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This was the only day of our entire trip that we slept in. Jian in all her wisdom thought we'd be exhausted after our desert trip and suggested she wait until 10 to come over to the house and serve our breakfast. Getting a few extra hours of sleep after all our early mornings felt quite luxurious. As usual, Jian set out a breakfast spread (pastries, cake, smoothies, tea) that gave us the perfect start to the day.
After breakfast we walked around town and visited the Ben Youssef Madrasa, which used to be an Islamic college next to the Ben Youssef Mosque. We saw the living quarters where students once lived and we both agreed that the architecture in this building was even more impressive than in the palace we'd toured a few days prior.
At this point in the week I just couldn't do another couscous or tagine, as much as I love both dishes. We found a place for lunch that served vegetarian sandwiches, which we enjoyed on the patio with sparkling water and mint tea.
After lunch we visited the Museum of Marrakech, a former palace restored and converted to a museum in 1997. Jewish, Berber, and Arab cultures come together in this museum with a mixture of modern and traditional Moroccan art. The big gold chandelier-esque light is the centerpiece of the main room.
After the museum we walked to the Henna Art Cafe for our cooking lesson. We arrived a few minutes early, so I enjoyed a virgin mint mojito and Mike had coffee.
We were pleased to learn our cooking lesson would be a private tutorial. We learned which spices, liquids and veggies (for me) and chicken (for Mike) to combine in the terra cotta Tangia pots. We learned that Tangia originally started as a quick stew single men threw together at the beginning of the day. They'd drop their pot of stew off at a nearby hamman, where the heat from the hamman's fire would warm the stew up. At the end of the work day, they'd pick up their Tangias and dinner would be ready. We walked our own Tangias down the street to a hamman, where they were lined up alongside other pots by the burning fire.
Since the stew would take several hours to cook, we had some time on our hands. First we went back to the art cafe and I got a henna tattoo on my palm. The entire process took about twenty minutes and was very comfortable.
We walked down the block to a vegan restaurant called Earth Cafe, where we split a pear tart and even more mint tea. As we were sitting inside, a huge downpour released outside, then abruptly stopped a few minutes later. We went back to our riad to relax for an hour or so, where we discovered the house turtle Caroline had nearly made her way across the room. Go Caroline, go!
When we returned to the cafe, our Tangias were ready (along with the several other courses: bread, olives, salad, mint tea, mousse and crepes). The staff knew we were on our honeymoon and set us up at a table on its own. Like many other times during this trip, we were treated like royalty.
We stopped at a bakery on our way home and picked up treats to eat the next day. We finished the rest of Wall-E, relaxed and tried to wrap our brains around the fact that in only one day, we'd be on a plane back to Portland and our honeymoon would come to an end.