their f****** windows

back from Marocko and after a week, i can today say i´ve got the head out the water.

And i was so motivated today that i decided to clean my windows.

hum.

I´m happy to have some years of studiyng behind me because the first nice thing was to find how to open them. no don´t think i´m so dummy that i never opened my windows, it´s not that simple! As everyone knows, the swedish winters are nice for the pingus and the white bears. For this reason (the white bears) the swedes always install several windows for a same opening in the wall. For some reasons of practicity, they are “fixed together” in the normal use.

But today, i thought i had to make my job prorperly and to separate these sheets to clean in between… what a dummy idea i had! it took me a long time to understand how it works. (my fear was to “break the system” and to have the half of the window in my hands like “how will i put this together again?” so i did it carefully.

so ok, mission ascomplished, now cleaning.

ah these f******* smart swedes, they not only put 2 sheets together, but 3!!! it made then 6 faces to clean! and as everyone knows -or maybe not- cleaning windows is not my fav activity.

anyway, i did it ! (yeah for me!!) and now that i look at it, i think “next time, drink a bear instead,you will save your time old french!”

My windows at home are like that (except i´ve got 3 glasses instead of just 2 like on the pic): you have to take the screw away to open between the 2 glasses and and then clean each of them…

maybe we should teach them sonething like that, where the 3 glasses are on the same holder and make the cleaning job a way easier!!!

col du tichka

Central High Atlas

A solid chalk mass morphologically dominated by tabular zones reaching an altitude of 2,500 m extends from Azilal to Ouarzazate. Here, the contrasting landscapes remind visitors of the Colorado, with its high plateaux, its gorges and box canyons, and its peaks sometimes splintered by erosion. Several peaks in this area exceed 4000 m, with Jbel Mgoun at 4068 m being the highest peak in this part of the High Atlas. The area is populated by Berbers.

Marrakech

Marrakech or Marakesh (مراكش Murrakush), known as the “Red City or Al Hamra,” is a city in southwestern Morocco in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

The possible origin of its name could be from the Tamazight (Berber) words mur (n) akuch, which means Land of God. (The root “mur” is nowadays in the Berber languages used only in the feminine form “tamurt”). The same word “mur/mawr” appears in the country Mauritania, but this interpretation is still unproved to this day, and there are other possibilities that are often invoked.

The name Morocco itself derives from Murrakush. This city is the capital of the Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz region.

Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has the busiest square in the entire continent of Africa, called Djemaa el Fna.[1]

Like many North African and Middle Eastern cities, Marrakech has two main divisions: the old city (médina) and the modern city.

Marrakech is served by Ménara International Airport- RAK is the code for the city.

The city is called “Marrakech” in French, “Marrakesh” in English, and “Marrakesch” in German.

The official number of residents is one million; however, the population is estimated to be around two million. The largest part of the population of Marrakech is of Berber origin. Also, there is a very large international community consisting mainly of Europeans: especially French, estimated at 3,700 people, mostly retired. Also Germans, Italians, English and Swiss.

Yusuf ibn Tashfin, member of the Almoravides dynasty, founded the city in 1062.

Prior to the reign of Moulay Ismail, Marrakech was the capital of Morocco. After his reign, his grandson moved the capital back to Marrakech from Meknès.

trip to north Morocco

the last 3 days, we made a trip from Rabat to the North Morroco and it was once again full of surprises.

first of all, these montains we went throught were all green like i never could have imagine. Green of grass, trees, cultures. And nice mountains too, looked a bit like La Chartreuse actually.

then, such a big contrast between populations along the road! we go from Bidonvilles to big big villas, it´s hard to believe actually…

when i´ll go home, i´ll put a map of the trip we made, to make the comprehension easier!

Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen (pronounced [ʃəfʃɑwən]) (Arabic: شفشاون, Spanish: Xauen or Chauen) is a city in northwest Morocco. It is the chief town of the province of the same name.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier and Tetouan. The city was founded in 1471, as a small fortress which still exists to this day, by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco.[1] It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times.[2] In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco. Spanish troops imprisoned Abd el-Krim in the kasbah in 1926 after defeating him with the help of the French force. Spain returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

Image:2006 0403 132256AA.JPG

Chefchaouen or Chaouen, as it is often called by Moroccans, is a popular tourist destination given its proximity to Tangier and the Spanish border. The name simply refers to the characteristic shapes of the mountain tops that tower over the town, that look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. “Chef Chaouen” should literally mean “look at the horns”. Though there are few modern sights, its mountainous location provides a calm and relaxing atmosphere. There are allegedly over two hundred hotels in this tiny mountain village in order to host the summer swarm of European tourists. One distinction possessed by Chefchaouen is its blue-rinsed houses and buildings, a tradition that comes from the town’s former Jewish population.

Chefchaouen is a popular shopping destination as well, as it offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The goat cheese native to the area is also popular with tourists.

The countryside around it has a reputation for being a prolific source of marijuana, as the land is unsuitable for much else. The Chefchaouen region is one of the main producers of cannabis in Morocco. Hashish is subsequently sold all over town, but is mostly the domain of native Chaouenis.

Tetouan

Tétouan (Arabic: تطوان (meaning eyes in the Berber language)), also spelled Tetuan, sometimes Tettawen or Tettawan, is the capital and cultural centre of the region Tangier-Tétouan (Tanja) in the north of Morocco, the only open port of Morocco on the Mediterranean Sea, a few miles south of the Strait of Gibraltar, and about 40 mi (60 km) E.S.E. of Tangier. In 2004 the city had 320,539 inhabitants (census figure), up from about 25,000, of whom a fifth were Jews, in the early 20th century.

Arabic is the official language but it is not used as a national language. Moroccan Darija-Arabic and Berber-Tamazight are used by the inhabitants in their daily life. The use of Spanish and French is still widespread especially by the businesspeople and intellectual elites. Its main religion is Islam but there are minorities of Jews and Christians.

The city is situated about 60 km east of the city of Tangier and 40 km south of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta (Sebta) and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is in the far north of the Rif Mountains. To the south and west of the city there are mountains. Tetuan is situated in the middle of a belt of orchards that contain orange, almond, pomegranate and cypress trees. The Rif Mountains are nearby, as the city is located in the Martil Valley. It is picturesquely situated on the northern slope of a fertile valley down which flows the Martil valley, with the harbour of Tetouan, Martil, at its mouth. Behind rise rugged masses of rock, the southern wall of the Anjera country, once practically closed to Europeans, and across the valley are the hills which form the northern limit of the still more impenetrable Rif.

The streets are fairly wide and straight, and many of the houses belonging to aristocratic Arabs, descendants of those expelled from the Andalus by the European “Reconquesta”, possess marble fountains and have groves planted with orange trees. Within the houses the ceilings are often exquisitely carved and painted in hispano-moresque designs, such as are found in the Alhambra of Granada, and the tile-work for which Tetuan is known may be seen on floors, pillars and dados. The traditional industries are tilework, inlaying with silver wire, and the manufacture of thick-soled yellow slippers, much-esteemed flintlocks, and artistic towels used as cape and skirt by Arabic girls in rural areas. The Jews lived in a mellah, separated from the rest of the town by gates which were closed at night. The harbour of Tetuan was obstructed by a bar, over which only small vessels can pass, and the roadstead, sheltered to the North, N.W. and South, is exposed to the East, and is at times unsafe in consequence of the strong Levanter.

The city was founded in the 3rd century BC. Artefacts from both the Roman and the Phoenician era have been found in the site of Tamuda.

Around 1305 a city was built here by the Marinid king Abu Thabit. It served as a base for attacks on Ceuta. Around 1400 it was destroyed by the Castilians, because pirates used it for their attacks. By the end of the 15th century it was rebuilt by refugees from the Reconquista (reconquest of Spain, completed by the fall of Granada in 1492), when the Andalusian Moors first reared the walls and then filled the enclosure with houses. It had a reputation for piracy at various times in its history. It was taken on 4 February 1860 by the Spaniards under Leopoldo O’Donnell, (a descendant of an old Irish royal family, O’Donnell of Tyrconnell, who was made hereditary Duke of Tetuan, and later Prime Minister of Spain; the Dukedom is currently held by his descendant S.E. Don Hugo O’Donnell, Duke of Tetuan, Grandee of Spain and Count of Lucena) and almost transformed by them into a European city before its evacuation on 2 May 1862, but so hateful were the changes to the Moors that they completely destroyed all vestiges of alteration and reduced the city to its former state.

The city is situated in the area of Morocco which was formerly ruled by Spain. In 1913 it became the capital of the part of Morocco under Spanish protectorate which was governed by the Jalifa (Moroccan prince, serving as Viceroy for the Sultan, and the Spanish “Alto Comisario” accredited to him), and it remained its capital until 1956. Many people in the city still speak Spanish. On road signs often names are written both in Spanish and in Arabic, though many signs are in Arabic and French, the second language of modern Morocco. Tétouan became part of the independent state of Morocco when it was founded out of French Morocco and most of Spanish Morocco in 1956.

Tétouan has also been home of an important Sephardi Jewish community, which immigrated from Spain after the Reconquista and the Spanish Inquisition. This Jewish Sephardi community spoke a form of Ladino known as Haketia. Some of them emigrated later to Oran (in Algeria), to South America and much later to Israel, France and Canada. Some Jews in Tetouan converted to Islam and remain in the city. [1] There are very few Jews left in Tétouan nowadays.

the Rif

The Rif (Arabic: الريف, Berber:Image:Arif_tifinagh.JPG) is a mainly mountainous region of north Morocco, from Cape Spartel and Tangier in the west to Ras Kebdana and the Moulouya River in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the river of Ouargha in the south. It is part of the Cordillera Bética that also includes the mountains of Southern Spain. The Rif mountains are not part of the Atlas Mountains but belong to the Gibraltar Arc or Alborán Sea geological region. The region’s name comes from the Arabic word rif which means the countryside. This was later adopted to the Berber language as the word arif. Since the region is known to be one of the biggest producers of hashish, the term “reefer” for marijuana was derived from the region’s name.[citation needed]



The people of the Rif are Arabs and Berbers of north Morocco who call themselves Imazighen.

A view of the Rif mountains and Chefchaouen

A view of the Rif mountains and Chefchaouen

Major Rif cities include Tangier, Tetouan, Chefchaouen, Ceuta, Melilla, Nador, Al Hoceima (Also called Biya), Azghenghan, Selwan, Ajdir, Tawrirt, Taza, and El Jebha.

For many centuries before Christ, the Berbers inhabited the Rif. The region was later invaded by Phoenicians since the 3rd century BC, founding cities such as Tetouan, Melilla, and later Tangier in the 5th century BC, which later became the capital city of the kingdom of Mauretania. The cities were later invaded by Romans and then Byzantines.

Map showing the location of the Rif Mountains across North Morroco.

Map showing the location of the Rif Mountains across North Morroco.

In 710, Salih I ibn Mansur, an Arab, founded the Kingdom of Nekor in the Rif and converted most Berbers to Islam. Arabs then established more cities. By the 15th century, many Spanish Moors were exiled from Spain and most of them lived in the Rif, bringing their culture, Andalusian music, and even establishing Chefchaouen. Since then, the Rif had suffered a lot of battles between Morocco, Spain and Portugal. In 1415, Portugal invaded Ceuta, and in 1490 spain invaded Melilla. There was period of peace after, but war between Spain and Morocco arose again in 1859 in Tetouan were Morocco was defeated. The Spanish-Moroccan conflicts didn’t end. In the 20th century, under the leadership of Abd el-Krim El-Khattabi, the Moroccan guerrilla leader, The Riffian Berbers struggled against Spanish rule and aimed to free Morocco from French and Spanish colonization. Abd el-Krim later established the Republic of the Rif in 1921. The region was returned to Morocco after its independence in 1956.

Rabat

hullo hullo!

today it was my first trip into the ancienne médina i Rabat. really crazy full of life and people and colors and perfumes (good or bad…) and things and browns eyes and poor old people and mothers with kids and shoes and tea sales men and false DVD and and and and…

and the life here in Morocco is incredebly cheap:

– a pair of shoes: 50 dirhams

– a tee shirt: 10 dirhams

– a bottle of GIN: 60 dirhams

– a train trip between Rabat and Marrakech in first class: 30 dirhams

– a sandwich downtown: 10 dirhams

– a pizza: 30 dirhams

 

and so on….

 

Here can you read more about Rabat (ô dear wikipedia!)