Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

October 19, 2013

Experiencing Morocco as a woman traveling alone

(Continued)

The nearly 2,000-year-old city ruins, with a triumphal arch and rows of basilica columns topped by storks, loom in magnificent isolation amid a rolling landscape of olive trees. As donkeys laden with harvested greens plod along its dusty roads, little seems to have changed.

But the colorful floor mosaics of skimpily dressed, frolicking gods and goddesses visualize drastically different mores. A few hours’ drive north through the Rif mountains, on a pebbly Mediterranean beach nearly in sight of Spain, I alone wore a bikini among women sporting veils and ankle-length tunics.

IMPERIAL CITIES

The modesty equation was suddenly reversed when I prudishly put on that same bikini for a separate visit to a hammam — baths — in Fez, the eighth-century capital of the first Arab, Islamic dynasty to rule Morocco from the same lush farmland as Volubilis.

A muscular, sweaty masseuse nonchalantly pulled it off, leaving me covered only in olive-based black soap and precariously balanced on a marble slab. As she scrubbed roll after giant roll of dead skin cells off me, I overheard a dozen other preening naked women sharing a friendly laugh at the “dirty American,” as one put it.

In Fez, the medina is a gigantic beehive of windowless, earth-toned homes and shops crammed in a bowl-shaped river basin. In Marrakech, built by the dynasties that ruled Morocco from the 11th through the 13th century, the medina’s rose-colored walls stand out in the desert against the snowy Atlas mountains.

In either medina, if you like endless haggling, follow the flow of local women through the maze and load up on everything from sweets to expensive leather and metal handicrafts.

If you hate shopping, as I do, absorb the colors and smells while making a beeline for the many madrasas, or Islamic schools. In the centuries-old Ben Youssef school in Marrakech, tiny dorm rooms face a sunny courtyard where every inch is a kaleidoscope of intricate wood carvings, stucco inscriptions, and geometric mosaics.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Remote solutions 1 Remote solutions Remote controls, designed to make life easier and more convenient, have become so numerous in many homes that keeping track of them is a challenge all its own. There are often separate remotes for the TV, DVD player, cable box and sound system. And i

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sometimes it's the parents, not the child, who need fixing I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they're having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the problem. They are! All this time (however long that might b

    July 31, 2014

  • Film Review Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Chris Pratt enters a new 'Galaxy' NEW YORK — After Chris Pratt tweeted a shirtless photo of himself to flaunt the shape he had gotten into for “Zero Dark Thirty,” he received, he says, a “giant ball of criticism” from his friends. It also helped land him the lead in one of the summer

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • New Amish Cook introduces her family

    There's nothing quite like eating that first corn on the cob, spotting a red tomato for the first time or picking that tiny cucumber that hasn't quite matured yet.

    July 28, 2014

  • Gardening-Tiny Vegetables [Duplicate] Tiny vegetables Truman Capote famously told friends that the very wealthy eat better vegetables — tiny ones. So there's another plus for gardening: It's easier to eat the way the super-rich do. Not that smaller is always better in the world of vegetables. A cucumber

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • McCauley 02 Half a Century and Happy: The McCauleys Galveston High School freshman James “Jim” McCauley showed he had a crush on eighth-grader Carlis VerBryck by tormenting her. He would see her in the hallway, pull the sashes in her dress, and run away. Carlis was not impressed. “I was pretty aggrava

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • CARSON: Be strong in the Lord You may ask, “Brother Mike what is the point of my being faithful to God? It appears as if I am not gaining any ground. I’m faced with ‘drama,’ setbacks, heartache, illness, issues, negativity, pressure, being lied upon and talked about. I am a tithe

    July 26, 2014

  • Teens Doping [Duplicate] The rise in teen doping NEW YORK (AP) — Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new, large-scale nation

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NYC Stacked Apartments-15 [Duplicate] Erasing the pre-fab stigma NEW YORK (AP) — In a city piled high with ambitious architecture, a seven-floor structure off the beaten path boasts a distinction of its own: It's billed as the first multistory, modular-built apartment building to open in the nation's apartment cap

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • ROSEMOND: Night training a toddler

    Q: Using your advice, I successfully toilet-trained my daughter by age 16 months. It is now three months later and we are still using diapers at naps and nighttime. At her nap, which lasts several hours, she fully soaks her diaper. At night

    July 24, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller