Back to Morocco again brought back memories of my two week trip there three years ago with Tania but we never came to this part so new to me. Not as interesting as other parts but still good to be back.
Tangier has a walled casbah familiar from other parts of the country but always fun to wander around.
Once you get into the markets you can be assured of a riot of colourful stalls and street scenes.
Lunch in Tetouan was lamb and apricot Tajine – forgotten how delicious they are.
We visited synagogues in Tangier and Tetouan – all Sephardic given that many moved to Morocco from Spain during the inquisition and to this day a lot of Spanish is heard in Tangier. The street below was in the Jewish quarter and deliberately had six pointed arches to reflect the Star of David
And lastly a stop at a closed (it was Labour Day) school for students who learn the traditional arts such as leather engraving, intricate plaster carving, woodwork and copper work.
Another great place to visit when in Venice over a weekend is Padua. Only 20 minutes away by train but far less crowded. It is an attractive and walkable town and perfect for a day trip.
On arrival I stumbled on a Jewish museum so I signed up for the tour of that and the adjoining synagogue. Turns out Padua has a centuries long history of Jewish leaders and this was well explained in a very good movie they have just produced.the Italian synagogue was designed by a Christian architect long ago so is quite baroque in style – unusual.
Then out of sheer luck it turned out that Padua had a one day food festival. Below is the central municipal building which houses booths of the most amazing food.
I got four vouchers and once I had bought my glass of red I could wander around glass in hand picking what to exchange my vouchers for. I choose a local dried ham, steak tartare, a duo of dolcelatte cheese – one infused with truffles and the other with walnuts (bliss) and then 3 macaroons (fig, zabaglione and vanilla). A bargain for just 10 Euros and one of the best meals I’ve had.
While I’m having a food moment – below is last night’s dinner. Savoury amuse bouches (the apparent cherry is really a cherry glaze filled with foie gras pate: the tomato was filled with a goat cream cheese; my favorite was the onion filled with pan fried and crispy sweetbreads; finally spelt linguine with black garlic and topped with caviar roe. Good thing I only eat like his once in a while!
A couple of days at the seaside in Essaouira including a Jewish shrine and synagogue and cemetery; a walk around the small medina and Harbour and some more strolling around the food market. Restful place but becoming a bit touristy.
Olives, veggies, sweets and much much more. Food at the medina in Essaouira is a serious business
The old town in Essaouira and our trusty guide Hassan
The Haim Pinto Jewish shrine and cemetery dating back over 500 years and the synagogue in the old town
At one time there were well over 15000 Jews living in Fes – many of them Sephardic (my background) who came over from Spain and were warmly welcomed by the Moroccans. Nowadays there are only about 50/60 left as many were encouraged to move to Israel after WWII.
Enjoyed the opportunity to see the quarter and the synagogue which was restored in 1999. The bottom right hand side is the Jewish cemetary.
The well preserved old synagogue in Fes