Wednesday, May 29, 2013

London

London
This just might be my favorite city in Europe.  Simon and I went to England as newlyweds for our first Christmas and we have loved the place ever since.  Since we were flying in and out of London for this entire trip, we decided to take a few days at the end to enjoy a little bit of the city.  We also have some good friends from Munich that moved there and it was a great chance to catch up with them.  I am glad that we were able to share London with Auburn and Conley before we head back to the US.
We tried to take them to our favorite spots, but also add a few new things to our list.


 Big Ben
The kids were thrilled when they saw this again in the Cars 2 movie.

 Tate Modern
We have never been to this museum.  The kids did surprising well.  They would find their favorite piece of art in every room.  They then insisted that Simon take their picture in front of it.



St. Paul's Cathedral
Even though it is the biggest church in London and second biggest in the UK, Simon and I had never been here. 

 Trafalgar Square

We also walked to a bridge (that I can't remember the name of) to get the view of Big Ben and the Parliament buildings.

Westminster Abbey
We didn't go inside this time, but it is one of my favorite churches in Europe.
 

 Tower Bridge
It was unseasonably cold while we were in London.  The kids did really well with the cold especially since we just came from Morocco.  They liked this bridge a lot.

 We went to the National History Museum to see the dinosaur exhibit.  It was very impressive and a highlight for the kids.

 Simon managed to get in a Premiership game while we were in town.  We opted out because tickets are kind of pricey, but did go with our friend Daniel.

We happened to be there over Easter weekend.  Our sweet friends planned an Easter egg hunt in Hyde Park for our kids and some other friends that were in town.  The kids still talk about it.  Thank you again to our good friends for such a wonderful morning!


After this got our eighth and final airplane of the trip to head back to Munich.  It was an incredible trip filled with lots of memories.  I hope Auburn and Conley can remember at least some of it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Morocco - part II

After our amazing camel trip into the dunes, we packed up and headed out for the long, long drive to Fez.  The kids did amazing well.  On our way we drove some good looking country and at one point found these little guys on the side of the road.



Fes
 This city has the largest living medieval city in the world.  In the medina there are no cars, only donkeys and carts to transport goods.  It is full of little side streets, dead ends, and narrow streets.  The guide books all say that part of the fun is getting lost, which we did.  Luckily there are plenty of locals that are willing to point you in the right direction.

Some spices in the medina

Tanneries
 Morocco is famous for leather products.   These tanneries are were they prepare and dye the leather.  You have to pay a little "tip" to the people and they will take you up to their store fronts so you can get a view.  The smell is quite strong, but it is very interesting to watch.



Medersa Attarin



Medersa Bou Inania



Auburn waiting for our meal.


On our way out of town, we stopped at Moulay Idriss.  This is a holy city for Moroccans.  Non-Muslims were not allowed to spend the night in the city up until 2005.  This is where Moulay Idriss arrived bringing the religion on Islam.






About five minutes by car is the abandoned Roman City of Volubilis.  There are some very well preserved mosaics.  We thought they would be covered, but they are out in the open.  We spent a very raining afternoon wandering through the ruins.



After Volubilis, we headed for Marrakech.  It was a long drive and we rewarded ourselves with victory couscous at our favorite restaurant in the market. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sahara

After a long drive we came to Erg Chebbi.  It is in the southeast corner of Morocco and home to huge sand dunes from the Sahara desert.  We had to go.  It was the highlight of the trip for all of us. 





The kids had an absolute blast.  It was one giant playground for them.  They ran down the dunes, slid on their bums, climbed up, jumped...  Simon was right along with them when he wasn't taking pictures.  I would have as well, had I not been six months pregnant.











This next part of our trip we are pretty sure got us "parents of the year" in the eyes of our children.  We had read about these excursions where you take a camel ride in the dunes to a camp and spend the night in a tent.  Once we got there we decided to give it a try.  When you ask the kids about our trip, this is the first thing that they will tell you "we rode on camels!"  The kids are still talking about riding the camels.  Conley rode with Simon and Auburn rode with me.  This just happened to be our kids first camping trip as well.  Camping in the Sahara, doesn't get much better than that.

Conley and Simon were on the lead camel.  Conley thought this was great because he was "driving" us.  (Right now everything has to do with a car)
The guy in the front was our guide.  He was on a mission.  We passed a few other camel groups.  We couldn't believe how fast he could go, especially since he was quite old. 

Auburn was a little tentative at first and then loved it.  It really only got exciting when we were going downhill and getting on and off the camel.

Once we got to the camp the kids played on the drums.

Simon (and everyone else) climbed up a huge dune to get a view of the sunset from above.  It was a little more than the kids and I could do.  So we enjoyed the sunset from below and later on though the pictures Simon took.

At the top of the dune





That night we ate dinner with the others in our camp.  The next morning we were up early to ride back to the hotel for some breakfast and showers.  Here is Auburn with our camel.

This was a popular excursion.



Simon and Conley