The medina (walled city) in Fez is the oldest and largest one in Morocco. We spent over 6 hours there today, exploring the narrow streets, admiring the beautiful goods for sale and enjoying a day amidst the hustle and bustle of a Saturday in Fez. Everyone was very friendly although some of the sellers were a little pushy. Our guide, Mohammed, was very informative about this UNESCO world heritage site, built in the 9th century.
We visited the ancient Jewish quarter of the Medina. There is a rich history of Judaism in Morroco, although sadly not very many Jews remain.
We entered the medina through the famous Blue Gate. You can see that the exiting side is green.
Another highlight, although quite smelly, was a visit to the tannery. There, over 600 families ply their centuries old craft of turning goat, cow and camel hide into leather goods. Although smelly, the view from the top was awesome!
We also saw the river that used to divide the medina into 2 sections (Spanish and Tunisian) but is now connected by a bridge.
A visit to the medina of Fez is a must if you are here. Be sure to have good walking shoes and water. Have questions about our visit to Fez? Please email us at email@example.com
Cruising is very special for Kathy and I. We met on a cruise. When we were working cruising was a great way to vacation. We started our lives of retirement and travel with a 30 day cruise. We know that cruising is not for everyone. It’s not the best way to immerse yourself in a locale. You usually spend less than a day in port. It’s not the cheapest way to travel. But for us, it’s one of our favorite ways to go. Here’s our top 5 reasons why.
1. Ease of Travel
Rather then changing hotels several times,check in, check out, lug suitcases around, etc, when you cruise you check in once and are set for the length of the vacation. On our last cruise we visited 3 countries and a total of 9 ports. Cruising made that so much easier.
Cruise ships have amazing food! There is a huge variety of selections and dining options. Unless you choose to dine at the “specialty restaurants” all your meals are included in the price of the cruise.
3. The Ports
Cruising is a great way to see places you might not normally visit. You will visit many exotic places on most cruises. You can choose one of the many shore excursions offered by the cruise lines or just get off the ship and explore on your own.
4. Group Gatherings
Cruises are such an awesome way to get a group together. With a minimum of planning you can have a wonderful family vacation, class reunion or simply a gathering of friends.
Cruising is not the least expensive way to travel but when you add up all of the above we think you get very good value for your travel dollar, especially if you put in some effort to research bargains.
How about you? We’d love to hear your thoughts on cruising. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Water is my happy place and because of me, we choose to live in smaller apartments that have pools. I came to accept this about myself after our first 6 months here in Merida. We had a lovely 2 bedroom home but no pool. I became a “pool beggar”, visiting friends with pools frequently. Now we are in a much smaller place and I love my daily time in the pool.
There are so many benefits to swimming and exercising in the water. Including:
Water supports the body, putting less stress on your joints and muscles.
Working out in water helps build strength.
Water pressure helps put less strain on the heart by moving blood around the body.
The impact of gravity is less in the water allowing a greater range of motion.
It keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body.
It builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
It helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs.
It tones muscles and builds strength.
It provides an all-over body workout, as nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming.
Swimming or water exercise are relaxing and peaceful, alleviating stress improving coordination, balance and posture, improving flexibility, and providing good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions.
Especially here in very hot Merida having time in the water provids a pleasant way to cool down on a hot day.
I’d love to hear about your “must haves” in finding the home that is right for you. Please feel free to share in the comments section. If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since our arrival in Merida. Because of Covid concerns we haven’t done much exploring yet, outside of getting to know our new neighborhood. Here is a summary of our first two weeks in pictures.
So, our new life in Merida is comfortable, quiet and beautiful…all we could ask for during these difficult times. We look forward to exploring and sharing more as the weeks progress. Stay safe! Love and light to all!
My friend, Olivia, gave me the inspiration for this week’s blog post. She asked some great questions which I will answer here.
How was your time in Vietnam? It was wonderful! Vietnam handled the Covid crisis very well. It was very safe. Da Nang is beautiful and affordable. However, we came for a month and ended up staying for 10. We were concerned about having to review our visas every month and the strong possibility that we would eventually be denied.
Will you ever return to Asia? We hope so. We love Asia, especially Thailand and Malaysia. Plus there are several countries we still want to visit (India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia for sure). But if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that nothing is for certain.
What was your impetus to move to Mexico, in the middle of a pandemic? How did you choose Merida? Merida is one of the safest cities, not just in Mexico but the world. While the pandemic is of course a concern, we chose Merida because of it’s relatively low Covid numbers, thriving black ex pat community, affordable housing and proximity to family and friends in the U.S.
How are you feeling today? We traveled for 2 days, 4 planes plus all the packing and preparation. We are exhausted and jet lagged but grateful to have arrived safely. We tested for coronavirus before leaving Vietnam and were both negative. We plan to isolate for the recccomended 10 days and will wear masks and practice social distancing until further notice.
One question Olivia didn’t ask but I wanted to share on briefly is: What was traveling like during a pandemic? It was really surreal and a bit anxiety producing. Most of the airports were REALLY empty until we got to Houston. We treated ourselves to better seats, lounges and a hotel stay during our Houston layover. We wore masks at all times and my hands are so dry from all the washing and hand sanitizer. Overall our travel was a positive experience, for which we are very grateful!
Thank you Olivia for helping me to clarify what I wanted to share today, our 5th day in beautiful Merida.
I used to have a LOT of joint pain, especially in my knees. Some days I could barely walk. Then I discovered tumeric and how it helps with inflammation, arthritis and joint pain. I started experimenting with different ways of talking it.
There are lots of ways to take this miracle spice, including capsules or packaged teas. I like making this drink from scratch, it’s a lot more affordable. Also, I believe using fresh ingredients are more potent. My recipe has fresh ginger, another very healthy root.
For the past 3 years I’ve been drinking this 7 item tumeric drink daily and have been almost completely joint pain free. I call it my morning miracle drink. It’s a lovely way to break my fast and start my day.
I make a base drink weekly of 4 ingredients. This recipe makes enough for a week’s worth of morning miracle base. I store it in the fridge and pour out a cupful every morning.
Morning Miracle Base:
1/2 cup of tumeric root (chopped)
1/2 cup of ginger root (chopped)
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1/8 cup of black peppercorns or 2 heaping table spoons of ground black pepper (black pepper is said to make the tumeric more effective)
Add 4 cups of water
Bring to a boil these 4 ingredients and then simmer for 30 minutes
I add these ingredients daily to the base drink:
The juice of one lemon or 2 limes
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (also very beneficial to your health)
You can drink Miracle Morning hot or cold. I prefer it room temperature.
There are lots of different recipes for tumeric tea. Let me know if you have a favorite.
At dawn today I participated in the opening ceremonies of BLU via zoom. I was able to represent the far east with an altar dedicated to our ancestors, family, friends and community. It was an amazing experience, connecting with my sisters in the U.S. all the way from Da Nang Vietnam!
Later in the morning I had a good time laughing with the fabulous Jazzie Mas at her virtual comedy show, also on Zoom.
Then at noon today the Brothas and Sistahs of Da Nang group got together for a virtual brunch. It was wonderful to see everyone (we haven’t seen each other since lockdown began July 26).
I’ve played games at Zoom meetings and been to Zoom birthday parties. I use my free Zoom account to connect one on one with friends and family. Zoom is a real blessing for those of us in recovery. There are 12 Step Meetings for every fellowship!
This pandemic is awful. I never want to forget all who are suffering. For me, Zoom is one thing I am grateful for. It’s made these difficult times a little easier.
If you have any questions about using Zoom or connecting with any of the groups I mentioned email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so fortunate to be sheltering in Da Nang during this pandemic. We are able to go places and do things. The virus appears to be under control and with sane precautions we are able to enjoy this part of Vietnam. We’ve been here long enough that we have our top 5 spots.
5. Hoi An Ancient Town
This picturesque town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s touristy with lots of shops and souvenirs. It also has lovely ancient buildings and views of the water. Hoi An is a short. (less than 45 minutes) ride from Da Nang. A highlight for us was the river boat ride.
4. Bana Hills Sun World
This place is amazing! A marvel of engineering and design, it’s set high above the city. To get there you take the world’s longest cable car. After a breathtaking ride you can spend hours exploring the park. There are amusement park rides, arcade games, flower gardens and beautiful buildings. A highlight of Bana Hills for most folks is the amazing Golden Hands Bridge.
3. Kwan Yin Statue
I love that we are sheltering in a city that is overlooked by Kwan Yin. She is the Buddhist goddess of love and compassion. A short ride up into the hills can take you for a visit. There you can oooh and ahhh at beautiful statues and gardens and even see some monkeys (a highlight for me).
It’s a water park! It’s a zoo! It’s an amusement park! It’s an awesome place to spend the day! Vinpearlland is the kind of place you have to experience, it’s hard for me to really tell you how much fun can be had there! I’ve been twice and each time I discover more. I especially loved feeding the giraffes on the safari river!
1. Hot Springs Park
I LOVE a good soak in a hot springs or even a hot tub. Unlike most hot springs that I have visited, this place has so much more! It’s a fully loaded water park with all the slides and water features you’d expect. There’s a 5D movie theater, an area full of growling, moving dinosaurs and there are lovely gardens. I really enjoyed the mud bath I had and spending time with Kathy and our friends at this lovely place.
We are grateful for our time here in Da Nang. It’s a beautiful big city. We are looking forward to exploring more of Vietnam in the near future and sharing our experiences with you!
Dong is the currency here in Vietnam. We get lots of questions about the strength of the American dollar here and the cost of living. Of course, Covid 19 has affected prices, bringing them down. This post reflects our current budget for life in Da Nang.
RENT: 7 Million Vietnamese Dong ($300) for our spacious studio apartment, with rooftop pool and twice a week maid service
FOOD and SUPPLIES: 9 million VND ($386) This includes groceries, eating out and all household supplies.
ELECTRICITY AND WATER: 2 million VND ($85) we try to be mindful about our air con useage but it’s really hot right now in Da Nang. This amount includes our monthly electric and tap water bill as well as delivered drinking water.
TRANSPORTATION: 1 million VND ($43) Kathy rents a motorbike when she wants to go out for a solo ride. I prefer the local ride .service called Grab (like Uber in the states). I have a favorite driver who i call for any longer distance trips. We are fortunate that we are able to walk to the local market, etc so we rarely use all of this budget allotment.
ENTERTAINMENT: 4 Million VND ($170) There is lots to see and do here in Da Nang so we have a generous budget for sightseeing. I don’t think we have ever exceeded the 4 million.
Life is really good, affordable and easy here in Da Nang. We could never afford life in a U.S. beach city on our retirement income. We are very grateful to have landed in this safe spot during these difficult times.