Go.See. – International Travel Pictures

Go. See. Chefchaouen, Morocco

How we ended up hitting Chefchaouen with The Dart, I have no idea.  I must have seen a picture of the surreal blue medina and said, well hell, we’re going to be just across the strait in Spain, why not go rock the Casba while we’re in the neighborhood?  Just as with Cambodia, the little side trips are totally irresistible to me.

I wasn’t expecting burkas but neither was I expecting a very professional set of women in Port Authority gear meeting the huge ferry as it docked at Tanger Med.  This is why it’s good to Go – the idiotic myths are quickly laid to waste.  I’ll leave it to you to read more about Morocco on wikipedia…I’m here to excite the part of your brain that feeds on pretty pictures of exotic lands.

the mystical blue of Chaouen’s medina

Our favorite part of this side trip was when the taxi driver that brought us from Tanger Med to Chaouen found us walking through town and told us in broken english to Get In.  We looked at each other, shugged and Got In.  He silently drove us through the winding streets for about 10 minutes and then said ‘Souk!’  With a smile and a handshake and a firm refusal of any money he delivered us to a spectacular local market where we were the only non-Moroccans.  The smells of freshly ground spices in massive canvas sacks, cooking meats, olive brine…the venders hawking their goods in loud and good-natured Arabic…the brilliant colors of Moroccan fabrics and rugs and fresh vegetables and fruits all around us – it was a very vibrant moment that I return to quite often in my mind when I need to Escape.

olives at the souk

holy crap – that is a LOT of eggs

We rocked the Casba, wandered the serpentine footpaths through the old medina, wished like all get-out that the jalaba was the official outerwear of SW Colorado and bought a rug.  Chaouen is a treat for the senses, friendly, vibrant and leaving us wanting way more time in Morocco.

what neighborhood couldn’t use a little Moroccan artistry?

the colorful rug markets

the jalaba is the offical rad outfit of Chefchaouen. who WOULDN’T want to rock one of these?

the Casba

the Rif mountains and Chefchouen medina

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Go.See. – Cambodia

While we are mired in house-hunting and other distressingly unfun non-backpacking adventures, I’ll try to assuage my itchy feet by sharing pictures of places we have been that we highly recommend as places to Go See.  Life is short – go see the world whenever the possibility presents itself.

First up in this series is Cambodia.  While planning a trip to Thailand in 2010 a National Geographic showed up on our doorstep with Angkor on the front cover.  We were hooked and ultimately booked our tickets to include a few bonus days in Cambodia.  It was an awesome spur-of-the-moment decision.

Cambodia has had a truly shitty couple of centuries.  When other countries weren’t trying to take them down, their own leaders were.  Now in a period of relative stability, tourism, in all of its double-edged swordedness, is helping to bring it back to life.

wine and cheese at the world’s largest religious site – Angkor Wat, Cambodia

There is an endearing quality about Cambodia – you find yourself wanting to protect her.  The temples of Angkor, Bayon, Banteay Srai and Ta Prohm should be on everyone’s bucket list.  When London had 12,000 people living in it back in the 12th century, Angkor had 1,000,000.  Fascinating.  We have pages of write-up about that trip on travelblog but this is the 21st-century attention span version.

Ta Prohm

The temples that are left behind from that time period are as lovely and fascinating as the people of today’s Cambodia.  It’s a friendly country on the rebound from years of abuse and one I would return to in a heartbeat.  The gritty resourcefulness of developing world countries is something that everyone should witness; there are images and lessons that stay with you forever, some of them hard to see, some of them joyful reminders that the human spirit cannot be crushed.  Get to Cambodia if you get the chance, especially if you find yourself in Thailand anyway.  There is a direct flight out of Bangkok to Siem Reap that gives you little excuse to not make it happen.

it’s hard not to love charismatic Bayon

12th century Ta Prohm

making palm sugar

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