the city out of the girl or apparently the burbs out of the boy.
And btw it is he who is planning to go back to Morocco next year to pedal the Atlas Mountains while I actually plan on enjoying myself and hanging out with the kiddos somewhere in Europe… I’m thinking Italy and more specifically the Amalfi coast - which is a favorite!!
Anyhow this is another story and I’ll discuss this more at another time.
Back to yesterday -
For starters the Casablanca port, in a word it is UGLY. It’s an industrial port. So if you ever go, just keep that in mind so that you can totally limit your expectations.
As for the rest of the city, well I hope you don’t romanticize that either and that you go as a traveler and not as a tourist. If you know what I mean. If you don’t know what I mean I’ll explain.
A traveler embraces cultural differences and appreciates them.
Whereas a tourist expects everything, feels entitled and does a lot of complaining. I suppose it could be nice (if you only vacation at all inclusive resorts) and quite disappointing to be a tourist.
To top it all off can you imagine this, prior to leaving the ship I had stopped for a potty break, but because I drank so much coffee and water at breakfast time by the time we boarded our minibus I already had to pee once again.
And of course it was at this point that I had my first encounter of the absolutely worst traffic that I had even seen. This had to be some of the absolute WORST traffic anywhere and that anywhere includes Los Angeles, New York and Miami!
It was HORRIBLE. I felt as though I was about to have a little panic attack.
The claustrophobia that I don’t have was quickly creeping up on me! Luckily I didn’t wet myself. LOLOL
Our first stop was The Hassan II Mosque. The minaret was exceptionally tall. Supposedly the tallest in the world. But the contest for tallest, largest, best…is generally something that can and is usually disputed if you catch my drift.
Even with the traffic we arrived there early enough to see it before the rest of the tour groups had even showed up.
But quite honestly since this mosque has a capacity of 25,000, I really don’t think a few tour groups could pack in the place.
After this stop we went for refreshments at the Hotel Bellerive in Ain Diab, Dave and I opted for none other than Moroccan Mint Tea.
We continued to tour for hours upon hours. The tour took us and a handful of other tourists to several stops along Casablanca, learning all about Casablanca, the people, the culture and the sights that we had visited.
At the Royal Palace I’ll have you know that photos of the guards are not allowed! This was not something that we were informed of up front. But quickly came to realize as the guards (with large guns) started yelling something in Arabic in our direction!
Our guide Abdul - which was short for something I’ll never remember and none of us could ever pronounce had apologized on our behalf and explained to us that the guards at this palace were a bit strict. Abdul actually suggested that we call him George Clooney!
He definitely had a sense of humor on him.
He had actually even asked me if I was Moroccan! Which obviously I am not, but it’s nice to almost always be the person in the room who fits in as a local almost everywhere that I go! Okay so maybe I didn’t quite fit in while in China and personally I really don’t know how many Moroccan’s have purple hair. LOL
We toured the New Medina and the very fragrant and colorful Olive market (which was oddly empty - perhaps it was the time of day…) we had sampled a few varieties of the olives and the spicy (flavorful but not hot) ones were my fave!
Lunch at Rick’s Cafe was good, but initially they so did not get the concept of what a vegan diet was…
Nope Duck is not Vegan, neither is Fish. And Goat cheese is not okay either.
They finally understood that for them it meant vegetables only!
Once served, the salad was nice with dried figs and they replaced the goat cheese with papaya and at this point I really was not about to explain why I don’t eat Papaya (I hate Papaya) so I fed it to Dave! LOL We were both happy that the plateful of herby vegetables with basmati rice was very yummy.
After lunch we had a few more stops to make before we parted with the tour group and ventured off on our own to go do some souvenir shopping, find some clothing to dress me in for the next couple of days and to hit the post office. Which was a bit of a bust since they wouldn't do any hand cancellations and this is where the attendant totally scammed Dave.
Finally it was just about time for us to head back, make it to the last shuttle and board the ship before its scheduled departure.
We found ourselves with our backs against the wall once again upon boarding the shuttle but had no choice but to agree to the terms of paying for the shuttle (that was included in our excursion tickets) and not only that but not only paying for a one way fare, but for round trip at a price for the full day.
The only other cruisers on the bus were another couple and they hardly seemed concerned. But the bus left late and once again the traffic was miserable. How on earth were we going to make it back in time?!! The only saving grace was that we were on an official shuttle and that the cruise had to wait for the last shuttle to arrive before they would depart.
Once we actually were on the gangway, I had overheard that there was a tour with 200 guests who had not made it back! Now while the ship might not wait for a few stragglers here and there, they would definitely wait for a group of 200, especially since they were on a cruise organized excursion tour.
There you have it, hope you enjoyed a little peek into my day with the Daily Scoop Casablanca style.
Check out my many photos from the day below.
See you back here tomorrow,