Lost then Found (In shāʾ Allāh!) in the Streets of Fez, Morocco

"In shāʾ Allāh " roughly translates to "God willing", and was a frequent utterance from our Muslim hosts in Fez. With their (and God's) help and some practice, we avoided getting too lost and enjoyed the culturally immersive experience. Our excitement to visit Morocco was followed by a degree of hesitation. It was still technically … Continue reading Lost then Found (In shāʾ Allāh!) in the Streets of Fez, Morocco

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Seville, Spain: Bulls, Christopher Columbus, and a Birthday

Seville was a very walkable city. The best way to see it was to get slightly lost in the annals of its streets and sights. In the Santa Maria Luisa park, heavy foliage was draped with birds of varying types, colors, and chirps. The Plaza de Espana wrapped around in a semi-circle with beautiful arches … Continue reading Seville, Spain: Bulls, Christopher Columbus, and a Birthday

Holy Toledo! A Medieval Adventure in Spain

A day trip to Toledo was a wonderful decision and introduction into southern Spanish architecture. A short train ride out of Madrid, it made for an easy day trip. Our introduction to the splendor of Moorish influence began as we stepped foot off the train. The train station itself showcased the influence of North African … Continue reading Holy Toledo! A Medieval Adventure in Spain

Basel, Switzerland: Better Bring That Money, Honey!

Our day trip into Switzerland presented a neat surprise. At the end of October, Basel puts on a 2 week Fall market. Its plazas and parks buzzed with small dark, wooden stalls filled with Swiss chocolates, baked goods, handcrafted bowls, and various other festival vendors and foods. We had no idea that this festival was … Continue reading Basel, Switzerland: Better Bring That Money, Honey!

Colmar and Strasbourg France: The “Small Provincial Towns” of Alsace

Colmar “There goes the baker with his tray, like always. The same old bread and rolls to sell. Every morning just the same. Since the morning that we came. To this poor provincial town” The view from our Airbnb window. Yes, those are some of the opening lines to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”. The … Continue reading Colmar and Strasbourg France: The “Small Provincial Towns” of Alsace

The Decadence of Paris, France: Escargot, Friends, and Catacombs

My first impression of Paris was rough. A massive line at the metro (subway) ticket machine greeted us as we exited the bus station. We opted to ride Lime scooters, fully encumbered by our combined 70+ pounds of bags, to our Airbnb. The route took us through some gritty areas where I was not inclined … Continue reading The Decadence of Paris, France: Escargot, Friends, and Catacombs