There were many highlights on our tour of Morocco. One of them was finding delightful little shops or hidden away restaurants. During our stay in Fes we found this delightful little family restaurant right next door to the hotel where we were staying. We could have dined in style in the hotel restaurant but this eatery had so much more character.
It wasn’t huge; it had enough seating for about 6 to 8 people; there were no more chairs, and the dining room was hardly a room at all. The cooking and counter took up half the room, and some equipment had to flow out onto the footpath. Most of the customers were people passing by, grabbing a bite to eat on their way to work or back home. The establishment was run by the lady shown in the photo above, assisted by her young daughter.
The mother could only understand a few words of English but the daughter spoke it fluently. We engaged her in conversation and found out she was working her way through university, studying to be a teacher. My wife, daughter and I are all teachers, so we found this very encouraging. My guess is that not many Moroccan girls are teachers, and few go to university. Women in the professions are most definitely in the minority in this country, but this is changing.
We were very pleased to support this family and their tiny restaurant on several occasions during our stay.
And the food was delicious.
On one of the days during our visit to Fes, Morocco, we had a delightful lunch in this magnificent restaurant. As stunning as it was, the most astonishing thing about it was the nondescript sign and entrance in the street outside (see photo below).
The lane outside was very plain with all the usual stalls, small shops and the always milling crowds and noise. The only indication of the restaurant’s presence was this simple sign (below). On moving through the door the restaurant opens up like an Aladdin’s magical cave, revealing a spacious, beautifully maintained and with an exotic decor in keeping with the local culture. Amazing.
The part of restaurant where we ate is seen though the doorway at the far end of the room. It was shrouded in luxurious looking carpets, drapes hung from the ceiling and low level lighting gave a truly exotic feel to the experience. And when we sat down we sank into deep, soft cushions.
As a bonus the food was wonderful. It’s just that we had so many great meals in Morocco I’ve completely forgotten what I ate that day. I didn’t even take a photo of the dish I had.
The South Steyne is one of Sydney’s old ferries. We passed it while walking through Darling Harbour on our recent holiday in Sydney. It is permanently moored there now and is used as a floating restaurant and function centre. It has a long an interesting history. The following is taken from its website:
The S.S. South Steyne is a 224′ (70 metre)
long steamship making it the world’s largest operational steam ferry. Built in Leith, Scotland for the Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company, the South Steyne was launched on April 1st, 1938 and on July 7th 1938, it steamed the 22,000 kilometres to Australia arriving on September 19th the same year. The South Steyne has been an icon of Sydney since 1938. As the famous Manly ferry, it crossed between Circular Quay and Manly over 100,000 times over its 36 years, carrying well in excess of 92 million passengers.
You can read more about this ferry on its website here.