ein paar tage in marokko – marrakesh

für alle die wenig zeit in der stadt verbringen:

die absoluten "musts" in marrakesh sind die ali ben youssef medersa und die sadier gräber.
wer länger bleibt besucht den mnebhi palace, das dar si said und den jardin majorelle,
den yves st. laurent dem maler jaques majorelle abkaufte und der öffentlichkeit zugänglich machte.
das kobaltblau der gebäude ist als majorelleblau weltberühmt.
http://www.jardinmajorelle.com/

einen wunderbaren blick zum sundowner
bietet die dachterasse des "cafe arabe" in der 184, rue mouassine
eine schöne, ruhige einstimmung auf die medina.
http://www.cafearabe.com/

aufregend ist ein früher abend auf der terrasse des "café de glacier".
von hier kann man das treiben auf der djemaa el fna beobachten.
mit der hereinbrechenden dunkelheit werden die stände für die abendliche verpflegung aufgebaut,
die feuer beginnen zu brennen,
die geschichtenerzähler und schlangenbeschwörer finden ihr publikum.

die beste, 7 stunden geschmorte, lammschulter hatten wir
im "al fassia gueliz" in der neustadt von marrakesch
http://www.alfassia.com

ein mittagessen mit storchenflug bietet das "le tanjia".
unzählige storchenpaare leben in den benachbarten ruinen.
http://letanjia-marrakech.blogspot.de/

 

 


die schönsten troddeln in der medina findet man bei "chez omar et abdellah"
in der reoute sidi abdelaziz dar el bacha no 111

eine ganz besonderer art der ruhe und entspannung bietet das bain de marrakesch.
hier kann man einzel, oder doppelkabinen für ein dampfbad mit peeling und massage mieten.
am besten in der heissen mittagszeit!
http://www.lesbainsdemarrakech

eine grossartige location mit französischer küche ist das grand cafe de la poste
http://www.grandcafedelaposte-marrakech.com/

cameroon – intro

 

Africa is a place of longing and as such surely addictive. After a memorable journey through Mali we then made Cameroon the center of our interest. This country does unite all the landscapes to be found in Africa. Deserts, mountains, prairie, savanna, grassland, rainforest and coastline. Furthermore, it is home to countless ethnic groups who are as different as the swaths of land in which they live.

Wandering through Cameroon is arduous, especially in the north. Hotels and lodges are often remnants of the French colonial period and there is hardly any infrastructure, as well as very little tourism. It is in the north where we meet travellers who either work in Cameroon for international companies or are part of embassies and NGO‘s. The first impression is one of a forgotten country. If it wasn‘t for the natural resources. Ever since rare earth has become indispensable for western technology, a new form of exploitation is blossoming. Mining rights are being sold, largely without consideration for the population of the lands in question. In return Chinese companies build roads. Not to improve the infrastructure as a whole but merely to move the expended resources. The streets don‘t last long but who cares anyway. A rich country without a shadow of a doubt. Fertile soil in the south, which enables agriculture but due to the lack of streets and logistics the grown food gets very expensive in the northern parts of the country. Minerals and oil which leave no prosperity among the natives. Wild animals living in parks worth visiting do not attract visitors since there is no supportive infrastructure hence leaving an open door for poaching. I‘ve never been so angry on a trip. Missed opportunities along the way.

 

 05-d

 

It is a sadness I can‘t hide in my writings but it was an enriching journey nonetheless. Perhaps different than first imagined. My wish would be that many travellers visit this country. An extraordinary piece of Africa and maybe one or the other will convey the value of this country and its people to those in charge.

 

On our way through the north we were accompanied by Charles, Benjamin and Faisal. In the south it was Julie and Mammut. Our planning and realisation was supported by Aquatravel, Switzerland. http://www.aquaterra-travel.ch

During our trip I read the touching and informative book „The Shadow of the Sun“ by Ryszard Kapuściński, which can now only be found by antiquary means

text: suzanne baeumler   http://www.suzanne-baeumler.com/

photos: michael harker   http://michael-harker.com/

german version http://blog.voyage-voyage.net/?p=692

 

cameroon part 1 – the entrance

Intro

Africa is a place of longing and as such surely addictive. After a memorable journey through Mali we then made Cameroon the center of our interest. This country does unite all the landscapes to be found in Africa. Deserts, mountains, prairie, savanna, grassland, rainforest and coastline. Furthermore, it is home to countless ethnic groups who are as different as the swaths of land in which they live.

more.. http://blog.voyage-voyage.net/?p=786

 

The entrance

With stop offs in Paris and Douala we head towards the north of Cameroon. In Maroua the Sunday fair is filled with people. We get to enjoy dried fish and have our first encounter with the so called „bili bili“ beer. It is more of a Sorghum fermented wine. Due to the heat it almost tastes like a hot wine punch. From what we get to witness the effect it has is obviously fierce. Groceries and spices are everywhere we look. The people are open and friendly. A good mood fills the vicinity and while glancing into the beer garden we have the notion that primarily the women are having a blast. The fair is an adventure.

 

This morning we had the impression that it was way cooler than in Douala. It is midday now and baking hot. The air is filled with a yellowish haze of sand. The land is dry during this time of the year, none of the creeks are carrying any water and hence are dusty. We get to meet Olivier. He used to install French schools, unfortunately only for white children. These days most of the Europeans are gone. A small number of priests and Baptists stayed behind. Some Turks moved here to set up greengroceries. Thanks to laws installed by the European Union exportation to European countries is prohibited. The streets are being built by . A Chinese engineer earns approximately 100 euros a month and is satisfied with the most rudimentary of housing. It doesn‘t come as a surprise that the streets rarely last very long. They‘re only there to support the logistics of those companies dealing with the excavation in mining anyway. Germans are still popular, not least because the bridges they built around the turn of the century are still standing.

It is our first day in Cameroon and we have the impression of a forgotten land. Even though it is high season there doesn‘t seem to be a lot of tourism. We are the only white people.

german version http://blog.voyage-voyage.net/?p=566

 

 

cameroon part 2 – the national parc of boubandjiba

Intro

Africa is a place of longing and as such surely addictive. After a memorable journey through Mali we then made Cameroon the center of our interest. This country does unite all the landscapes to be found in Africa. Deserts, mountains, prairie, savanna, grassland, rainforest and coastline. Furthermore, it is home to countless ethnic groups who are as different as the swaths of land in which they live.

more.. http://blog.voyage-voyage.net/?p=786

the national parc of  boubandjiba 

 

On our way to Boubandjiba we have to deal with a flat tire. Our companions are skilful and swift. Whilst they are on the lookout for a replacement, we spend some moments on the porch of the „Le Petit Coin de Plaisir“ watching as the local street life goes by. In his calmness, Michael takes his time to watch his subjects passing by.

 

clock we find ourselves in front of the Boubandjba Park. The game drive starts. Gazelles, ourebi, bubale, eland, a few chimpanzees and wild boar accompany our drive. Seeing how these animals behave we get the impression that it is time for new blood. Two hours later, having driven trough this wonderful landscape, we reach the lodge. We enjoy the view towards the river, which passes below the patio, giving the perfect atmosphere for a night with a clear sky. Some stars already greet us.

During the next few days Mai Bour is going to delight us with her French inspired kitchen. At night, temperatures drop to about 15 degrees celsius, ideal for a good nights sleep without air-conditioning. Sounds of the African night bring us closer towards a morning of discovery. For it is only hours later that we witness lion trails in front of our bungalow, giving a hint at the events which gave birth to this most enjoyable of nights.

 

The Boubandjba national park was once home to a population of 350 elephants until 2012 when an „army“ of 150 Sudanese poachers crossed the Chadian border, directly invading the park and killing 200 elephants of all age groups. Weapons used were automatic machine-guns and bazookas. Whole elephant families were round up and subsequently butchered. On horses and camels- the ivory is usually transported back to Chad and later shipped towards China for further processing.

Left behind are traumatised herds of elephants, wild animals in a state of shock. and Paul Bour, the foreman of the lodge, is speechless once again. But it is due to him, the initiator of countless petitions to all sorts of public boards, that there are military units, specially trained in fighting poaching and charged with guarding the park`s frontiers.

 

It doesn’t come as a surprise that most of the talk at the nightly table is characterized, not only by the many experiences of the day, but especially by the consequences of this animal massacre.

Our enthusiasm for this beautiful, fertile and rich country is once again salted by acts of human ignorance and politics. In a 2010 edition of the National Geographic magazine Bryan Christy  published a report about the ways of poached ivory in Africa.

 

Last but not least, I want to add one of Mai‘s tasty peanut recipes:

Boil the peeled peanuts 3 minutes in ample salted water. Then brew the peanuts for 2 minutes without boiling. Teem the water and dry the nuts for one day by sunlight. True, there is rarely one day of constant sunshine in our parallel. So just dry them in the oven – 50 degree celsius. But it won‘t be the same. The next day, gently roast the peanuts without any fat.

www.paulboursafaris.com

german version http://blog.voyage-voyage.net/?p=601

cameroon part 3 – Funeral in Rhumsiki

Intro

Africa is a place of longing and as such surely addictive. After a memorable journey through Mali we then made Cameroon the center of our interest. This country does unite all the landscapes to be found in Africa. Deserts, mountains, prairie, savanna, grassland, rainforest and coastline. Furthermore, it is home to countless ethnic groups who are as different as the swaths of land in which they live.

more.. http://blog.voyage-voyage.net/?p=786

Funeral in Rhumsiki 

For three days the inhabitants of Rhumsiki – the town with the holy mountain Zivi – have been taking part in a funeral ceremony. Today is the third day and we get the chance for a photo session. The whole town is on its feet. Drummers and fiddlers don‘t stop playing. They move from one plaza to another, everyone is dancing and drinking bili bili. Some are already in a trance. The dancers raise their sticks, swords, lances and culls towards the sky. Dust swirls up.

 

The son- in- law of the deceased is wearing a ceremonial outfit which symbolises the deceased himself, so that the latter is dancing among the living one last time. In their exhaustion some women seek refuge in the neighbouring shadows. The children chew on candy or sugar cane rods, which they find in little bags that have been given to them. One of the dancers is wearing a skirt made of leaves and a Jennifer Lopez t-shirt. A swirling festiveness lies in the air. In the Baobab Bar, the village elders have gathered wearing their burnous. Slightly drunk and in good spirit, they dance to the rhythms coming out of the radio.

 

But Rhumsiki is also an unhurried hike downward into the valley where all the small villages lie. We constantly get new views of bizarre rock formations, passing graves of animists, Muslims and Christians alike, laying peaceful side by side. Over hill and dale we continue our trail downward. The villages are close to the green border to Nigeria, both Cameroonians and Nigerians reside here. Everyone can pass the border and move into both countries. There are no papers. The Kamsiki tribe lives on both sides of the border. In Rhumsiki the indescribable beauty of the landscape reveals itself.

 

Each view is fascinating, every mood new in its own way.

german version http://blog.voyage-voyage.net/?p=589