Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Adventure: Chef, Fes, England, Wales

 A LOT has happened since I last wrote. Sorry about this long delay in writing but it's hard when there is something to do everyday and at night all you want to do is sleep.

Chefchaouen: Anyways, I left you with Matt and me going to Chefchaouen with Hannah, Khalil, and her parents. I would have to say Chefchaouen was one of my favorite cities in Morocco. This city is gorgeous because of a couple reasons: one, it's nestled right by two Rif mountain peaks, and two: most of its buildings are painted blue. The people there are amazingly nice and chill, but I think it's because everyone is high and everyone is willing to share. Chefchaouen is basically the capital of hash in Morocco. Matt seriously got asked multiple times during the 2 1/2 days we were there. So, our first day in Chefchaouen was a relaxing walk around town, taking lots of pictures, and visting all the fun shops. The next day we tackled the mountain with a five-hour hike. We first started on a trail and climbed high up the mountain, but then we made our own trail going down the mountain. It was so much fun, but terrifying at the same time. Going up the mountain was pretty interesting; we ran into a few strange groups of folks. The first one was the the three ladies carrying twigs on their backs. They asked for money because we were kind of taking pictures of them so we gave them 13 dirhams. They weren't happy with what we gave them and they asked for more. We refused and they just walked off angrily. The second group was obviously hash dealers/guides. On a couple different occasions we had some guys try to sell us hash and then when we refused, they tryed to guide us up the mountain to make a little bit of money. It was quite funny because we were on a clearly marked trail. The third group of strange folks were two little boys that were tending to their flock. I took a picture of their sheep and they were not happy. Then, we tried to find a picnic spot for lunch near where they were at. They were not happy. In the outside of our backpack we had a thing of cookies and a thing of Pringles. On our way back to the trail to find a different spot for a picnic one of the boys had a sling shot with a stone in it and pointed it towards Matt. He wanted the Pringles but instead we gave him the cookies because we were not going to give up the Pringles! He was not happy but we got away unharmed. So, yes, even up a huge mountain we can have an interesting time.

Fes: The next day Matt and I went to Fes where we spent our time with James and Melissa. James and Melissa are friends of my Aunt Roxanne. They were great hosts and drove us around town. We spent two days in Fes. The first day was exploring the medina and showing Matt all of my favorite shops. The next day we focused on finding the tannery, talking to shop owners, and buying souvenirs. Randomly at a side shop, we met a shop owner that grew up in Germany, so Matt talked to him in German. The shop owner was so impressed that he got took it upon himself to get us great deals at the other shops. We had a list of things we had to buy, so he took us all over, found the best deals, and negotiated for us. We took his business card so that way when we go back to Fes at the end of our trip we can buy some more things :).      
London: We then headed to London on the 17th. We stayed for 2 full days with a couchsurfer. On the plane to London, we met Aziz. Aziz is a Moroccan that married a British woman and lives in London. He had a great bloody accent. Our plane landed at eleven at night and his sister, Wafa (also Moroccan), was picking him up and she lived about five minutes away from where we were staying, so they drove us there. They were so much fun! They were speaking in Darija and with a British accent while mixing English in as well. The first day we did a Beatles tour of London by foot with a book that Matt bought through Amazon. By the end of the tour, my feet were killing me because it was about six hours of walking! It wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't wearing my new shoes that I bought in Fes. That night we went and saw The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. Amazing!!! I was so happy :D. The next day, Matt put together a Harry Potter tour for me around London. We visited Platform 9 3/4, Gringotts bank, the Leaky Caldron (old and new), the exterior of the real train station, the train station that inspired J.K. Rowling, Millenium Bridge, and we also added Shakespeare's Globe, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. I would say we did London on speed.

 Leicester: We then went to Leicester for one day. We stayed with Hannah, a girl from our high school exchange program like five/six years ago. She was so sweet. There wasn't much to do in the town, so we bar hopped. There was a really sweet Hawaiian-themed bar that she took us to first. Our first round was in pineapples and coconuts. The second round we got a dessert drink with chocolate ice cream. It was so good! We ended the night at the Uni Bar- a bar on campus. Yup, that's right. It wasn't only a bar, but it was a nightclub with a DJ and two floors with two bars. It was so much fun!!                                  

 Liverpool: After Leicester we went to Liverpool. Liverpool was pretty amazing as well. We spent two days in Liverpool and also stayed with a couchsurfer. The first day we went on a tour called the Magical Mystery Tour. This tour brought us all around Liverpool. We ended the tour on Mathew Avenue, where the Cavern Club is. There was a musical festival going on called The International Pop Overthrow Festival. It was great because there were bands playing at every bar and people were getting drunk at 4:00 p.m. We grabbed dinner at an Irish pub that closed their dining at 5:30 and only served alcohol after that time. We then went to the Cavern Club. The Cavern Club had two different stages, so there was always a band playing. Of course we graffitied the wall and took pictures of it :) and we started drinking around 6:00 and we were way behind the group of other Liverpudlians drinking. The next day we went on a National Trust tour. We went through Paul's and John's houses with explanations. So, Matt and I walked in the pathway in the making of The Beatles. Before and after the tour, we went shopping in The Beatles stores. We then met Nick (one of the roommates of the couchsurfer) at the bar he worked at and he brought us to a great pizza place where we tried great mixed drinks. And that's where we ended an awesome night.

Holyhead: Well, we only wanted to pass through this town but someone had a different plan for us. Yesterday morning we double checked our ferry from Holyhead (which is in Wales) and found out that it never went through because we used an American credit card and had to mail a copy of our passports (didn't know) to them and that our ferry has been canceled because of high winds (our ferry would have left at 5:00). Right after we found that out, we rushed to the train station to find out if we could get another ferry to Ireland. The lady said that there was only one ferry running and if we were fast enough, we could grab the next train to Chester. The only problem is that the next train left in 8 minutes. We ran to the platform to find out that it was running 20 minutes late which meant we will miss the next train because there was only a 13 minute gap between the connecter train in Chester to Holyhead. When we finally made it to Holyhead the next train was scheduled to leave at 12:23 (our train was supposed to leave at 11:09) which means we would arrive in Holyhead at 14:13 and the ferry would leave at 14:10. The Chester help desk told us that there might be other ferrys. When we finally got into Holyhead we found out that the next train would leave at 2:30 the next morning. There was a lot of angry people but I say we made the most of it. We met two Americans and one French/Irish girl. We couldn't leave our luggage at the train/ferry station because their lockers hours were from 9-4:30 meaning that we couldn't pick up our luggage before we could catch the ferry. So here we go, exploring Holyhead with our suitcases and luggage. We found a pub and started drinking (it was about 4 or 5). We were told that there wasn't much to do in Holyhead besides the one cinema that played only one movie at 8:00 and of course drinking at the pubs. So we decided to stay at the pub and find something to eat. Apparently the pub we chose didn't serve dinner so we had to go elsewhere for dinner. After dinner, we went back to the pub and headed to the movies around 7:50. There was a long line going outside the cinema and about 20 minutes later we found out that the bulb wasn't working in the projector so no movie for us. We walked back to the pub only to find out that we got kicked out because a couple girls stayed back because they were to drunk and puked all over the bathroom. We made it to another pub across the train station and stayed there until 12:30ish. Thankfully this ferry wasn't canceled

We are now in Dublin, just got back from the Guinness Storehouse and are now heading to the Roger Waters concert tonight. I will be putting pictures up when I have the chance - maybe tomorrow morning.

1 comment:

  1. Heather, you're life is so exciting! Can't wait for pictures. Live it up. Do it, Azahar 5 style.