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



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。


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。











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)


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。


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)。


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。



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。


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。



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 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!




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。





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.




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



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。





(照片 Facebook)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Venice and Milan 威尼斯与米兰


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









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)




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。


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。




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。







(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


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