Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Casablanca & Rabat 卡萨布兰卡与拉巴茨

At Rabat 在拉巴

Morocco gained Independence from Spain and France in 1956. It is larger than Malaysia in terms of area with population of 35 millions, in which majority are Arab-descent Berber.

The language spoken are Moroccan Arabic and Berber. Most of the population also speaks French and Spanish.

We have a comfortable stay in Abdel's house and treated warmly by his parents. His mother ensured we have enough of food throughout the day.

She prepared breakfast for us in the morning, tea in the late afternoon and a scrumptious Moroccan dinner in the evening.

Mint tea (tea with fresh mint and sugar) is the most common and regularly drink at home or cafe. Moroccans have a sweet tooth, all beverages and drinks are sugar added.

On 5/9, Abdel's aunty (mom's younger sister) who was staying about 20 kms away, invited us over for lunch.

Her specialty is FISH !

We were feted to a delicious all-fish meal ... a Moroccan fish banquet of our life time, delightful to eyes, delicious beyond words to taste !(see pictures)

After lunch, we invited her to join us for an short outing to Casablanca.

Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. It is a seaport and commercial center of the country.

We visited the famous Hassan II mosque and its nearby beach front.

It was just a "touch and go" visit to the city ...

On our way home, we stopped by a community culture event of Fantasia, an event of horse-riding and riffles firing.

We also visited Rabat, capital and second largest city of Morocco.

(See Casablanca and Rabat pictures in Facebook)

(short video of Fantasia)

Casablanca 卡萨布兰卡

摩洛哥在1956年,从法国及西班牙手中取得独立。它的面积比马来西亚大,人口大约是三千五百万,大部分都是阿拉伯贝贝族。

他们说的是摩洛哥阿拉伯语及贝贝语。大部分人口也会说一些法语及西班牙语。

Abdel 的家非常的舒适,父母也很热情的接待我们。他的妈妈更是照顾我们的饮食无微不至,把我们喂的饱饱的。

她准备我们的早餐,下午茶,还有美味的摩洛哥晚餐。

这里最普遍的就是喝薄荷茶 -中国茶叶,放进新鲜的薄荷叶,加糖。摩洛哥人民的品味偏向甜,所以茶及其他饮料都加糖。

5/9, Abdel 的阿姨(母亲的妹妹)邀请我们共进午餐。她的家大约在20公里外的一个市镇。

阿姨的最拿手菜是鱼。她为我们准备了一顿丰富的鱼宴。好多种的鱼,加上特有的配料,让我们大快朵颐,美味到难以形容。

这是我们有生以来,最特出、绝无仅有、最美味及享受的一顿全鱼餐。

午餐后,我们一起到大约五十公里外的卡萨布兰卡一游。

卡萨布兰卡是摩洛哥最大的城市、商业中心,也是海滩游玩胜地,所以非常的热闹。

我们参观了摩洛哥及非洲最大的回教堂,建立在海边。它也是排名全世界第七大的回教堂。

傍晚,我们有机会观看到摩洛哥民间热闹的骑马射枪竞赛。

隔天我们也到摩洛哥首都拉巴一游。

拉巴茨(Rabat)是排在卡萨布兰卡之后,成为摩洛哥第二大城市。它是国家行政中心。

(照片Facebook)

(小段视频Fantasia)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bouznika 布斯妮卡



The Moroccan Hospitality

On 4/9, we arrived at Abdel's house in Bouznika. It would served as a base and home away from home for the next 8 days.

It is a 4-storey shop-cum-house with typical Moroccan decoration, and very comfortable.

Upon arrival, Abdel's mother, despite a six hours journey from Essaouira, cooked us a delicious meal of Moroccan Couscous.

It was the best authentic Moroccan Couscous ever tasted ...

Mama is a very good cook. For the next few days, we would enjoyed more Moroccan home-cook meals. (She treated us all like her children, so we fondly referred her as our Mama)

Our returned journey of 4 hours from Essaouira was delayed due to road diversion. A section of express way was closed for 2 weeks for the filming of Mission: Impossible 5.

Later in the evening, we visited Abdel's parents farm and vineyard.

The juicy grapes making all of us " uh..ah.."!

(Pictures in Facebook)



摩洛哥的温情

4/9, 我们来到了Abdel 在 Bouznika 的家。这里将是我们往后8天的基地,也是我们第二个家。

这是一间四层店屋兼住家,内部都是标准的摩洛哥装饰,非常的华丽,也非常的舒服。

Abedel 的妈妈,虽然经过6个小时的车程,但很快的为我们准备了一顿美味的摩洛哥Couscous (库斯饭)。

这是我们尝到最美味的道地原味摩洛哥库斯饭。我想在马来西亚难以找到了。

Abdel 的母亲对我们好像是她的孩子般,所以我们也亲切的叫她妈妈。妈妈是个厨艺高手,往后的日子,我们会尝到更多美味的摩洛哥食物。

傍晚,我们到Abdel父母的农场/果园 参观。

见到了丰实及多汁的葡萄,大家都在惊叹”呜、啊“!

 (更多照片Facebook)



Essaouira 伊沙维拉



 3/9, we left Marrakesh for seaport city Essaouira. It is about 180 kms from Marrakesh. 

The Medina (old walled city) of Essaouira is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is smaller than Marrakesh Medina but very much more peaceful, cleaner and orderly.

We have a relax evening, enjoying the relax atmosphere of an seaside resort town. We visited the Portuguese ramparts, fish market.

We left Essaouira in the morning for Bouznika, our home away from home in Morocco. 


 (More pictures Facebook)




3/9. 我们离开马拉卡斯,来到了海边城市伊沙维拉,距离大约180公里。

这里的旧城区,也是联合国教科文组织列为世界遗产地点之一。它比马拉卡斯旧城区来的小,但更平静、清洁及有秩序。

我们在这里度过了一个轻松的傍晚。我们参观了 葡萄牙留下来的边防炮楼,海鲜市场。

隔天一早,我们就离开伊沙维拉,前往我们第二个家的沃斯尼加。 

 (更多照片Facebook)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Marrakesh (2) 马拉卡斯

We returned from Morocco via Amsterdam yesterday (13/9) and arrived at Aberdeen at about 10:00 pm (local time).

My backpack of clothing and shoes was short-landed (went missing). A report was made and hopefully, it would be found soon.

Thus concluded our 3260-Kilometres Moroccan adventure filled with excitement, surprises... and prayers. Praise the Lord! 

Car rental in Morocco is not expensive, but the terms and conditions are ridiculous especially the Excess clauses.

We rented a Peugeot 301 Diesel (local model) which was quite new and comfortable. Great appreciation to Elizabeth for her dextrous left-handed driving, and thanks and love to Mother Mary, who intercede for us a safe journey (I was praying constantly " O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who has recourse to thee" for safety on Moroccan roads).

Driving in Medina and town area can be a scarey experience, more so with pedestrians and motor-bit criss-crossing everywhere.

Now, I shall continue with my posting of our Moroccan adventure.

On the first day in Marrakesh, we visited the Medina (old walled city) with thousands of stalls and shops selling varieties of goods. However, all items are not labelled with price. The shop-keepers would open with an exorbitant price, and bargaining pursued.

According to visitors comments on social media and advice of local friends, it can be slashed by as much as 50-60 %, depending on your bargaining skill and length of time. It is a way of life in Morocco.

But it was not our cup of tea, so we bought nothing!

On the second day in Marrakesh, after the tour of the famous but notorious Medina, we went out  for an excursion of the Atlas mountains area.

Abdel's parents graciously joined us for the journey.

Abdel's parents were first generation migrants to France but still maintaining a Moroccan home at Bouznika, about 300 kms north of Marrakesh.  In recent years, they spend more time in Morocco attending to their farms and fruit orchards in Bouznika.

(More pictures Facebook)



我们在昨天(13/9)离开摩洛哥,在阿姆斯特丹转机,于晚上十点左右,回到了阿伯丁。

我的一件背包行李迷失了,里面装载着我的衣服及鞋子。在机场作了报告列案,希望能够尽快找到。

我们 3,260公里,充满刺激、惊喜及很多祈祷的摩洛哥行程,也宣告结束。感谢赞美天主!

现在我将继续分享行程的故事。

抵达摩洛哥后,第一天的行程是参观旧城区Medina。这里有着上千的摊档,售卖应有尽有的货品,但我们什么都没有买。

这里的货品没有标价,商家的漫天开价的。讨价还价似乎是这里的一种生活方式,但我们却不习惯,也没兴趣这样做。

根据过来人的介绍,价钱可以“杀”低百分之五十至六十之间 。。。但需要技巧及时间。

第二天,我们往市区之外的阿勒斯山脉郊区观光。

摩洛哥朋友Abdel的父母从300公里外的沃斯尼加来到马拉卡斯与我们共游。

他们是第一代摩洛哥到法国的移民,在法国定居。现在退休后,大部分时间都留在波斯妮卡,照顾农场及果园。

(更多照片Facebook)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sahara desert adventure

On 7 and 8/9/2014, we went for a overnight camping at Sahara desert.

It was a dream came thorough and a un-forgetable experience.

Upload a few pictures on Facebook to share. Posting later.

在九月7及8日,我们到沙哈拉沙漠过一晚的露营。

这是梦想成真,难忘的体验。

上载几张照片分享,帖子容后上载。

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Marrakesh (1) 马拉卡斯

 
It is our dream holiday of life!

On 31/8/2014 evening, we landed at Marrakesh airport at about 7:00pm.

Through the invitation of Abdel (Elizabeth's friend), we have the opportunity to visit Morocco, a North-Western African country with mystical stories and beautiful landscapes.

Marrakesh is our first destination of the journey.

The main attraction of Marrakesh is its Medina - an vast 700-hectre old walled city, which was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site (1985).

It is a maze of narrow streets and alleys full of shops, stalls, vendors, people, motorcycles and donkey-carts!

Our first day's itinerary was to visit the souks (markets) and historical places within the medina. It took us more than 8 hours (Inclusive 2 hours lunch time) of walking, covering a distance of about 10 kms just to see less than half of it.

(see pictures in Facebook)


Abdel and his parents * Abdel 与他的父母

这是我们的梦想假期。

31/8/2014星期日,也是马来西亚国庆日,我们在傍晚七时左右抵达马拉卡斯国际机场。

在我女儿的朋友Abdel 的邀请下,我们有机会到西北非洲的摩洛哥,一个充满神秘故事及美丽风景的国家。

马拉卡斯是我们摩洛哥行程的第一站。

马拉卡斯的首要游客的景点是它的围墙旧城区 (Medina)。这个700公顷的古老城区在1985年,被联合国教科文组织列为世界遗产地点。

它里面就好像迷宫一样,许多狭窄的道路、小巷。综合交错。它有好多个市场,售卖不同的货品。人多、电单车也多。行人还有与载货的驴车、马车相争。

我们第一天的行程就是观光旧城区。

我们除了参观多个市场,看到不同的商店,售卖不同的货物,如皮革物品-鞋、腰带、手袋等,铁与银手工艺商店,布匹及衣服,食品等,还参观了许多历史及文物建筑物。

我们花了大约8个小时(包括两个小时享用当地摩洛哥午餐),步行了大约10公里,看了也只不过覆盖了不到一半的范围。

(照片 Facebook)


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Venice and Milan 威尼斯与米兰


3-5/8/2014

This is the last segment of our Italian journey.

Venice is beautiful and unique.

The water of the canals is clean ... to my surprise, not a drop or any smell of petrol or diesel used by the boats and water-bus!

The St. Marco square, the main tourist attraction, in the afternoon was like a mad house ... noisy and dirty. ... and hot !

We stayed in a hotel with a small courtyard. It was like a haven to us after a tiring outing to the noisy and crowded streets.

The last leg of our Italian itinerary was Milan. As I mentioned in my earlier posting, Milan is famous for fashions and branded goods, a shoppers paradise. But not for us.

However, the Milano Duomo is beautiful. We spent quite sometime visiting it and the surrounding areas.

1. All pictures of Venice in Facebook 

2. All pictures of Milan in Facebook



3-5/8/2014

这是我们意大利行程的最后一部分。

我们来到了世界著名的威尼斯,它的确是相当的美丽,有着独特的风采。

这里的运河海水非常的清洁,没有船只使用的汽油或油屎流漏的油渍或一丝臭味。

圣玛谷广场是游客必到的地方,在下午时,非常的吵闹、肮脏,而且是非常的炎热。

我们所住的酒店,有一个小空间,让我们可以在外面的喧哗街道游逛之后,有个歇息的避静所,非常的舒服。

我们意大利之行的最后一站是米兰。米兰是世界闻名的时装及名牌之都,购物者的天堂。但对我们来说,却是一个沉闷乏味的地方。

不过,米兰总座堂却是非常的美丽典雅,我们用来相当多的时间到此观赏。

1. 所有的威尼斯照片Facebook 

2. 所以的米兰照片 Facebook 

意大利圣地自由行 -- 亚西西、佛罗伦斯、巴杜亚 Assis,Florence, Padua

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi  圣方济格亚西西圣殿
After Rome, we went to Assisi.

Assisi is famous because of St. Francis, a great saint of the Catholic church.

We stayed at a hotel just opposite the train station. The hotel owner and staff are very friendly and caring. We have to leave Assisi for Florence the next morning, so the owner prepared a breakfast package for us night before, and reminding us not to forget to bring on to the train.

Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli is just 10 minutes walk from the hotel. It was built over a 9th centuary chapel where Francis heard the voice of God calling him to "rebuilt my church". It is the holiest shrine of Capuchin Franciscan Order.

Basilica of St Francis was built on top of a hill, overlooking the valley. The in-corrupt body of St Francis was laid inside the Basilica. 

The roads on the hilltop town of Assisi are steep and narrow. We have to walk to see all places related to St. Francis, including the Basilica of St. Clare, cooperator of  Francis in his early ministry.

After Assisi, we headed to Florence.

The famous Pisa leaning tower is an hour train ride away.

It was a short stay in Florence. The next day, we left for Venice and making a stopover of 4 hours in Padua to visit the Basilica of St. Anthony.

St. Anthony was a faithful follower of St. Anthony.

(See pictures of Assis in Facebook)

(See pictures of  Pisa and Florence in Facebook)


离开了罗马,下一站是亚西西。

亚西西出了一位圣人,那就是圣方济格(点击参考)。现任教宗就是取名于他。

我们住宿的酒店,就在火车站对面,非常的方便,酒店的老板也很友善。隔天一早,因为我们要乘搭很早的火车离开,没时间吃早餐(包含在住宿费里),他特地准备了每人一个早餐袋,里面有糕饼、果汁及水等,还交待我们别忘记带着上火车。

圣方济格大殿建在山上,远望非常的宏伟,里面放置着圣人的遗体。沿着斜陡的山路,我们参观了山上大部份方济格有关的圣地,包括圣女嘉兰(St. Clare)的遗体及许多遗物等。当天天气炎热,我们除了汗流浃背外,脚的肌肉也吃不消了。在山上逗留了大半天后,我们也回到了酒店。

假如能够在山上看日落的话,应该是非常迷人的景致,但夏天的太阳,在晚上九点过后才落山,那就是要等太久了。

离开亚西西,我们前往弗洛伦斯(Florence )(诗人徐志摩给了它一个非常浪漫的名字 -- 翡冷翠, 意大利原文 Firenze)。到了弗洛伦斯,首先要去观光的,是附近的比萨斜塔。

我们参观了主教座堂圣母百花圣殿,并在里面参加了一台傍晚弥撒,过后享用了著名的弗洛伦斯牛排晚餐。

隔天,我们前往威尼斯途中,在巴杜亚停留了三个小时,参观圣安东尼圣殿及圣人的遗物。

圣安东尼是圣方济格的忠实跟随者。天主教徒都信奉他为失物寻回者。很多时候东西遗失了,都会向圣安东尼祈求相助,而奇迹般的寻获。

Pisa town center 比萨市区


Thursday, August 28, 2014

An outing to Cairngorms Mountain 康拱山区户外游



On 25/8/2014, my wife and I had an outing to the Cairngorms mountain area to visit Highland Wildlife Park and surrounding attractions.

We drove through Cairngorms National Park territory which offered spectacular view of the park.

The journey from Aberdeen to wildlife park took about 3 hours which covered about 160 kms of mostly winding but good and safe country roads.

The Highland Wildlife Park which is management by Royal Zoological Society of UK is a sprawling natural reserve divided into walk-around animal open enclosure and drive around close range animal watching zone.
 
It charged £11 per senior citizen. The main attraction of the park are Polar Bears, Japanese Snow Monkeys, Amur Tigers, Brown Panda and many more. 
 
We put up a night at a guest house in Aviemore, a beautiful and quite small town.

There are many beautiful lakes (loch) which offer good walking paths and picnic spots.

(More pictures in Facebook)



25/8/2014, 我和太太到苏格兰康拱山区的野生动物园及邻近地区游玩。

我们的旅程经过康拱国家公园风景区,景色壮观迷人。

动物园离开阿伯丁大约160公里,需要大约三个小时的车程,经过郊野的山区道路,弯曲、陡峭,但非常良好及安全。

这个有英国皇家动物园协会管理的动物园,坐落在一个广阔的保护区,分成两个部分。第一部分是步行观赏动物区,第二部分是驾车近距离观赏动物区。

动物园收费合理,乐龄人士每人£11(英镑)。主要的动物有北极熊、老虎、日本猕猴、红熊猫等。

我们在一个名为阿维姆尔的小镇住宿一晚。小镇环境清幽,安静怡人。

小镇也是户外活动中心,附近有许多美丽的湖泊,休闲、步行或野餐都非常的适合。

(更多照片Facebook )

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bullers of Buchan 海之涯洞


Today we went to Bullers of Buchan (Bark-ken), about an hour's car journey from Aberdeen.

It is a collapsed sea cave near a village named Buchan.

A short walk of 10 minutes from car-park will reach the cliff. ( We walked about an hour to see similar rock formation in Hokkaido - Click here to see Hokkaido 2)

The view is great (see pictures)

Later we ventured to a sand dune area at Newburgh, a small town near Bachan, for seal watching.

It is out of the season, so no seal but enjoying the unique view of sand dunes and lake.

(More pictures in Facebook)


今天我们到一个名为 Buchan (读音“巴更”)的小地方,观赏独有的天然景观。它离开阿伯丁大约一个小时的车程

这是一个倒塌的天然海边石洞。

我们只需从停车场步行10分钟就到了目的地。(比起北海道同样的自然景观,我们需步行一个小时才看得到 - 参阅北海道2

过后,我们到附近的另一个小镇,去观看沙丘旁可能出现的海狗。

但是,因为不是它们上岸的季节,所以没看到任何的海狗,但可以观赏到别致的山丘及湖的美丽风景。

(更多照片Facebook)