After a few weeks of hearing, “So… when do you think you’re gonna write your first entry in our joint blog?”, I decided it was about time. So for better or (probably) worse, you’re stuck with my (Mark’s) perspective on La Tomatina.
For those who don’t know, La Tomatina is basically the biggest food fight you’ve ever seen, held in the small town of Bunol, Spain. It started back in 1945 when some random guy got angry at people during a parade and started throwing tomatoes from a local vegetable stand at people. The next year, a small group of people mockingly threw tomatoes at each other for the fun of it. This tradition continued to grow, and it’s now become so big that you have to buy entrance tickets, the number of people is limited to 50,000, and about 150,000 kg of tomatoes are thrown. Continue reading “Food Fight!”
It’s hard to believe but we’re about halfway through our trip already. We’ve been on the road for 7 weeks and have been to 7 countries (Iceland, England, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Italy), some for only a few days, and have about 7 weeks left. The first five-ish weeks of our trip were planned and booked before we left. Given how busy Europe is in the summer it seemed like the prudent thing to do. But we learned that moving from place-to-place that quickly was exhausting and scheduling so far in advance left little flexibility for travel plot twists. So we’re slowing things down and planning our next move a few days before we make it. Continue reading “Life on the Road: Halfway Point”
After spending one night in Chefchaouen we returned to Tangier to take an overnight train to Marrakech. It’s a 9+ hour trip so we opted for a “first class” sleeper. It only cost us $35 apiece and was the size of a closet consisting of two sets of bunk beds with a very narrow aisle between them. It was muggy and smelled like 4 people who hadn’t showered in days. The bathroom was shared by the whole car and stunk like an over-ripe port-a-potty at a state fair. The “toilet” was a hole and you could see the tracks below. The toilet paper ran out within 10 minutes. I used it once and then tried to hold it from then on. (Why are bathrooms in developing countries so terrible? Has anyone else noticed this?) And we were riding in style. The other cars were crammed with people in upright chairs. (If I sound pompous about the experience, it’s because I am. We all agreed we’re too old for this shit.) We each popped a dramamine and settled in for the long night ahead. Oddly enough, Madison said it was the best night’s sleep she got the whole time in Morocco. Continue reading “Rock the Kasbah”
Morocco was a trip. We entered via ferry from a port city at the southern tip of Spain called Algeciras into Tangier. Our original plan was to take a 3-1/2 hour bus from Tangier to Chefchaouen but decided to splurge on a $70 “grand taxi” that would take about 2 hours.
We arrived in the afternoon and got settled at the Riad before hitting the streets in search of food. We found a cafe recommended by the host and devoured plates of couscous covered with caramelized onions and golden raisins. Mark ordered a lemon chicken tagine, the first of many we’d consume over the next week but we didn’t know that yet. Madison and I nibbled at a Moroccan salad until Mark raised the question of whether it had been washed in clean water or tap water, the latter of which could make us sick. So we stopped eating it and spent the next 6 hours wondering if every tummy gurgle was the first sign of impending gastro-trouble. Luckily, no one got sick. Continue reading “A Whole New World”
One of my best friends from college, Madison, also recently quit her job to explore the four corners of the globe. Madison has been living (and thriving) in New York since graduating from the U. About 6 years ago she started working for a young company that grew at an incredible rate and Madison’s role within the company grew right along with it. She found her soulmate and a home in Brooklyn. But all the while she was itching to book a ticket, pack a bag, and go. It took a lot of courage for her to do just that. Everyone within the company supported her on her pursuit of bliss and her boyfriend is holding down the fort while she’s gone. Continue reading “Mission: Alhambra”