We’re leaving on “The Marrakesh Express,” flight that is!…Goodbye Morocco!…

The day we arrived at Dar Aicha we were amazed to see a lemon tree growing inside the riad. Two lemons were growing. Yesterday, for the first time one of the lemons fell to the floor making a loud thump. I picked it up, bringing it in the kitchen to Madame Zahra. We both chuckled. Perhaps she used it in making our dinner last night.

We’re leaving today to return to Europe, flying at 4:30 pm to Lisbon, Portugal, and then on to the island of Madeira, Portugal, a resort island where we’ll live in a vacation home overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for the next two and a half months, leaving on August 1, 2014.

We’re packed except for our laptops and cords. We’re dressed and ready for Samir & Adil to pick us up at 2:00 pm along with the guy with the old fashioned hand cart for the long walk to Mohamed’s awaiting SUV.

Today, we’ll walk through the Big Square in the Medina for the final time on our way with the guy with the cart, Samir and Adil to Mohamed’s awaiting SUV to take us to the airport.

Last night, I was overheated wearing Tom’s heavy long-sleeve BugsAway shirt. I considered taking it off but the thought of leaving Morocco covered in new sandfly bites held little appeal.

Yesterday, the packing took less than a total of two hours which was especially easy for me when Tom decided to suck the air out of the Space Bags with the little vacuum without my help while I took care of last-minute details online.

Was that ever easier! Tom has a tendency to become snappy and grumpy when sucking the air from the bags, especially in yesterday’s 108F, 42C heat. My absence totally prevented this. Who gets mad when they don’t have an audience?

Our final dinner made by Madame Zahra, clockwise from the carrots, sautéed cabbage, sautéed zucchini, salad with peeled tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh green beans, and in the center Tagine Kefta which is meatballs in a seasoned tomato sauce, topped with hard-boiled eggs.  Of course, Tom’s bread and fries.

My old theory of not being in the presence of a grumpy person was further proven to a new level. The packing was done in no time leaving us both cheerful and ready to enjoy our last evening in Dar Aicha. Madame Zahra prepared another fabulous nourishing meal and later we watched a mediocre movie and another great episode of the entertaining TV series, The Vikings.

From this point on in our travels, we feel comfortable not packing until the day before we leave. Of course, our lessor number of bags is highly instrumental in the reduction of considerable stress.

When we first arrived in Marrakech, we’d planned to ride a horse and buggy to dine outside the Medina. After seeing the bloodied neck on a horse pulling a buggy, we lost interest.

With only two large suitcases, each filled with clothing; one smaller bag filled entirely with our combined shoes and boots; another smaller bag filled with supplies; one duffel bag for cords, the little vacuum and electrical supplies; two laptop bags; and my handbag and the pill bag, our load s relatively light.

Hopefully today, we’ll check everything except the two laptop bags, my handbag, and the pill bag with TAP Airline’s easier weight restrictions. The two flights are under two hours each with a two-plus hour layover in Lisbon during which time we’ll find a restaurant in the airport for a bite to eat.

Two doors next to one another. A common sight in the souks.

Hopefully, we’ll have access to a WiFi signal at the Lisbon airport, where if so, we’ll touch in with an additional post as to our progress.  In either case, if we aren’t able to get a signal, we’ll be posting tomorrow morning upon awakening in our new home, of course with photos.

Madame Zahra and Ouimaima arrived a few moments ago. Several times yesterday, we looked at one another with our hands placed over our hearts (a precious gesture of love) which after here a month, she began to do upon saying hello and goodbye. I easily picked up this special gesture as it became a common expression between us. We hugged several times during the day, kissing twice, once on each cheek and back again.

The scene above the doorway to Dar Aicha.
A moment ago, Madame came to see me in the salon while Tom was upstairs showering. Hand over heart, she smiled at me, tilting her head in a token of emotion. I stood wrapping my arms around her, feeling a rush of emotion so powerful that tears welled up in my eyes. Kissing each cheek, we parted still holding hands. No words were spoken when she speaks only Arabic.  Words haven’t been necessary as our relationship grew over these past months.
She will remain as my most treasured memory of Morocco, a people kind and generous, filled with love, warmth, and compassion.

Goodbye Morocco.  We continue on…

Photo from one year ago today, May 15, 2013:

Tom, as we walked the three-hour trek to and from the Lost City of Petra. Although not visible in the photo, we walked downhill on the way and uphill on the return in temperatures over 104F, 40C. Without a doubt, this was the most difficult walk we’ve made in our travels. Without a doubt, it was well worth it. For details, please click here.

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