TREVOR’S TRAVELS SITE IS TEN YEARS OLD TODAY.
Ten years ago today I started this travel blog.
Over the years I have shared hundreds of photos and over a thousand articles describing the places I have been.
Over that time I have travelled extensively here in Australia, had a short visit to Thailand, been about half way up Mt Everest in Nepal and visited many places here in my home state of South Australia.
On a more recent trip I visited my daughter who was teaching in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, had a wonderful holiday in Morocco and then went wandering around Spain for a few weeks, falling in love with the country in the process.
All of these I have shared with readers on this site – except for Spain; those photos and articles are coming in 2016, as well as a few more featuring our trip in Morocco. And more travels in Australia.
Over the coming years my wife and I intend travelling to many more places. We just hope that both our health and our budget allow it. These travels may include another visit to Ethiopia; our daughter returns there to teach again in 2016. If this trip eventuates we plan to visit several more countries on our way. Some possibilities include Italy, France and… oh, it is so tempting to return to Spain. We’ve only just had a taste of that wonderful place.
In the meantime, readers can enjoy the many articles and photos here on this site already. Just go to the archives, click on any of the categories on the sidebar, or use the search facility near the top of each page.
I would like to wish all of my readers a really Merry Christmas.
Over recent weeks I have shared photos of our trip in Morocco in December 2011. I have also written about our experiences on that holiday with some reflections on what we experienced. Christmas that year was extraordinarily different for us. At home in Australia we usually go to church on Christmas Day and occasionally on Christmas Eve as well. Then on Christmas Day lunch is a gathering of family and sometimes friends.
In a Muslim country like Morocco this festival is not celebrated by many. Just to make things really different, we rode on camels just before sunset into the Sahara Desert (see photos below). We had a wonderful meal around a camp-fire (it was freezing cold in the desert at night). All we had by way of celebration was a few biscuits and chocolate. The music and singing around the camp-fire certainly made up for the lack of normal Christmas activities we may have enjoyed at home. The lamb tagine the guides cooked for us was also delicious.
As the frosty air crept in around us we retreated to our Berber tents to sleep. During the night we felt lucky when one of the local cats decided to creep in and cuddle up on our bed. Next morning – Christmas Day – we were awoken before dawn to climb the sand-hill near our tents. This was so we could witness the sunrise over the desert sands.
I found it fascinating to watch the workers in the factory we visited in Erfoud. We were on a two week tour of Morocco. The factory featured in today’s post was one of our stops on our guided tour. The fossils are unearthed in a nearby desert. They are then processed in one of several factories, cutting them to various shapes.
After being made into plates and bowls, fountains and table tops they are polished and placed on sale in the adjoining retail outlet. Many other items are made as well. I would have loved to have been able to afford one or more of the items for sale, but shipping costs to Australia would have been prohibitive.
In my last post here I wrote about our visit to the fossil factory in Erfoud during our holiday in Morocco. I should add that the factory does not ‘make’ the fossils. They are dug out of the ground in the desert nearby.
Once they find suitable fossils in the desert, they are brought to the factory to be made into all kinds of objects for sale. These include small items like key rings, larger items like bowls, dishes and through to fountains and table tops. The last part of the manufacturing process is polishing. The results are stunningly beautiful.
Today’s photos show some of the machinery used in the factory. In my next post I will show some of the finished products.
Part of the guided tour is to take visitors through the retail outlet. Most, if not all, items could be shipped to Australia. The would have been prohibitive for my budget anyway. I did buy two small key rings with a fossilised stone attached. I could carry them in my pocket and not worry about excess baggage.
Our next stop on our tour of Morocco was at one of the fossil outlets in Erfoud. There appears to be an abundance of a range of different fossils to be found in the nearby desert. The factory and obligatory retail outlet we went through was the Macro Fossiles Kasbah as shown in today’s photos.
On our guided tour I found out that there are millions of fossils in the area, mostly trilobites but also a variety of other fossilised creatures. This factory finds the fossils, cuts them into various shapes and polishes them ready for sale in the adjoining shop. The range of items for sale is amazing. It includes small items like key rings, plates, bowls and dishes, wah basins, fountains, tables and much more.
I would love to have bought one of the wonderfully polished tables, but the cost of buying it would have blown our holiday budget. The cost of shipping it to Australia would have added greatly to the cost. I could but dream. (I also had the same feelings in the ceramic factory in Fes – see here for photos.)
I will show more photos of this factory and the shop in coming days.