Another two weeks have gone by since the last post, and they’ve been another exciting two weeks. The main highlight was that me and Patti got to spend four days in Morocco with a friend from work and her family. It was a trip I’ll remember for a long time, and the hospitality we were shown was incredible. It’s also the first time I’ve been anywhere in Africa! In other news, I ran in a race for the first time since moving to Germany, and I also went to see a castle.
We took a Ryanair flight from Memmingen, a small town west of Munich to Fez. It’s a small, budget airline airport, with both Ryanair and Wizzair offering flights from there. This was my first flight with Ryanair, and it’s not that much different than the other budget airline I’d flown on before (EasyJet). The Ryanair flight did have a lot more products being sold during the flight (food, electronics, etc.), but not much else was different. It was about 100 euros for the flight there and another 100 euros for the flight back, which was on the high end for that flight. If we had been able to plan earlier we could have gotten tickets at half that price, but we only fully planned our trip about a week and a half before we left.
The food in Morocco was some of the best I’ve ever had in my life. I didn’t get any pictures, but the following are courtesy of Patti.
Moroccan tea is very good, and from what I could tell, is usually served with every meal. There’s also a very specific way to pour it properly, which I wasn’t able to do. You have to pour the tea from a high height in order to create a little foam in the tea (I think that’s the reason), and it’s not easy to do. Therefore I left the tea pouring to the people who knew how to do it properly.
Going from recently driving a rental car in Germany to being driven around Morocco was quite a shock. It’s way more hectic and busy in Casablanca especially, with many rules of the road not being followed. I think a good word to describe it would be “organic”, in that everyone seems to merge in and out of lanes whenever they want, not in ways that the traffic lines try and describe.
Hicham El Guerrouj
Another interesting element about being in Morocco is that its the home country of Hicham El Guerrouj, one of the greatest (if not the greatest) track athletes of all time. Everyone that I asked knew who he was, and he’s apparently the most famous Moroccan athlete of all time.
We spent two days in Casablanca, and got to see some of the main tourist attractions, as well as being able to see some of the residential and downtown areas.
The most impressive building I saw in Casablanca would have to be the Hassan II Mosque. The amount of detail on the exterior details was incredible, especially because of the size of the building. It has decorations almost everywhere.
Old City Marketplace
In Fez, there are two main parts of the city. There is the old city, and the new city. In the old city, there is a large marketplace, where you can buy just about anything you could want. It’s also an easy place for pickpockets to target tourists due to the narrow streets, and we were sure to be careful with our belongings. The marketplace itself was a very busy place, filled with lots of colors, noises, smells, and people. We had to get out of the way of a number of large carts being pushed through narrow streets, and once had to make way for a donkey carrying wares.
In the above picture, you can also see some of the taxis that are used in Fez. They’re all red, and they vary from new to very old.
We also got to see the leather tannery in the market, where a lot of the products are made. It smelled terrible, but was very pretty, especially the containers for the colored dyes.
This Sunday (May 20) I finally made a trip to the nearby Lichtenstein castle. I biked there and back, and also hiked up and down the hill the castle is on. It’s a pretty breathtaking spot, with an incredible view of the castle and the surrounding countryside.
(May 7 - May 13)
Monday - Only run of the week.
Tuesday - Travel to Munich straight after work.
Wednesday - Travel to Morocco.
Thursday - Morocco.
Friday - Morocco.
Saturday - Morocco.
Sunday - Traveling to Reutlingen.
I finally got some new shoes, as my old pair of Pegasus had accumulated 1,383.5 kilometers on them (Strava tracks distance run on your shoes). This made a big difference in the feel of my runs the following week, as I think the cushioning of the old shoes was just about useless.
(May 14 - May 20)
Monday - Easy run that didn’t feel great after eating so much new food in Morocco.
Tuesday - Rest.
Wednesday - Rest.
Thursday - First race in a long time. It was a 4.5k company race that Bosch put multiple teams in. I came 11th overall, with a time of 16:39 (roughly equivalent to a 17:45 5k). Not super happy with the time but it’s good to see my inconsistent training hasn’t completely ruined my fitness.
Also, the Bosch tent that was set up near the starting line was providing free snacks, including these baked whole wheat buns in the shape of the Bosch logo:
For those of you who don’t know what the Bosch logo looks like:
Friday - Easy recovery run.
Saturday - Rest.
Sunday - Biked to the Lichtenstein castle, hiked up and down, and biked home. No long run, but a lot of slow easy exercise.
Thanks for reading! There might be another post next Sunday, or maybe not, we’ll see how life goes.