Category:
Travels
Vilnius
Wednesday, May 18 2011, 23:40
Category: Travels, Tags: Vilnius

I would like to say some words about Vilnius city where I spent some pleasure days during Harlem'2011 swing festival. Holy smokes, the festival was great and overcrowded. We found that Russian dancers were not used to dance in the real crowd, so there is something to investigate: others danced well and peacefully.

The bad news is that my camera broken in the beginning of my trip, so I rather speak about the city than show you photos. The good news is that I had more time for walking and looking around.

First of all, the city is fairly small, calm and nice. There are few people living (10 times less than in Saint Petersburg, for example). Many flowers, many nice courtyards (but you can be sent away by angry residents).

The other is its food. Mostly, it is much cheaper that in Saint Petersburg. For example, a main meal can cost 10€. It seems that food is tasty. Especially, I would recommend the vegetarian White Elephant (41 Vilniaus gatvė ). It has its own court, good beer, nice interior and many dishes.

You can travel around by foot, the Old City is not very big. There are small streets, museums (be aware: mostly closed in Mondays), churches. By the way, I would like to recommend their basilica of Saint Paul & Peter (1 Antakalnio gatvė). This basilica is a bit distant, but its interior is just awesome. The funny point: there are heads of elephants amongst moulding. Yes, heads of elephants (I am not sure they are mentioned in Bible, but they look lively).

The bad point about Vilnius is this Russophobia. It is great, it is huge, it is crazy and full of sick fantasy. They even have the museum of genocide (yes, they mean the genocide of Lithuanians). I hope, they will finish this strange practice someday.

Full set of photos is done
Thursday, January 20 2011, 02:13
Category: Morocco, Tags:

Bon soir!

I have finished all photos with their comments. It is now here, below. Hope you won't be mixed up with the first two posts (their photos are duplicated).

Trip to Sahara
Thursday, January 20 2011, 01:14
Category: Morocco, Tags:

I got a car for the travel to the South of Morocco, across the Atlas Mountains.

I planned to see the ocean, Sahara and the Atlas Mountains.

Thanks for all people I had met!

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Trip to Lalla Takerhoust
Thursday, January 20 2011, 00:39
Category: Morocco, Tags:

We often drove to the dam of Lalla Takerhoust for unsuccessful fishing and very good relax.

It was the trip of 1-st of January, holiday's trop.

I caought the holiday chameleon! :) He was released far of our camping.

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Trip to Imlil
Thursday, January 20 2011, 00:28
Category: Morocco, Tags:

We drove to the Atlas Mountains wondering about some waterfall (I missed something; the waterfall is far away). There was the beautiful autumn, the mountains and the narrow road.

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Trip to Agadir and Essaouira
Thursday, January 20 2011, 00:21
Category: Morocco, Tags:

We took a car and travelled around Agadir and Essaouira.

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Other
Thursday, January 20 2011, 00:15
Category: Morocco, Tags:

Some photos without any categories.

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Marrakesh
Thursday, January 20 2011, 00:08
Category: Morocco, Tags:

It is a tourist city introducing the Moroccan life to you.

The real Moroccan city, but the big city, spoilt by tourists somewhere.

I bet the best muezzins are here, you can hear them 6 times a day.

And it is the best city for souvenirs (but please do not be cheated:). Then, it is close to the Atlas Mountains (there are lots of car rentals, you can also try local buses).

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Kurban Bayram
Wednesday, January 19 2011, 23:47
Category: Morocco, Tags:

It is called "holiday of sheep" here, one of the most important celebrations.

If a family can, it buys one or more sheep. Traditionally, the meet is divided to 3 parts: for the family (big family, i.e. with relatives), for indigents, for the man itself.

The holiday is really huge, cities get empty for 1-2 days. Butcher's are closed for a week.

The most photos can be found cruel. In fact, if a person is not vegetarian, I have nothing to say to console him.

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Casablanca
Wednesday, January 19 2011, 20:45
Category: Morocco, Tags:

The natives say that Casablanca is not a Moroccan city; surely, it is different one. There is almost nothing to see for tourists instead of this original city full of life.

I would recommend to stay near to the Park of Arabic League There are low quarters with hotels, bars, coffee houses, old buildings and native habits.

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Photography
Tuesday, January 18 2011, 12:33
Category: Morocco, Tags:

Just to remember: do not make photos of local people, they do not like it very much. I asked about the reason, but they told me different things.

Mountains
Tuesday, January 18 2011, 12:32
Category: Morocco, Tags:

Overview

They are beautiful and very various. Moreover, villages in mountains are clean and nice, they are very specific with their oases, houses.

Road from Taroudant to Marrakesh

You can drive it and it is a nice adventure full of spectacular views. Notes:

  1. The road is very narrow and broken. Of course, you can drive, but be very careful.
  2. It is about 5 hours (mostly, do not try to drive faster than 30km/h).
Ocean shore between El Ouatia and Laayoune
Tuesday, January 18 2011, 12:25
Category: Morocco, Tags:

If you travel by car, you can find it interesting: the road goes by shore, you can stand everywhere. Mostly, the shore is rocky (very rocky), with rare (beautiful, empty, huge, clean) beaches. Notes:

  1. You can easily leave the road and drive to the shore. The ground is very plain. For example, I slept in car: the ocean, beautiful sunsets, dark sky full of stars.
  2. The shore is full of strange fishermen with their huts. It is recommended to avoid them (I had some strange problem, too).
Street food, restaurants
Tuesday, January 18 2011, 12:23
Category: Morocco, Tags:

It is cheap, various and tasty. There is lots of small restaurants in Morocco (and even in countryside if you travel by car).

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Turist market in Marrakesh
Tuesday, January 18 2011, 12:21
Category: Morocco, Tags:

A am speaking about the souk, the market behind Jemaa El Fna square. The things below are very obvious:

  1. It is the biggest market I have seen in Marrakesh. And many souvenirs are really worth and remind about Morocco.

  2. The first prices are as 1.5-2 times more as real prices to buy.
  3. Do not argue, do not shout, do not rush. Nobody likes it. :)
  4. There is a common rule that 'if you have spoke about the price, you should buy it'. Maybe, it is a common rule for Arabic markets, but it is just a trick for tourists here.
  5. The same with the rule 'not to cheat with food'. They can cheat you here sometimes. Too many reach tourists.
  6. If you ask local people about real prices, they can support the seller.
  7. Do not be too clever bastards, yeah? I saw some group of tourists trying to bargain for fresh orange juice whereas the price was printed above and it was tiny (4 dirhams for a big glass of ambrosia).

Oh, the last advise. I thought about that many times: please, do not look like you have returned from a deadly fight, with cold and haughty eyes. It is your vacancies and the people around is friendly. :)

Alcohol
Tuesday, January 18 2011, 12:15
Category: Morocco, Tags:

Introduction

Formally, alcohol is prohibited in Morocco. Even if they have it in markets or bars, it is for foreigners. Of course, it is violated widely, but it is better to know the rules. Notes:

  1. They have complicated rules about bars, restaurants, shops. I do not remember all details. :)
  2. Never glance with your bottles in the streets.
  3. Bars are hidden: no transparent windows, no opened doors. Shops do not have any advertisements.
  4. It is not a good idea to ask people in the street about bars or shops. Just know them or ask in hotels.

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Taxi
Tuesday, January 18 2011, 12:10
Category: Morocco, Tags:

Common words

Whereas public transport is almost absent in Morocco, taxi is an important option. It is quite cheap and all taxi cars have taximeters.

There are:

  1. 'Petit taxi' for 1-3 persons that are taken personally (but you driver can pick up other persons).
  2. 'Grand taxi' for 6 persons (worth thing to see: 2 passengers at front seats, 4 - at rear ones); all passengers pay separately; these taxis are very popular in countryside and absent in Casablanca, for example.

One point should be emphasised for the petit taxi: there are taximeters and no bargain, formally. It means, that, formally, you just ask a driver for your destination and, if confirmed, drive and then pay as the taximeters claims. Tariffs are different for days and nights (after 8 p.m., I think). And there is the smallest payment (6 dirhams for days in Marrakesh; these values are printed in the top-right corner of wind windows).

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Marrakesh
Tuesday, January 11 2011, 16:42
Category: Morocco, Tags:

The first visit to Medina of Marrakesh.

Along the avenue Mohammed V to Jemaa El Fna. Koutubia (big and famous mosque) is seen farther.
Military gardener makes his loud job under cover of smoke screen.
Walls of the Old City.


You have your own kitchen...
Tuesday, January 11 2011, 04:17
Category: Morocco, Tags:

If you are planning to have your own kitchen, you would probably know that:

  1. Mostly, the raw food from street markets, big markets and even supermarkets is good (especially, local vegetables, meat, fish). It is fresh and natural. Of course, you can find some 'over-packed-in-plastics' goods like cheeses and other stuff. But the local meat looks like a real meat. Fish is good and various.
  2. Prices can be strange. For example, almost all cheeses are foreign and expensive (10-30Dh/100g), meat is expensive (40-100Dh/kg), but the local fish is cheap (10-40Dh/kg).
  3. There is funny point about the fish: it is much more cheaper than meat, but they prefer, for example, sheep. In Saint Petersburg (Russia), we try to prefer fish because it is healthy (though, it is more expensive).
  4. They have honey in huge cans. 1.8kg of eucalyptus honey costs 99Dh (Aswak Assalam supermarket). You know, 1.8kg of honey is a catastrophe.
  5. I would like to say that Morocco is very suitable for vegetarians. Cereals are cheap and various, lots of vegetables, nuts are moderately cheap.
Very first photos from the travel
Tuesday, January 11 2011, 01:05
Category: Morocco, Tags:

Just for lulz, dear visitors.

I had never loved notebooks because of their price, very limited ability to upgrade them, and worse parameters due to their destination: be small, low-power, light. Finally, you can kill them just spoiling beer on their keyboards (that I did for my beloved Touchpad T23).

Anyway, after that I got an idea to travel with compact, but full PC: built in microATX case, with LCD. The brilliant fact is that even with 22" LCD (please, try to find such laptop) it exactly fit to the limit of hand carry for flight. The only problem is its weight: it was much bigger than normal 5kg...

... So, I spent many time walking around forums, discussions: ones say that it is impossible, that they make you to leave your PC as baggage (i.e., good bye, my new-born silicon friend). Others say that you can take HDD in cabin. Anyway, just the result, my PC in the city of Marrakesh:

Bag with all stuff. It is about 12kg.
You can see the case, the LCD, and my Wacom tablet.
All my precious things outside... :)

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