Welcome to TSP Adventures

Welcome to TSP Adventures (Troy & Shelly Pfeifer Adventures).

What's Here?

You will not find information about our jobs or "careers" - what a waste it is to write about that. Okay, well it used to be, but now that we are both dog trainers for Sit Means Sit dog training it is not such a waste. However, you still wont find that information here, but you can find it a http://Austin.SitMeansSit.com. You will find information on the many activities we enjoy. For example, hiking, scuba diving, vacations, rock climbing (which we unfortunately don't do much any more because our friend we were climbing with went on a climbing adventure and we moved to Hong Kong where there is not much natural climbing). Troy also has a sometimes interesting - but mostly not :-) - blog called What's That? Who Cares? where he posts his random thoughts and observations on a wide range of subjects. This will likely get more active when we start our round-the-world adventure. You can subscribe to What's That? Who Cares!.

What's New (well kinda)?

In March of 2005 we moved to Hong Kong. We have really enjoyed this opportunity and you can see all the great things we have done by visiting the TSPAdventures Blog. Starting in March 2007 we are going to take about a year off to travel around the world and [mostly] scuba dive. To keep those interested up to date on our adventure while overseas we will continue to update our blog. This has been by far the most updated section of our site and will remain so for the foreseeable future. If you like, you can subscribe to the blog and get an email when we update it. We have also recently starting putting more of our pictures online so please visit our photos so you can get a better feel for what we are seeing. Enjoy..

TSPAdventures Latest Blog Posting

You can always check out our destination map by visiting the And For Our Next Trick... blog

11/18/2021 10:09 AM
Morocco

You can see all the photos in our Morocco Album 

We originally were going to Morocco last October but the damn pandemic!

Two years later with no international travel we finally made it. But not traveling abroad for 2 years really left us out of sync - How do we pack? Where is my passport? Do I even still have that thing? COVID test??


Overall it was a good trip but Troy and I both agreed it didn’t rank in our top 10 countries we have visited. We recognize that’s kind of a snobby comment but after 60+ countries it takes a bit more to wow us these days! 

A few things to share about Morocco

If you have ever been to a Muslim country then you are familiar with their call to prayer. There is something magical about hearing it. Maybe because it represents travel, I don’t know but I love sitting and listening to it. 5 times a day, surrounded by all the mosques, all of them doing the same call. Although in some cities, with the echo, placement of mosques, it sometimes it can sound more like a call to war! It is definitely something to experience as a traveler!


There is also really no night life. Being in a walled Muslim city where alcohol is not allowed, pretty much night life was going to bed at 9pm!


With Muslim countries, Islam is a part of their constitution so the laws/rules with Islam are everywhere. At a restaurant, if it serves alcohol, they won’t serve your drink until you have food on the table. Not just nuts or bread. If an appetizer is not ordered you won’t receive your drink until dinner is served. If everyone at the table has finished eating but one person still has their drink to finish, the waiter will leave one dirty dinner dish on the table because there has to be food with the drink. Even if that plate is empty!


We learned a 1 humped camel is called a Dromedary, not a camel. It is of the genus Camelus. So to call a 1 hump Dromedary a camel, you would be wrong. 


Casablanca

First stop Casablanca. It is not really a destination in itself, just an industrial city and a waypoint for the rest of Morocco. Neither of us saw the movie so the Rick’s Cafe and anything from the movie was lost on us. 


Our hotel was right on the beach which is on the North Atlantic (not the prettiest). Sunday had all the families out with picnics, playing soccer and locals selling tourists camels rides. We didn’t know if the beach front properties had fallen on hard times or if there had been major storms that came through in years past. There were a lot of ocean front buildings, water parks, swimming pools that looked as if they had been abandoned years ago. 


One of the major things Casablanca is known for is Africa’s largest mosque - Hassan II Mosque. It has Africa’s tallest minaret and is the third largest behind Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. This is also one of the few mosques non-Muslims are allowed in (during very specific hours). 



Rabat

Rabat is the capital city and is “newer” then much of Morocco and home to one of the King’s Palaces. It was very clean and much quieter then Casablanca. There are two Kasbah’s - fortified cities dating from the 7th century - but both were closed for restoration. Not really sure why we came here. Maybe it was a way point to north Morocco or our guide wanted to show off their capital. 



Chefchaouen (Blue City)

The drive to Chefchaouen in north Morocco was about 5 hours so most of the day was spent driving. However, on the way we came across a very large local day market. We lucked out because it’s only held one day a week and we happened by it on that day. When our driver asked if we wanted to stop we had to say yes! Downside to tourists being prevalent is locals are more aware of photos being taken of them. We either had to be very clandestine about it, pay for them (which is ok) or we chose to not take the photo. We ended up not taking any photos other than a horse standing on a thick carpet of chicken feathers.


Our driver accompanied us on walk around the market while taking everything in. It was a completely chaotic market with no semblance of organization - chickens getting slaughtered and sold, vendors selling large bins of olives, prayer rugs, bread, TONS of fresh vegetables, and hawkers yelling for you to buy their mosquito repellent.



The main part of Chefchaouen is the Medina which is the original fortressed city dating from the 14th century. There are several different theories about why the city is blue. One is during WWII the Jewish immigrated here and painted their houses the color of the sky which brought them closer to heaven. Another reason, which isn’t so poetic, is to keep the mosquitos and flies away! This is truly a maze of paths, walkways and stairs. Troy, who is known for his navigational skills, even got turned around and a little lost. 




We had a guided walking tour with guy who hopefully didn’t have COVID. He liked to shout and spit historical facts at us really, really close! 



Fes

Today was a long day of driving, almost 8 hours. Along the way we passed through the Middle Atlas Mountains and a mountain village called Ilfrane which is called the Switzerland of Morocco. We didn’t take any photos because, at the time, it didn’t strike us as anything photo worthy. If we had known that after these mountains we were going to be driving through nothing but brown and dirt and desert for days on end we would have taken photos to show the stark contrast within this country! We did come across a special monkey species, the Barbary macaque. They are only species of macaques outside of Asia and they roam the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas.

A few interesting facts about Fes:
  • A Medina is a distinct historical city section found in a number of North African cities. A medina is typically walled, with many narrow and maze-like streets.
  • The Medina in Fes is protected by UNESCO so anyone living in the Medina and wants to make renovations to their home (even something as minor as painting it) they have to get permission from UNESCO
  • It houses the worlds oldest university from 859
  • The pottery factory had to be moved to the outskirts of town because it uses olive pits as the fuel for the kiln. It produces a thick black smoke and horrible smell that all the town residents made the factory move
  • We passed the filming of Indiana Jones 5 - didn’t see Harrison Ford!
  • Did you know that the first step in creating leather at a tannery begins with soaking the skins in a fermented solution of pigeon poo and tannery waste, known as iferd? I guess kids are paid to gather pigeon poo and sell it to the tanneries
  • Working at a tannery is also considered one of the hardest jobs in the world

Continuing on our drive

Heading south to the Sahara Desert, this is another long drive from Fes. On the way we stopped at a small village called Rissani where we learned how Madfouna, a Moroccan pizza is made. This starts by going to a butcher in a wet market. Slabs of raw beef hanging from the ceiling, the guy (with no gloves) touching everything from the raw beef to money, his cell phone, order pad, money he’s handing back to you, the plastic bag the raw beef is going in - basically everything. Anyways, he sends the beef through the grinder and puts it in a plastic bag with a handful of chopped onions, parsley, seasoning, almonds and a raw egg. This is to be the filling of our pizza. We take our bag and make our way a few blocks away through the mazes of vendors to the baker. They roll out the dough, dump our raw beef ingredients on the dough, put a top on, pinch the sides together to make a big calzone and send it to the oven for a half hour. To label the pizzas, they write our name on a pice of paper which gets baked into the pizza crust on top. 30 minutes later our pizza comes out of the oven and is boxed up in used cardboard that is bent and folded to make a pizza box. Wala - Madfouna pizza!