Thursday, 17 January 2013

Christmas in Casablanca Part 2

For those of you who are map lovers, here is the Google version showing the town, set on the Atlantic Ocean, and the regional road network


                  Interesting doorways with intricate detailing, built by craftsmen a long time ago!





We found that most of the buildings in Casablanca were at extremes; either derelict, on the point of falling down, half finished and then abandoned or very smart and new.  The vehicles on the road were were of a similarly vast range; many cars seemed as much as thirty years old, often dented and missing bits of bodywork, but still running somehow; in contrast, there was also a fair quantity of new BMW's, Mercedes and Porsches amongst the traffic.  Below is the sad  sight of a half finished apartment building. Palm trees are everywhere! The street layout and landscaping seems to be the heritage of  French governance. The state of the pavements is typical!

While here is a more upmarket version!

There were many bicycles and mopeds around, neither of which have to be licensed.  The latter are a huge hazard, as they never stop at red traffic lights, so they can easily cause accidents or run pedestrians over!  The traffic is a complete nightmare and we would never have considered hiring a car.  There is traffic everywhere so it seems, and if one car should stop, no matter what the reason, everyone behind just leans on their hooter!  There is a continual cacophony of car hooters going on, very hard on the ears!  This guy below to my mind is really taking his life in his hands (or bottles!). People generally seemd to be busy and the "scavenging/recycling" trade is a popular business.

This is quite an attractive school building.  Obviously they were on holiday by the look of it, all doors and windows being  closed up.

As this is a Muslim country, there were very few signs of Christmas around. However, we did  see this Santa's Grotto in the local shopping centre, so although Christianity is catered for, it didn't seem to be drawing the shoppers!


There were several wall paintings around, but most were peeling and in need of repair; this was one of the better preserved examples.


The hotel offered bed and breakfast only, and eating out every day was not too much of a hardship!  There were plenty of restaurants to choose from, so we much enjoyed this aspect of our visit here.


Nigel had lamb kebabs; good portions in this eaterie, which was well recommended by TripAdvisor reviewers.


While I had fish. Both cooked with lots of Moroccan spices and very yummy.


I think though this was my favourite stop for coffee and ice cream, a corner cafe called Venezia Ice. It was not this quiet later in the day.


 Just look at the selection here .......
These are all ice cream cakes - beautifully made but not cheap!



"Ordinary" cakes!


More ice cream cakes, with macaroons in the front.


and another view of the ice cream cakes.


More of Casablanca to follow in part 3 - there are so many interesting and unusual sights.  I promise I will get back to Charente eventually!






 
See also - My Life Before Charente Updated 17/01/13

and my daily photo diary at http://photodiarydps.blogspot.fr/

90 comments:

  1. Oh my Diane, what beautiful pictures I love all, I was thinking Casablanca is most beautiful than I think, thanks so much:)
    Love the kebabs but your plate look fantastic, I always ask fish too:)
    Love this post:)
    gloria

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    1. Gloria thanks for the visit. Some of Casablanca is beautiful other parts are very run down but an interesting town non the less. All the food we had there was pretty good \i have to say :) Stay well Diane

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  2. At last Mrs Popular - I'm first comment - now I'll read your post.
    Photos as usual look really interesting.
    Leon

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    1. Hah, beaten at the post into second place :-) Thanks though for leaving a comment, I do like to hear from you :-)) Hope you are enjoying Casablanca as a change from France. Take care and enjoy your warm weather while we have predicted snow! Diane

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    2. Oh bugga. 1st loster again. (much chuckles)

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  3. Very interesting and great photos! The doors are what intrigues me, great ones! But then so do the ice cream cakes. Yum! Kind of funny with the hooters! People blow their car horns here. It sounds like a great place to visit. A friend of mine did a couple of years ago and was intrigued with it.

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    1. Pam I fell in love with those doors, they are lovely. To visit it depend what sort of holiday you want. Not a place to go if you want to just relax and spend time at the beach, but it has masses of interest and old Casablanca is amazing and a complete warren. Keep well Diane

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  4. I like Middle Eastern foods very much so would enjoy the restaurants, and wow, those desserts. It is sad to see the older more traditional buildings being neglected.

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    1. Terra the food there was mostly very good and the flavours very interesting. Those desserts were amazing! Keep well Diane

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  5. Wonderful photos, I love the variety of Ice Cream that is available there, it fantastic. Thanks for your wonderful tour of Casablanca.

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    1. Horst the ice cream is delicious, but not good for the weight! Good luck for your hip op. Take care Diane

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  6. It looks like a nice place to visit, Diane. I really love your captures. The stonework is amazing. I also like the scenes from the outdoor patios. The food on your plates looks like very generous servings and makes me hungry since I didn't eat a proper breakfast or lunch yet. I hear snow is predicted in England too. I hope you all keep warm.

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    1. Joyful we did enjoy the break and even more we enjoyed the sun :) There are some really interesting buildings there. As for the food it is very yummy but not good for the scales!! We had a spattering of snow last night but not as much as the UK have had. Keep well Diane

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  7. This looks lovely. How many pounds did you gain? ;)

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    1. Gaelyn the answer is too much and I am struggling to get it off again. All those ice creams were the problem but wow they were delicious :) Not long now and you will be on your way. Safe trip Diane

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  8. I'm a little jealous... what an amazing place and I've always wanted to go... so many places so little time!!! Lovely pictures, looks like you had a great time.

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    1. lostpastremembered it was really an interesting place to visit, but maybe what we should have planned, was half the time in Casablanca and half in Marrakesh. We were away 10 days and we could have easily spent 5 days in each and seen more. Whatever we had a great Christmas. Keep well Diane

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  9. How fortunate you are to be close enough for a holiday in Casablanca. I have a planned trip to Morocco that was not ever executed. I need to pull that out again for another look. I am enjoying your photos and your previous post as well.

    So glad that you enjoyed your trip.

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Genie we were were lucky to get two flights on special to and from Casablanca and Bordeaux and it is a nice short trip. A good place to be in the sun at Christmas :) Bises Diane

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  10. Those doors are really special!
    What a great place to rummage about in...looking forward to the next installment.

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    1. Fly I fell in love with those doors they were wonderful. Watch this space.... Take care both of you, Diane

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  11. Hello Diane:
    What an extraordinary mixture with, as you remark, on the one hand decay and dereliction and on the other all the signs of wealth and prosperity. We should, we know, be fascinated with the old buildings, the wall paintings and the traditional way of life.

    Ice cream cakes are something which we have never come across.

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    1. Jane and Lance the buildings were what interested us most, and the extremes of poverty and richness were interesting. For all that, we were told that nobody in Casablanca would ever go without a meal, so one obviously helps the other. Everyone seemed to be doing something, even if it was only collecting thrown out items. Men were walking around with barrows and seemed to have a special call. Instead of carrying items off to the dump, people obviously gave to these barrow men, presumably they then restored or remade, then sold again.

      As for ice cream cakes, we used to have them in S.Africa, but maybe not as fancy. Perhaps it is a speciality for warmer climates. Keep well Diane

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  12. Great pictures. So enjoy the street scenes and the cafe pictures. I'd love to sit in the sun and choose from all the ice cream confections.

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    1. Carol Z thanks for the visit and the comment. Those ice creams are very special but certainly not good for the weight! Take care Diane

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  13. Absolutely fascinating, Diane. But the picture of the Santa's grotto did make me smile -- the snow looks sooooo out of place!!! And the food looks 'good enough to eat' -- as my mother-in-law used to say! Now I must go and read 'Part 1'!

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    1. The Broad, my Mum also used to say, it looks good enough to eat :) The grotto just did not belong I have to agree. Keep well Diane

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  14. Did you manage to get through all the food that was on those plates? And those ice cream cakes! Having just had porridge for breakfast, I think I might avail myself of a piece of the chocolate cake I made yesterday as the porridge seems a bit spartan in comparison to those lovely foody photos!

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    1. Vera having been brought up when good food was not easily available, and there was rationing, the rule in our house was what ever you ordered, or put on your plate had to be eaten, it could not be wasted. That went for not wasting food or money. I am afraid it was so ingrained that I am still the same, if it is there and you have paid for it you must eat it ! Those ice cream cakes were very special though :-)) Take it easy, Diane

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  15. What a shame no one has bought up the derelict buildings and either replaced them or restored them. What a waste of space and opportunity.

    What a good idea to follow the advice of other visitors re restaurants. No one likes to risk a nasty surprise down below... :)

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    1. Sarah I don't know why there are so many derelict buildings around, presumably there is not a shortage of accommodation!

      I don't think we went to a restaurant without checking it out on trip advisor first. For all that some of the write ups did not tie up with our experiences! Venezia Ice was the only place not on trip advisor and that was visited many times :) I tried to add it to the list but I have not heard back from TA! Keep well Diane

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  16. Lovely photos!
    Thanking you for sharing them!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com
    Come say hi!

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    1. Regine thanks for the visit and the comment, much appreciated. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Take care and keep safe Diane

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  17. I'm so glad you've taken us along. I had no idea what to expect in Casablanca. The name itself makes it sound exciting and exotic and it certainly is. It's interesting to see the contrast in the buildings. And the food looks fabulous. What a lovely trip.
    Sam

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    1. Sam I think that Bogart and Bergman made it so romantic but those days have long gone.... for all that it is a n interesting place to visit. As for the food...... take scales with you to keep track :) Hope you are feeling better, Diane

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  18. Thanks for the tour. You describe so well that I felt that I was there. The ice cream cakes look yummy.

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    1. diane b glad that you are enjoying the change in scenery. Those ice cream cakes were very special..... Mmmmmm. Take care Diane

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  19. Very cool blog. Interesting posts. ;)
    Nice atmosphere guests with you here on the blog. ;]
    Yours. Have a nice day. !

    Follow me on facebook fanpage and blog
    I'm very concerned about this, please. :)
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-another-light/413836138693856

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    1. Patrycja Photography, thanks for the comment and I am glad you enjoyed this post. Keep well Diane

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  20. Diane .. loved seeing the map - I'm a map fundi! sort of?! Your photos reflect so many aspects of the town ... and the food looks delicious ... those cakes are to die for ... but your plates look better on my stomach!! Interesting to read what goes and what doesn't .. ie mopeds and no stopping, the usual mercs, bmws and porches - think they'd struggle with the sand ...

    Fun to see the doors and architecture ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary there is no sand in the city, all the roads are tar, there are though quite a few potholes!

      Those ice cream cakes were just amazing and the flavours....... Take care and keep warm. Diane

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  21. Loved to see
    Casablanca from your comments and photos!
    Were there many tourists? Did you feel safe? How did the cost of goods and services compared?
    From the look of the dishes you both had, they seem abundant for sure.

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    1. rosaria we really loved our trip to Casablanca in December. No there were not a lot of tourists, I think it was mainly out of season and a lot of people go to Marrakesh. The hotel we were at was four star, and although the rooms were small they were very adequate, clean and well cared for. The breakfasts were fantastic with a choice of continental or Moroccan. Costs in the restaurants were on a par with Europe, not cheap generally. As for safety we did not feel any threat whatsoever. A couple of people asked for money but having been told no they just walked away. In the crowds in the old Medina we felt totally at home. An English speaking guy took us under his wing and we saw lots that we would not have seen otherwise. He had lived there all his life and had gone to school there. A small tip and he was over the moon. The driving was the biggest problem - they are nuts and we walked everywhere despite Nigel having feet problems. The only time we got in a taxi was to and from the airport and that was enough! Take care Diane

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  22. Thanks for the tour around Casablanca. I am sure I have never seen so many ice cream cakes in one place. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Michel those ice cream cakes were very special and the small ones were just so delicious.
      Bon week-end. Diane

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  23. The architecture of the buildings you've shown is beautiful It's interesting about the extremes...so many dilapidated or new and nice. Getting around in that traffic would be nerve wracking for me but it would be worth it. The presentation of the meals you ordered and all of those amazing desserts is beautiful. I'm so happy to see all of your photos. I'm going back to see what I've missed and why your blog in not updating in my side bar blog favs. Sweet hugs!

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    1. Lavender Dreamer, the heavy traffic is quite scary, or it was to us just as pedestrians! The food was fantastic, especially the true Moroccan meals. Hope you have discovered why you have lost me from your side bar:) Take care Diane

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    2. I think you are back. I'll see if it updates when you post again. I'm still dreaming about those beautiful spices!

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  24. This looks like a great place to visit sometime. I really enjoyed these pictures.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Gina thanks for the visit and the comment, much appreciated. Glad you enjoyed my photos. Take care Diane

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  25. Lovely pix those Diane, and from what you write drivers and other road users there make Italian drivers, and their (erroneous?) reputation for being dangerous, look like paragons of virtuous patience and consideration!

    The dishes you ate looked very good indeed and I was intrigued by your fish dish. Can you tell us more about it and the herbs and spices which were used?

    Have an excellent day,
    Frip

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    1. Fripouille seldom have I seen driving so frighting other than maybe in Cairo! The taxi drivers who took us back and forth from the airport, chatted on their mobiles, drove on the wrong side of the road in places and jumped several red traffic lights. Not good for the nerves!

      We eat in so many places (we were there for 9 days) I cannot remember each dish in detail and the spices would have been their own special mixture. A good place to look though for more details is at http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/ras_el_hanout_recipe.htm and at http://riadzany.blogspot.fr/ hope this helps. Keep warm Diane

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  26. Those picture cheer me up on a snowy day. I don't care how cold it is, I could definitely eat some of those ice-cream cakes right now.

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    1. Phil I could not agree more, I can eat ice cream whatever the weather :-))) Take care Diane

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  27. That's north-Africa alright!
    I love the bird decorations they are so graphic!
    The food looks yummy, I bet you enjoyed every second of your trip!
    I wonder how you managed to insert an interactive Google map?
    I am quite interested - when you have a minute - since once in while I need to show a "distribution" map of such or such species!
    Many thanks Diane, have a great evening!

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    1. Noushka, North Africa without a doubt, I have emailed you re the maps. Enjoy your Sunday. Diane xx

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  28. I love Moroccan spices and your lunch looked quite delicious. Although I would have been a sucker for the coffee, ice cream and cakes.
    Definitely a nice and warm way to spend Christmas.
    It's fascinating the amount of decay and yet lovely architecture that coexist to make an odd slide through present and history.

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    1. Murissa i was hooked on the ice cream but it did nothing for my weight!!! The old and new side by side is quite amazing. Thanks for the visit and the comment. Take care Diane

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  29. Wow! What an amazing display of food - and a fascinating post! thanks, Diane!

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    1. Colin and Elizabeth those ice creams were just out of this world, I am still dreaming about them! Keep warm Diane

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  30. Thank you very much my dear friend for your interest tours!!!
    Very nice photos!!!
    Large contrasts! The ice cream took my heart! I would like to try them all!
    I expect more photos ...
    Then as a hug!

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    1. Magda, thanks for the visit, the ice cream took my heart also!! Keep well my friend Diane.

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  31. Great reportage, never been there, sounds fascinating!
    I am in Japan right now, traveling so no much time for internet,so sorry if I am not writing more often.

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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    1. Alessandra thanks for finding the time to comment. Looking forward to your photos of Japan. Take care Diane

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  32. Merci pour cette promenade insolite dans Casablanca! Les pâtisseries mettent l'eau à la bouche!
    Bonne semaine à vous!

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    1. Lucie. Ha ha, la glace était délicieux. Bonne semaine. Diane

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  33. That was nice that they put up a Christmas display :)

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    1. There were so few signs of Christmas around I was quite surprised when we stumbled over this. Take care Diane

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  34. I love seeing your travel photos... it feels like I am visiting these places myself! The ornate doorways are beautiful and I can't get over how that man balanced on the bike with all of those plastic bottles!

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    1. Pam that guy on the bike had to be nuts, I hated crossing a road on foot because the traffic was so bad...... Yes those doors were quite lovely. Keep well Diane

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  35. Tu me rappelles de très beaux souvenirs de ce pays.
    Tu me donnes envie d'y retourner.
    A bientôt

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    1. Nadji, Je suis heureux que vous apprécierez ces photos. C'est un très bel endroit. Bonne journée. Diane

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  36. In so many places, there seems to be a contrast such as that you showed here, where things are either derelict or new. I'm a little sad that the beautiful doorway in your first photo was not as lovingly maintained as it could have been.

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    1. Marjie sadly so much of Casablanca is not maintained. It could be a beautiful city, but it has been allowed, in many places, to just collapse. The pavements being one of the worst. You had to watch every time you put your foot down! Diane

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  37. What fabulous photos, Diane. The only thing missing was the "smell" of the streets. I'm so glad you share your travels with us. It is so nice to see parts of the world through the eyes of others. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Mary, ha ha, in some places you did not need the smell! Near the restaurants and spice shops it was wonderful, as being by the sea smelt great. Other places you could well do without :) Keep well Diane

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  38. I can not wait to go and see for myself. Your pictures are just one more incentive !
    You too, keep warm !!

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    1. This is Belgium, I am sorry that we spent quite so much time in Casablanca, it would have been perfect if we had stayed 5 days there and 5 days in Marrakesh. We would have seen a wider range of Morocco. Keep warm Diane

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  39. The traditional architecture and details on the top shots is so beautiful!

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    1. Thanks JM, I thought they were great as well. Diane

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  40. Stunning pictures, thank you for sharing with us! You must have had a lovely time. I would like some of that kebab!

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    1. Caramella, it was a lovely break and quite different to the norm. Keep warm Diane

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  41. Hi Diane, I could of sworn I left a comment here , .. I would love to go one day, but Arni is not that keen ... The buildings look fascinating , even though looking derelict , such a shame , but I am sure very interesting.

    Just look a the size of the lunches, ,,BUT what about those fabulous looking cakes . How can they choose ?? Amazing :-) love from Anne xox

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    1. Anne those ice cream cakes were something else. I have never tasted ice cream as good as this :-) Keep warm Diane xx

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  42. Now, the food here looks much better! You had me salivating. slurpppp....
    Kristy

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    1. My Little Space, every time look at the photos of those ice cream cakes my mouth waters :-) Diane

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  43. that guy on the bike with the bottles seems fascinating to me..haha!

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    1. Lena I could not believe my eyes when I saw him cycling the middle of the traffic! Diane

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