Personal · Travel

5 MOTIVE pentru care mi-a fost dor de casă când am locuit în Maroc

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     Am iubit Marocul încă din primele zile petrecute acolo și m-am bucurat de fiecare moment în parte, însă, așa cum este normal, am început să duc dorul micilor lucruri care acasă mă făceau fericită sau creșteau nivelul de confort și la care aici nu am avut acces. Nu cred că este necesar să menționez cât mi-a fost de dor de familie și de cei dragi sau de animăluțele mele pentru că bănuiesc că se subînțelege. În schimb, vreau să vă vorbesc despre lucrurile materiale care mi-au lipsit.

 

Cafeaua

     Nu sunt o consumatoare înfocată a cafelei, dar îmi place să savurez un Cappuccino bun, un Latte Macchiato călduț sau o ceașcă imensă de Latte condimentat. Imi place să testez diferitele arome ale cafelei și să simt textura plăcută a unei spume de lapte bine făcută, lucruri de care însă nu m-am putut bucura în Fès. Acolo oamenii consumă în general cafea neagră care nu a fost nici pe departe cea mai gustoasă pe care am încercat-o vreodată. Am încercat și Cappuccinouri și  Café Lattes, dar au fost cele mai proaste pe care le-am băut vreodată. Toate păreau a avea shotul de espresso diluat, spuma, respectiv crema de lapte au lipsit aproape cu desăvârșire, iar de cele mai multe ori băutura ajungea la mine aproape rece. Singura dată când m-am putut bucura de cafea a fost când am vizitat Casablanca și am trecut pe la un Starbucks *cete de îngeri au cântat*. În  Fès dacă voiam să servesc o cafea decentă, atenție, decentă nu bună, mergeam la mall, de cele mai multe ori la Costa Coffee. Acestea fiind spuse, cred că e lesne de înțeles de ce am devenit bună prietenă cu cafeaua 3 în 1.

 

Mâncarea

     Bineînțeles că nu se putea să nu îmi lipsească mâncarea preferată de acasă, în special supele. Am încercat să le gătesc și acolo, însă gustul ingredientelor de bază diferea față de cel de la noi, așa că și rezultatul final nu era îmbucurător. Totuși, aceasta nu a fost cea mai mare problemă a mea, ci varietatea meniurilor vegetariene. Marocanii sunt mari consumatori de carne și e dificil să găsești restaurante unde să dispună de meniuri vegetariene diversificate. Cred că nu e nevoie să folosesc mai mult de zece degete pentru a număra felurile de mâncare pe care le-am mâncat cât am locuit acolo. Viață lungă Adasului (un fel de supă cremă de linte) și Bissarei (tot un fel de supă cremă făcută din bob verde).

 

Excesul

     Să călătorești sau să te muți într-o altă țară nu îți prea permite să iei cu tine toate lucrurile tale preferate. Au fost momente când mi-a fost dor să pot alege dintre cinci nuanțe diferite ale aceleași culori a aceleași cămăși, sau să îmi asortez culoarea pantofilor cu restul ținutei și nu doar să am încălțăminte neagră și albă pe principiul că se potrivește cu orice. Mi-a lipsit uneori să am la îndemâna un rimel pentru volum, unul pentru alungire și un altul pentru curbarea genelor, un număr infinit de rujuri sau o duzină de creioane pentru ochi. Știu că a învăța să trăiesc cu mai puține lucruri materiale mă va face o persoană mai puternică în cele din urmă, dar asta nu mi-a redus absolut deloc dorința de a deține o varietate mai mare de geluri de duș sau de parfumuri.

 

Internet de calitate și de mare viteză

     Este cunoscut faptul că internetul din România este unul dintre cele mai bune din lume, lucru de care mi-am dat seama și pe care am început să îl apreciez anul trecut după ce am petrecut două luni în Bulgaria. Pe atunci credeam că petrecând majoritatea timpului în zona rurală bulgară a fost motivul pentru internetul cu viteză scăzută, dar în Fès mi s-a confirmat faptul că internetul românesc zboară, vorba vine. Nu mă înțelegeți greșit, pentru 20euro/lună m-am bucurat de o viteză decentă, însă pentru aceeași sumă la noi m-aș fi simțit ca o prințesă a internetului. De cele mai multe ori nu am întâmpinat probleme când a venit vorba de o căutare pe Google sau de o sesiune de scroll pe Facebook, dar au existat momente când să dau upload la o poză sau să mă uit la un film online chiar s-au dovedit a fi o problemă.

 

Viața după 10 seara

     Nu sunt genul de persoană petrecăreață, dar din când în când îmi place să mă bucur de o seară de vineri în oraș. Existau cluburi în Fès, însă deloc variate și nu m-am simțit confortabil în niciunul. Funny story: am vrut să merg la un moment dat într-un club care se numea Afro Club sau petrecerea se numea Afro ceva și nu am fost lăsată să intru pe motiv că, citez, “e pentru negrii, iar tu nu ești neagră”. Dar după cum spuneam nu sunt o cine știe ce petrecăreață așa că mersul în club a fost una dintre cele mai mici probleme ale mele. Ce mi-a lipsit cu adevărat au fost plimbările de seară sau chiar din timpul nopții și ieșitul în cafenele seara târziu. Nu am avut parte de așa ceva, deoarece în primul rând nu e prea sigur să te plimbi pe străzile de acolo după ce se lasă întunericul, iar în al doilea rând cafenelele închid la ora 22.00 sau 23.00 în cel mai fericit caz.

Sursă foto: www.alexanderroberts.com

 

 

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Personal · Travel

5 Things I Missed About Home During My Stay In Morocco

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     I loved Morocco from the first days I spent there and I enjoyed all the months I spent there but as it is normal, at some point I started to miss some things that I used to enjoy while I was home but I didn’t have access to them in my new home. I am not going to talk about how I missed my family, my friends or my pets because it is obvious that I missed them the most. I am going to talk about, let’s say, the material things that I missed. Everything will be in random order because I missed them almost equally.

Coffee

     I don’t drink a lot of coffee but I like to enjoy a good Cappuccino, a warm Latte Macchiato or a huge cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte. I love to try coffees with different aromas and to feel the texture of a nice milk foam but this was impossible to do in Fès. There, people usually drink black coffee which still wasn’t the best one I ever tasted. I tried to have some Cappuccinos and Café Lattes but they were, unfortunately, the worst I ever had. They all tasted like the espresso shots were mixed with water and there was no milk foam at all. Ah, and they were almost cold everytime. The only time I had a good coffee was when I visited Casablanca and I stopped by Starbucks. In Fès if I wanted to drink a decent (not good) coffee I was going to the mall, usually to Costa Coffee. These being said, I sticked to instant coffee like 3 in 1 and believe me it still tasted better than the majority I had in coffee places or restaurants.

Food

     Of course I missed some of my favorite foods, especially soups. Even though I tried to cook them by myself they weren’t the same because the basic ingredients tasted different. But this wasn’t the biggest problem I had to face. Maybe the most difficult thing was to find a diversity of vegetarian food. Moroccans are big meat consumers and it is hard to find menus full of vegetarian dishes. I think I don’t need to use more than ten fingers to count all the vegetarian foods I had during my stay there. Long live Adas (lentil soup) and Bissara (dried fava bean soup)!

Maximalism

     Traveling or living abroad usually doesn’t allow you to carry all your favorite things with you. There were moments when I really missed being able to choose between five different shades of the same color of the same shirts or being able to match my shoes color with the outfit and not only to have black and white shoes because they go with everything. I missed having a mascara for volume, one for length, one for curly lashes, an infinite number of lipsticks and a dozen of eyeliners. I know that learning to live with less will make me a stronger and maybe a better person in the end but that doesn’t make me miss owning a big variety of shower gels and perfumes any less.

Quality High-Speed Internet

     It’s a known fact that Romania has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world and I started to be aware of this when I spent two months in Bulgaria. Back then I thought that the Bulgarian internet was slower because I stayed mostly at the countryside but in Fès I learned that the internet in my native country is really good indeed. Don’t get me wrong, for around 20 euros/month I had a really decent internet connection but for the same price in Romania I would have felt like the queen of internet. Most of the times I didn’t have problems for basic google search sessions or scrolling through Facebook but there were times when uploading a photo or watching a movie were a real struggle.

Life after 10 P.M.

     I am not the kind of a party girl but every now and then I enjoy going out on a Friday night. There were clubs in Fès but not a big diversity and I didn’t enjoy my time spent there, it just didn’t feet right. Funny story: there was some kind of a club called Afro Club or something like this (or the party was called Afro something?!) and I was denied access because, I quote, “this is for black people and you are not black”. But as I said I am not a party girl so not being able to go to a club was my least problem. What I really missed while being there was the late night walks and late night coffees/teas/snacks during these walks. It was impossible to enjoy them because first of all it is not so safe to walk on streets during night and second of all there are no coffee shops open later than 10 p.m. or in the best scenario 11 p.m.

Photo Source: http://www.pinterest.com
Personal · Storytime

The Ones Who Can Bring Peace (Part III)

 

“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” — Peter Hoeg

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      Later, in the medieval times, traveling was still not widely practiced, but it was an activity that fascinated people all over the world. As in antiquity, in Middle Ages traveling belonged to the minority that, in those days, could afford to travel frequently. Still, even if the working class didn’t have the possibility to travel long distances like going from a continent to another, they were accustomed to walk all around their countries and even to go to other ones. The non-existence of mechanical means in the Middle Ages meant that people had strong legs used to walk, a fact which has been documented with the forensic examination of human skeletons of that time. During these centuries the people who traveled the most were merchants, migrants, messengers, soldiers, pilgrims, nobles, artisans, artists, and intellectuals.

          Another thing to take into account was the lack of maps in those times. Though they existed, they were almost never intended for use by travelers, instead typically being drawn on large sheets of stiff velum and mounted on walls as a sort of status symbol showing off the owner’s knowledge of the world. While naval travelers could use compasses, lunar tables, and astrolabes, those traveling overland would have to rely on knowledge of the terrain and basic sun-and-star navigation. If traveling in an unfamiliar land, one might hire a guide or else have to rely on the spoken directions of locals. Even if it was a relatively dangerous activity, people were delighted with the idea of discovering the world. T. S. Eliot said that the journey not the arrival matters but for the people living in those times the point where they wanted to arrive was more important than the lands they passed until getting there because of the difficulty of the route and because most of the times they were focused on a certain land of which they had a vague knowledge and which they hoped to reach.

          Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi’, better known as Ziryab, lived at the end of the eighth century until the middle of the ninth century. He was singer, oud player, composer, poet and teacher from the Abbasid Caliphate. He traveled long to spread his art and knowledge and thanks to his talent he was very appreciated even by kings. He was even known as a polymath. First, he achieved notoriety at the Abbasid court and later he traveled to the land where today lays Syria, to Ifriqiya ( in the area of modern Tunisia), where he lived at the Aghlabid court of Ziyadat Allah and to Andalusia. He became a prominent cultural figure and he was able to connect people from different parts of the world through his art. Al-Maqqari said about Ziryab that there never was, either before or after him, a man of his profession who was more generally beloved and admired.

          Giovanni da Pian del Carpine was an Italian traveler who lived between the end of the twelfth and the first half of the thirteenth centuries and he was one of the first Europeans to enter the court of the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. He wrote “Ystoria Mongalorum quos nos Tartaros appellamus” translated as “History of the Mongols, which we call Tartars” which is the oldest European lore of the Mongols. During this period of time, Europeans were constantly attacked by Tartars and del Carpine cleared up the fact that Mongols were not the same with Tartars. He talked about the Mongolian manners, religion, character, history-making Europeans to learn about those foreign lands and to see the differences between two different nations. He tried to diminish the resentment that Europeans had about the Mongolians and, due to the information he gathered during his journey, he managed to stop the formation of a feeling of generally unfounded hatred.

     These are just two out of many examples of people who, thanks to their passion and willing to travel, succeeded in connecting with other people and to bring peace among. They opened their hearts to the world and helped others to open theirs as well. It is great to see how a person who came into direct contact with other cultures is able to open the minds of other people and to make them see beyond the horizons they had until then. Something changed in the mentality of the people who lived in the Middle Ages and later because,  as Miriam Beard stated, traveling is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

    Nowadays traveling is way easier than before and even cheaper. We can travel the world on a low budget and without having to take too many risks so it is the perfect time for each of us to take a step forward and to start to explore the world.

     Travelling is same as reading books. Travel gives you time to think, to ideate, to observe and to learn new things. It also gives a lot of time to introspect on how certain things are done around the world and to start to understand the differences between one place and another. It helps us to get a benchmark on life and inspiration to live better, or perhaps, happy to be living a better life and giving back to those in need. After all, those who travel learn the value of men. It widens our horizons and increases our knowledge. To view new customs and different ways of living is fantastic for the mind. It gives us a new perspective on life and especially our life. It can help us change or improve some of our habits. Discovering different values and ways to get by in life is like a vitamin for our minds and souls.

          Travelling is similar to the concept of stairs: the higher you climb, no matter how tired you are, you still want to take an extra step to see more; I would call it an infinite stairway. The beauty of going through this way is that the more places you see, the more you want to see and each time you remember how we are small and how even though sometimes we tend to consider ourselves as the center of the universe, we are only another part of what surrounds us, of what we call life.

     First of all, travel helps you to learn more about yourself, to discover who you are thanks to the challenges and opportunities that it lays at your feet. It will help you get stronger and independent. It will open your eyes as long as you want to open them and it will make you an incredibly more well-rounded human being.

     Second of all, it creates meaningful relationships because people you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. Encountering them and getting in touch with them teaches you how to act around another people who have a different background than you, it teaches you how to communicate with them and it even improves your other social skills. It ultimately makes you realize that we are all the same because, after all, even though our cultures may be different, as individuals we are all equals since there is just one race when it comes to people, namely the human race.

     Maybe the most important thing we learn by traveling is tolerance. It makes us able to sympathize with beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with our own ones. Reaching this point is on some level equal with making peace which is about acceptance. While we move around the world we assume the fact that we will be faced with situations or opinions that contradict our values but if we are open minded we will accept them as they are important for someone else. As Tyler Cowen said, real cultural diversity results from the interchange of ideas, products, and influences, not from the insular development of a single national style because one thing is certain, that there is strength in the differences between us.

     Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. It is possible that your point of view has some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.

     Max De Pree tried to make us understand that we need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity but most probably while doing it we must not forget that we also have to get connected to other people on account of the fact that in the context of cultural evolution we tend to split off, separate and form subgroups. We have to understand that we will achieve peace only if we work as a whole, as a group who aims for the same things and who works and helps each of its members to achieve it.

     We live in the post-modern age, not of correspondence truth, nor of truth-coherence, but of the truth that has a meaning, of truth built upon the sensitivity of each one. Through virtues, value, and trust, disseminated through education, we transform mankind and our countries in better places. It is our duty and future generations duty to transform society into an empyrean of honest work, unconstrained by nothing, free and quiet, a space that comes in with trust, hope, moral and spiritual comfort.

 

Personal · Storytime

The Ones Who Can Bring Peace (Part II)

“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” — Peter Hoeg

 

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          Historians agree on the fact that recreational and educational travel already existed in the classical world and, even earlier, in Egypt under the pharaohs. If we want to talk about proper traveling in the antiquity, we have to start with the greeks who were famous for their curiosity and innovation. They were the first great travelers because they were willing to share the findings of their discoveries and observations with the rest of the world. They didn’t travel only for economic and spiritual purposes , but also for pleasure: “A number of Greeks went to Egypt, some, as was natural, for trade, some on the expedition, and some to see that country” (Herodotus, cited in Dillon & Garland, 2010, p. 275). Still, there is a thing we should keep in mind: travel opportunities within the ancient Greek world largely depended on status and profession.

          In the earliest oral traditions of Greek mythology, many of the tales, such as the myth of Charybdis which warned of the possible risks of voyaging into the unknown and the tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece which celebrated the benefits to be gained from travelling were talking about the purposes of travelling and it’s benefits but also about the risks that people were facing during their journeys.

          In the Greek literature dating from the eighth century BCE, both Hesiod and Homer describe traders, in particular, as great travelers. Works such as the Odyssey illustrated that the authors themselves had clearly traveled or at least spoken to those who had. Later, in „Crito”, Plato illustrates that travel was widely considered a useful activity.

          In these times traveling was associated more with commercial and religious purposes but we shouldn’t forget about the so-called traveling for culture. There were people who were traveling to see the great athletic events of the Panhellenic games, other people traveled for their education to famous centers such as Plato’s Academy in Athens and also there were people who traveled from rural areas to participate in life in the city and the of opportunities offered there.

          Tourists were those who traveled for no other reason than to see for themselves the cultural sights made famous by literature, theatre, story-telling, warfare and even coinage. Travel in the Greek world, then, just as today, was considered an important way to broaden the mind, learn about other civilizations and cultures and see for oneself the places made so famous by literature.

          Later, the Romans were the first who built roads to facilitate traveling. They summed up around 400,000 kilometers, of which over 80,500 kilometers were stone-paved. In our days some of them are overlaid by modern roads.

          Because people traveled in that period of time, their societies were able to develop thanks to the fact they have initiated cultural and material exchange, thing that they were able to do because of traveling. It is visible that even in these times people understood that the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

 

… to be continued.

Personal · Storytime

The Ones Who Can Bring Peace (Part I)

“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” — Peter Hoeg

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     Starting with the antiquity traveling had fascinated people around the world. It is a gene we have inside of us, an impulse that makes us want to discover more about the world we live in. Not the distances which you are making through will transform you into a traveler but the willing to discover the space and the people that surrender you.

     Travelling is changing people from inside to outside. It makes us more aware of the world we are living in, it helps us to find ourselves and maybe the most important thing is that it teaches us tolerance which is one of the most important human virtues. It opens our minds and our hearts and it strengthens the connection between people worldwide.

     First of all, we have to define the term „traveler”. Is the standard definition of someone who travels especially from distant lands enough or the term hides a more complex meaning? It must be more than that. Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit. A traveler is more than just a person who decides to go from a point A to a point B. A traveler is someone who decides to step out of their comfort zone, to pursue their dreams. Travelers are people who feel like out there, somewhere, there is so much more than they know, people who want to know more about this world, people who wish to embrace different cultures and to interact with other people. These are the persons who are building bridges between strangers to facilitate human connection and by this, they are not helping only themselves but also the people they meet along their way to make positive changes in their lives.

     Travel is one of the most ancient and common aspects of human life and it can be traced back to mythical times. Cretans, Babylonians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Jews and Greeks who were initially focused on themselves and saw their own countries as the centre of the world, began, at some point later, to meet neighbours and other people by travelling to their countries, exchanging goods, sharing experience and building up their cultural and spiritual life. Also, there is evidence of travel motivated by tourism in Egypt, with visitors and scribes coming to view and record the pyramids and other religious monuments.

     Historians and researchers have proven that people traveled even thousands of years ago. Of course, in that context, we are not talking about traveling as a pleasure but as a necessity. This proves that we always had to deal with this process only the reason for initiating it was different.

     In the very early historical times traveling came along with aggression because people who were traveling had as their main reason the need of expansion. Only later traveling became a form of exploring the world in a peaceful way and to get to know other people from different regions. In the Iron Age people were going hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of miles exploring vast territories. For example, the Celts who were ancient Indo-European tribes had their origins in central Europe but they have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles, France, Bohemia, Poland, the Iberian Peninsula and northern Italy, eastern Europe and even to the lands where today we find Turkey. During this period of time all over the world, the tribes were migrating from a place to another.

 

to be continued.

Travel

Discovering the Ancient City of Ephesus

   Since I am in love with history and archaeology is what I am doing on a daily basis, the fact that I felt in love with Ephesus doesn’t come as a surprise. It lays on the Aegean Coast of Turkey, near the popular coastal resort of Kusadasi. Ephesus is to Turkey what the Colosseum is to Rome and the pyramids are to Egypt.

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   The first thing I visited when I arrived there was the church of Mary. It is located in the south stoa of the Olympieion next to the harbor of Ephesus (close to the car parking lot). The church is dated to the early 5th century and some archaeological evidence suggest that the church was built on the ruins of an earlier Roman basilica-like building abandoned around the 3rd century. Mother Mary’s House is said to be the last house where the Virgin Mother lived before Her Assumption.

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   The next stop was The Magnesian Gate also referred to as the south gate. There are people who say it’s the best to start here and make your way down to the north gate, a thing with which I tend to agree.

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   Everything you will see around you is impressive and one of the most beautiful things are the massive columns. Some of them are broken, some were well restored, but nonetheless, they are beautiful. There are columns elevated on pedestals, ones that are 13 m high, columns with capitals that are works of art.

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   The city has a very diverse timeline but historians have dated the first signs of habitation back to the 10th century BC. It flourished after it came under the control of the Romans in the second century BC. Also, Ephesus is mentioned in the Bible and it is known as being one of the seven churches of Revelation which were seven major churches of Early Christianity. You don’t have to associate the modern concept of a church to these ones but to see them as local congregations of Christians living in each city, and not merely as the buildings in which they gathered for worship.

   Walking around the site you will be able to see places such as the Library of Celsus, The Temple of Artemis known as being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the  Temple of Hadrian, the public latrines or the brothel. Aamazing architecture will surround you all over the place and last but not least, you will meet the citizens of Ephesus – the cats.

   These are the approximate prices but as far as I know, you can pay only in Turkish lira.

Ephesus: 10.5 euro per person
House of Mary: 7 Euro per person
Terrace Houses: 5.5 Euro per person
Basilica of St. John: 3 euro per person
Archeological Museum of Ephesus: 3 Euro per person

   Note: If you are going during summer make sure you don’t forget to bring a bottle of water since you will have to walk around for a couple of hours.

Travel

1 Year Travel Bucket List

  1. To see the sunrise in the desert
  2. To visit Cairo
  3. To visit Luxor
  4. To eat tajine in Tunis
  5. To discover new Medinas around Morocco
  6. To learn how to surf
  7. To take a walk in Pompei
  8. To eat gelato in Rome
  9. To visit Istanbul
  10. To enjoy a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia
  11. To try a Hammam
  12. To see monkeys in their natural habitat
  13. To enjoy a city break in Amsterdam during spring or fall
  14. To drink frappé in Athens
  15. To visit as many museums as possible wherever I go
Uncategorized

Doors of Morocco

[EN]: The most common element when it comes to moroccan door styles is represented by the arches, the most used one being the Moorish arch. Also, the doors are often inwrought with delicate metal work or decorated with beautiful carvings or colors. Usually the doors are made of wood but sometimes you can find metalic doors as well. In Fès you will find a big amount of beautiful doors decorated in Zelij (mosaic) technique perfect for being photographed.

[RO]: Cel mai comun element al stilului marocan când vine vorba de decorul ușilor îl reprezintă arcele, cel mai utilizat fiind arcul maur. Totodată, ușile sunt adesea încrustate cu elemente metalice atent lucrate sau decorate prin sculptare sau prin pictare. Cel mai adesea ușile sunt realizate din lemn, însă uneori pot fi și metalice. În Fès veți găsi un număr mare de uși lucrate în tehnica Zelij (mozaic) numai bune pentru a fi fotografiate.

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Travel

Accommodation in Fès

[EN]:  Fès has been my home for 5 months. It was the best life experience I had in 23 years, I feel like it helped me to discover myself, to understand better who am I. It had its ups and downs but overall it was great.

I will try to make a list about the best options when it comes to accommodation. I will focus on Fès but it is applicable all over Morocco.

[RO]:  Fès-ul a fost casa mea timp de 5 luni, fiind cea mai interesantă experiență din cei 23 de ani de viață. A avut suișurile și coborâșurile sale, însă simt că m-a ajutat să mă auto descopăr și să mă înțeleg mai bine pe mine însămi.

În cele ce urmează voi încerca să fac o listă a celor mai bune opțiuni când vine vorba de a vă caza în acest oraș, însă variantele expuse sunt valabile și în celelalte orașe marocane.

For short stay:

  1. Hotels and Hostels

[EN]: The most common solution when it comes to accommodation during holidays is booking a hotel or a hostel. In Fès you will find plenty of them and my suggestion is to choose Medina if you are here for turism and your expectations are not extremly high. If you want an area more quiet and you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone, then maybe the New City is a better choice.

For hostels I have two recommendations: Funky Fes and Chilling Hostel Fez.

The first is located close to Rcif gate. You will find here a nice atmosphere with welcoming staff and for sure you will meet a lot of nice people with whom you will be able to walk around the city. The price per night is around 10 euros for a bed in a mixt room with 12 or 8 beds and the breakfast is included.

[RO]: Cea mai la îndemână soluție când vine vorba de cazare în timpul vacanțelor o reprezintă închirierea unei camere de hotel sau de hostel. În Fès există nenumărate astfel de locuri, însă dacă sunteți aici strict în scop turistic vă recomand să alegeți Medina, adică partea veche a orașului. Dacă însă vă doriți o zonă mai liniștită și nu vreți să ieșiți din sfera voastră de confort, atunci partea nouă a orașului este o alegere mai potrivită.

În ceea ce privește hostelurile pot să vă recomand două: Funky Fes and Chilling Hostel Fez.

Primul dintre ele este situat în apropiere de poarta Rcif. Atmosfera din acest hostel este una caldă, cu angajați simpatici și primitori, plin de călători, fiind imposibil să nu plecați acasă fără să vă fi făcut câțiva prieteni noi. Prețul pentru o noapte este de aproximativ 10 euro pentru un pat într-un dormitor mixt cu 8 sau 12 paturi, iar micul dejun este inclus.

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[EN]: The second one, Chilling Hostel Fez, is near Bab Boujloud which is one of the main attractions of the city. You will pay around 5 euros for a bed in a 8 beds mixed dormitory and the price includes breakfast as well.

[RO]: Al doilea hostel, Chilling Hostel Fez, se află aproape de Poarta Albastră, Bab Boujloud, care este una dintre principalele atracții ale orașului. Pentru o noapte veți plăti în jur de 5 euro, patul fiind amplasat într-o cameră mixtă cu 8 paturi. Și în acest caz micul dejun este inclus în preț.

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[EN]: When it comes to hotels you have a lot of options. Among the most famous ones that are situated in the New City I want to mention Ramada, Royal Mirage, Ibis, Palais Medina & SPA and Barceló.

Closest to the train station is Ibis. For one night, for a double room you will pay around 45 euros.

[RO]: Când vine vorba de hoteluri opțiunile sunt nenumărate. Printre cele mai faimoase, situate în orașul nou, amitesc Ramada, Royal Mirage, Ibis, Palais Medina & SPA și Barceló.

Cel mai apropiat de stația de tren este hotelul Ibis, unde pentru o cameră dublă veți plăti aproximativ 45 de euro/noapte.

 

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[EN]: In my opinion the best placed ones are Palais Medina & SPA and Barceló, both of them being near the main avenue, Hassan II, near Borj Fes Mall and quite close to Medina (five minutes by taxi).

Palais Medina & SPA is a five stars hotel and for one night, for a standard double room, you will pay approximately 90 euros.

[RO]: În opinia mea, cele mai bine poziționate hoteluri sunt Palais Medina & SPA și Barceló, situate în zona bulevardului principal, Hassan II, lângă mall-ul Borj Fes și destul de aproape de Medina (cinci minute cu taxi-ul).

Palais Medina & SPA este un hotel de cinci stele, iar pentru o noapte, pentru o cameră dublă standard, va trebui să achitați o sumă aproximativă de 90 de euro.

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[EN]: For a night at Barceló Fes Medina, a four stars hotel, you will pay nearly 55 euros for a superior double room.

[RO]: Pentru o noapte la Barceló Fes Medina, un hotel de patru stele, va trebui să plătiți circa 55 de euro pentru o cameră dublă superioară.

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2. Riads

[EN]: I think this is the best option if you travel to any place in Morocco because you are closer to the so called Oriental atmosphere. You can find riads all over Medina with prices between 10 euros and around 200 euros for one night. If you choose to stay in a hotel I would definitely say you should choose a riad even just for one night. I am sure you won’t regret it.

[RO]: Riadurile sunt case tradiționale care au aparținut în trecut unor familii marocane bogate. Consider că sunt cea mai bună alegere deoarece vă conectează la un alt nivel cu atmosfera locului. Găsiți riaduri în toată Medina, iar prețurile sunt cuprinse între 10 și 200 de euro pe noapte. Chiar dacă alegeți să vă cazați într-un hotel, vă sugerez să rezervați și o cameră într-un riad măcar pentru o noapte. Sunt sigură că nu veți regreta.

 

 

 

[EN]: Of course, there are also solutions like Airbnb and CouchSurfing.

[RO]: Bineînțeles, există și variante alternative cum ar fi Airbnb sau CouchSurfing.

 

For long stay

[EN]: If you plan to stay for a longer period of time in Fès you have three options.

  1. You find a riad or a hostel where you can rent a room. Usually one room with private bathroom in a hostel shouldn’t be more than 2000 dirhams/month (aprox. 180 euros) and a room in a riad shouldn’t be more than 2500 dirhams/month. Usually the price you pay for the hostel includes the bills (electricity, water, internet) and in some places even the breakfast but in riads, in some places, you might have to pay for these utilities.
  2. You stay with a moroccan family. You will have your own room but you will share the livingroom, the bathroom and the kitchen with the members of the family. It costs around 1500 dirhams/month. It is a good solution if you want to understand moroccan culture and society better but you won’t have much privacy and inviting people over might be a problem in some cases.
  3. You rent an apartment. This is the solution I chose. Me and my collegue rented an apartment in the New City close to Hassan II avenue and Borj Fes Mall. We had all the shops, banks, pharmacies, etc. very close to us, no more than a 5 minute walk away from any of them. In that area the apartments have usually two bedrooms, one huge livingroom, one kitchen, one classic bathroom, one turkish bathroom/toilet and one balcony. Also that neighbourhood is one of the safest in the city and there are living a lot of foreigners. We were paying a rent of 4000 dirhams/month and around 700 dirhams/month for bills.

 

[RO]: Dacă doriți să stați pentru o perioadă mai lungă în Fès, aveți trei opțiuni.

  1. Găsiți un riad sau un hostel unde se închiriază camere și pe termen lung. De obicei, o cameră cu baie privată într-un hostel nu ar trebui să coste mai mult de 2000 dirhami/lună (aprox. 180 euro), iar o cameră într-un riad nu ar trebui să depășească 2500 dirhami/lună. În mod normal, chiria pentru camera de hostel include utilitățile (curent electric, apă, internet), iar în anumite locuri chiar și micul dejun, însă în cazul riadurilor, în unele dintre ele, va trebui să plătiți facturile separat.
  2. Stați cu o familie marocană. Veți avea propria voastră cameră, dar va trebui să împărțiți sufrageria, bucătăria și baia cu restul membrilor familiei. Dacă alegeți această variantă, va trebui să plătiți cam 1500 de dirhami/lună. Este o soluție dacă doriți să înțelegi cultura și societatea marocană la un nivel mai profund, însă dezavantajele sunt că nu veți avea prea multă intimitate, iar dacă doriți să invitați pe cineva în vizită s-ar putea să nu vi se permită în unele cazuri.
  3.  Închiriați un apartament. Aceasta este soluția pe care am ales-o și eu. Împreună cu colegul meu am închiriat un apartament în orașul nou, aproape de bulevardul Hassan II și de mall. Aveam toate magazinele, băncile, farmaciile, etc. foarte aproape de noi, la o distanță de nici 5 minute de mers pe jos. În clădirile din această zonă apartamentele au de obicei două camere, o sufragerie imensă, o bucătărie, două băi, una clasică și una cu toaletă turcească și un balcon. Totodată, cartierul este unul dintre cele mai sigure din oraș și aici locuiesc o mulțime de străini. Chiria lunară era de 4000 de dirhami, iar utilitățile aproximativ 700 de dirhami pe lună.

 

1 euro = ~ 11 dirhams

1 leu = ~ 2,4 dirhami

 

Personal · Uncategorized

Take A Risk

     There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to face some choices, some of them difficult, some of them easier. It might be about changing your career, about having a child or moving to a new place, or it can be anything else. All of these are lifechanging factors and just like these ones, there comes another one which is easier do deal with but it will still change the way you see things: travelling alone.
The first step is to have the courage to travel alone. If it is the first time you are doing it you should start planning your trip: book your tickets and your hotel/hostel room and try to make a plan for each day of your staying. Of course you won’t be able to respect everything as you planned but at least the most important things are fixed.

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Wandering the world by yourself is like gambling: you can never know if you will win or lose, if it will be good or bad. It is a risk you are willing to take and by that it means you are ready to face the problems that might appear. Even though it can be difficult to travel by yourself and having no friend to accompany you, you will see that you are able to handle things better than you thought you would be. A journey on your own will make you return as a new person: you will feel more independent and confident and you will realize that you are capable of so much more. All of these will make you want to explore the world more and by exploring it you will actually learn new things about yourself.
If it is your first time to travel alone and you don’t want to take a big risk you should choose a destination that is not so far away from your home. You can have a city break in a city close to yours, you can go camping for a couple of days or you can make an itinerary and visit some places close to your hometown which you never visited before.
     Things you shouldn’t forget to take with you: your ID card/ Passport, cash (since there are places where you can’t find an ATM or you can’t pay by credit card), phone charger or external battery, personal hygiene products, pills (especially pain killers), sunscreen, wet wipes, towel. If you know you might get involved in some activities you should also take with you the necessary things for doing them: sports gear, camping equipment.