Travel

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Small grammatical errors should be forgiven when one's writing in his or her tertiary or quaternary language.

Small grammatical errors should be forgiven when one’s writing in his or her tertiary or quaternary language.

Reason 888 Why I Love Morocco: Almost everyone speaks at least two languages, most speak three, many speak four, and it’s not unusual to find someone who can speak as many as six or seven with reasonable fluency. Yet, to a person, all are equally, incredibly humble about this amazing talent..

Aghbalou N’Kerdouss

Barcelona

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Reason 584 Why I Love Morocco: The hot season and the watermelon season are in near perfect alignment.

Local Ksars (Ksor)

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Reason 318 Why I Love Morocco: Many people I meet for the first time while walking around insist I stay with them next time I’m in town.

Greek Changing of the Guard

Greek soldiers marching.

Greek soldiers marching.

Update: It turns out that what I observed was the Greek changing of the guard as happens at other governmental buildings. Soldiers, dressed in classic uniforms change station and some are positioned at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

As I was wandering around Athens yesterday, I noticed a strong military presence down one of the streets. There were riot control buses and many heavily armed personnel. Curious, I wandered down the street to see what was up. One of the major thoroughfares was entirely cordoned off. Considering the recent economic crises in Greece, I wondered if it was a protest of some sort, but it ended up to be a Greek military procession of cadets, I think, marching from their barracks to the Greek Parliament building.

Though an ardent pacifist, I couldn’t help but be moved by the scene and the pride of these young men. Plus, the outfits are amazing!

Chellah

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Hard at work

Hard at work

Reason 742 Why I love Morocco: It’s difficult to find an audience for complaining. The general consensus is “everything is as it should be.”

The other day, it was 110°F/45°C. As I went about doing my errands suffering and complaining to locals about the temperature, every response was, “Thank God for the heat.”

Pena National Palace

High atop the tallest hill in the Sintra Mountains sits the storybook Pena National Palace. It’s an amazing sight to behold. What used to be the remains of a defunct, simple Hieronymite (followers of Saint Jerome) monastery was severely damaged in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and left in disrepair until it was renovated into an elaborately decorated royal palace by…