Magical Marrakech

Mysterious medinas, magnificent mosques, palaces and squalor, snake charmers and water men.  Marrakech is a magical place that blends incredible sights, sounds, smells, and feelings. It’s sensory overload for western monkeys like Kongo. You have to go there. The monkey spent two days in Marrakech.  It should have been longer.  Actually the monkey succumbed to a bad cold (still recovering) on the second day so he needed a do-over but he saw quite a bit on the day he was healthy. Marrakech is one of the imperial cities of Morocco and was founded sometime in the 10th century.  It’s the…

Into the Fez Medina

A medina is a walled city filled with a maze of narrow streets and alleys and jammed pack with people, noise, and activity.  Stepping through the gates of the medina in Fez is like passing through a portal into another world.  The medina at the ancient Imperial City of Fez, Morocco is a UNESCO heritage site, home to the oldest university in the world, and to most westerners a riot of colors, sounds, smells, and feelings. Kongo has scuttled through back alleys in Hong Kong, visited the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and gone on liberty with fellow sailors in Olongapo,…

Original LA Farmers Market

Old and new come together in West Hollywood at the Los Angeles Farmers Market.  Now there are lots of farmers markets in LA.  Dozens.  But this is the ORIGINAL farmers market that started up in 1934 when a handful of local growers backed their pick up trucks at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax and started selling their produce.  The concept really took off and in a few months people were building stalls and restaurants at the site and it quickly became an institution. Today the market is next to the modern and hugely popular and upscale The Grove outdoor…

Secret Passages of Paris

Monkeys love secrets and scattered about Paris in the 1st and 2nd Arrondissements are nearly two dozen hidden passageways that seem to escape the crush of tourists in the shops along Rue de Rivoli.  These passages were the shopping malls of the 18th and 19th century and at one time there were more than 150 of them in Paris.  The ones that remain today have been restored to their original glory and offer a glimpse into the past and the promise of hidden secrets and spirits of those Parisians who walked these wonderful places hundreds of years ago. Mrs. Kongo…

Window Shopping in Paris

Kongo isn’t really a shopper.  Mrs. Kongo, on the other hand, has honed this skill to a fine art but even she was a bit overwhelmed with the shopping opportunities and wide variety of things designed to dazzle and tempt even those that have everything.  While walking around one day, Kongo snapped some photos of some of the fun things available on the streets of Paris.