Fun Travels in the Middle East --
Israel Has Lots to See and Do This Summer including Design Museum Holon to Present New Exhibition Showcasing New Works by Israeli Architect and Museum Designer from Ron Arad
Bibliotecha Alexandria and planned Underwater Museum to Boost City’s Tourism in Egypt
Egypt's Sea Coast Destinations: Alexandria
Alexandria, or “Alex” as it is affectionately called by Egyptians and those “in the know,” is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean.” Rich in History and culture, Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, served as the capital of Grecco-Roman Egypt and was also the setting for the stormy relationship between Anthony and Cleopatra. Few people know that it also boasted the famous Pharos lighthouse that was one of the original Wonders of the Ancient World along with the Pyramids. Ancient Alexandria was also the center of learning and the Alexandria Library was the largest in the World.
Only 225 km from Cairo, Modern Alexandria is the country’s largest Seaport and an important year-round tourist destination. There is no question that the romantic image and attraction of this exotic Mediterranean port was made famous by many western authors, including Lawrence Durell, who made it the setting for his famous novel, “The Alexandria Quartet.” The Cecil Hotel mentioned in his book is a wonderful example of post colonial architecture, and is being renovated by Sofitel to become one of their new “Legend” hotels.
Alexandria has many ancient landmarks and archaeological sites to explore including the Roman Amphitheatre, the Villa Al Toyour (Birds Villa), the first Mosaic Museum in Egypt, the Al Anfushi Tombs, El Shatby Necropolis, Pompey’s Pillar and the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. The Graeco-Roman Museum has a fascinating collection which covers the period from the 34 th Century BC to the 7th Century AD. One of the foremost Alexandrian landmarks today is the Sutlan Qaitbey Fort, on the original site of the “Pharos” lighthouse.
It is the more than its millions of books that attract over 800,000 visitors annually to the new state-of-the-art “Bibliotecha Alexandria” (Alexandria Library) opened in 2002 and built in the shape of a disc facing the Mediterranean. Its geodesic dome houses a lecture hall and Planetarium equipped with an IMAX screen and a Museum of Archaeology. The basement contains 8000 ancient manuscripts and rare books. Definitely a must-see for visitors to Alexandria.
Ambitious plans to create Egypt’s first Underwater Museum will complement the excitement of Alexandria’s Library. In the year 356, Alexandria was hit by a tsunami, followed by subsequent earthquakes. The result was that some of the city’s greatest archaeological treasures were buried in the sea. Since 1994, divers have been excavating sphinxes, granite blocks and what are thought to be pieces of the Pharos lighthouse. The grand vision for the Underwater Museum in Alexandria calls for an immersed fiber glass tunnel that will allow visitors a dry place to view these ancient monuments.
The real lure of Alexandria, however, is the tantalizing rhythm of this City, which ebbs and flows like the tides of the sea. To experience the local “Alex” the visitor must wander its labyrinth of streets in the ancient quarters, and join the locals at sun set as they promenade along the Corniche as it winds its way around the harbor.
The North Coast Beyond Alexandria
West of Alexandria lie miles of beautiful white sandy beaches, stretching along the Mediterranean Sea to the border with Libya. This Mediterranean coastline has been the focus of new development and increased air access. The North Coast is now served by airports in Alexandria, El-Alamein, Borg el-Arab and Marsa Matruh. The seaside resorts, ranging from the ultra luxurious to more modest family resorts, are popular during the summer time with both local and foreign tourists.
Mariut: 15 km west of Alexandria
The region’s climate is ideal for spa tourism and relaxation. In addition to Lake Mariut, there are the extensive remains of the early Christian City of Abu Mena.
Agami: 25 Km West of Alexandria
Now the meeting-place for the jet set, Agami is called the “Egyptian Saint-Tropez” with fashionable restaurants, nightclubs, luxury cars and villas. Swimming however is restricted to private beaches.
Abu Sir: 50km West of Alexandria
Abu Sir is the name given by the Bedouins to the ancient Ptolemaic city of Tappsiris Magna. However, all that remains of the city is the 30m-high lighthouse, a quartersized replica of the “Ancient Wonder of the World” Lighthouse that had stood in Alexandria’s port. Three beautiful beaches are located nearby.
Borg el-Arab: 60km West of Alexandria
Founded in 1988 by President Mubarak, Borg el-Arab has become a prestigious destination. With the opening of the Hilton Hotel, it is an ideal family resort and has excellent water sports facilities.
El-Alamein/Marina El Alamein: 106 Km from Alexandria
A port city known primarily as the site of historic World War II battles, El Alamein has now emerged as one of Egypt’s most exclusive resorts. The Marina El Alamein, with Venice-like canals, is comprised of luxurious villas, chalets and upscale shops.
Sidi Abdel Rahman: 125 Km from Alexandria
This wonderful bay is one of the best-kept secrets of Egypt’s entire north coast. The village has managed to preserve its traditional Bedouin way of life and remains relatively underdeveloped, guaranteeing an air of authenticity. The only hotel catering for tourists, El-Alamein, offers visitors pristine beaches.
Marsa Matruh: 240 km West of Alexandria
Totally to the other extreme from Sidi Abdel Rahman, Marsa Matruh is a large city, which is packed during the summer. Popular for its lovely bay, sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, Marsa Matruh is said to have been founded by Alexander the Great on his way to the Siwa Oasis.
Egypt's Sea Coast Destinations: Sinai Peninsula
Sharm el-Sheikh, more often referred to as “Sharm”, is an ideal resort for diving and swimming with beautiful beaches, coral reefs and the Ras Mohamad National Park. Visitors can select from a wide range of accommodations--five star luxuries to budget hotels. It is also an excellent jumping off point for tours to some of the historic places in the Sinai, including St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of “Jebel Musa” where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. Desert Safaris feature visits to a Bedouin village and a camel ride in the desert sands.
For smaller, peaceful resorts with beautiful beaches and wonderful diving and snorkeling one should not miss Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba, all north of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Red Sea Coast: Hurgada
Once a small fishing village founded in the early 20th Century, Hurgada is now one of the foremost tourist resorts along the Red Sea and world famous as a center for international aquatic sports. Known as the center for diving, water sports and night life, it is also known to the Europeans as a “party town.” The developments north and south of the city offer visitors more peaceful options including golf. The many beautiful islands off shore offer wonderful snorkeling and diving day trips.
El Gourna, 20 kms north of Hurgada, is luxury resort comlpex with a marina, another “must see” on this coast.
Red Sea Coast: Port Ghalib Marina and Resort Complex
The recently opened Port Ghalib Marina and Resort Complex, five minutes from the new Marsa Alam International Airport, is definitely the new “buzz” on the Red Sea. A yachtsmen’s paradise, this ultra deluxe resort with a marina (can accommodate 1000 boats) and four hotels (the five-star deluxe Intercontinental Palace Port Ghalib Resort, the five star twin Crowne Plaza properties, Sahara Sands and Sahara Oasis, and the four- star Marina Lodge Port Ghalib, will certainly rival that of the more established resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurgada.
ATA Congress: "Connecting Destination Africa"
The theme of the four-day Africa Travel Association Congress is “Connecting Destination Africa.” The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) are subsidizing hotel accommodations for all delegates and providing transportation, logistical support, and a full day of tours in Cairo itself. The “host day” tour will include a visit to the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, The Pyramids in Giza, as well as a visit to the National Museum.
Egypt Air, the official Congress Carrier, is offering discount rates for all delegates for as low as $711 (not including tax) round-trip New York/Cairo/New York in economy class on a first come basis. Egypt Air is a member of Star Alliance.
For more information about Egypt check web site www.egypt.travel/>www.egypt.travel
For more information about the ATA Congress and for online ATA Egypt Congress registration: www.africatravelassociation.org
Egyptian Tourism Authority Launches Second Phase of Egypt's International Tourism Web Site
The Egyptian Tourism Authority has unveiled a host of innovative new features on its international web site www.egypt.travel.
Mr Ahmed El Khadem, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, commented: “Since launching just nine months ago we have welcomed a staggering 2.2 million visitors to www.egypt.travel. The latest enhancements are part of our ongoing efforts to provide visitors to Egypt with the best available advice and resources to help them make the most of their trip to our fascinating country.”
The newly revamped portal reflects the Egyptian Tourist Authority’s new branding, and features an updated layout with even more detailed content as well as extensive information on 15 key destinations. It also features a wealth of things to see and do, and has also been further enhanced with several unique interactive elements, including a new sound-enhanced Egyptian dictionary.
The online Arabic lexicon www.lexicon.egypt.travel enables travelers to learn some of the essential phrases and words used in day-to-day situations that they may encounter on a vacation to Egypt. Based on five different travel-themed scenarios airport, taxi, hotel, restaurant and souk the lexicon displays a series of images and audio dialogues which can also be downloaded (PDF and MP3) to allow for further practice.
Egypt was the first international tourist board to pioneer the new ‘travel’ domain name. In another industry first, the revamped web site now also enables children and adults alike to learn to communicate in the ancient language of the Pharaohs by sending their own E-cards - written in actual hieroglyphics - through web site www.hieroglyph.egypt.travel to friends and family who would then use the web site’s hieroglyph function to translate the card into modern languages.
In addition to the improved easy-to-use navigation system, users are also able to create their own personal bookmark at web site www.my.egypt.travel to download their favorite sections, enabling swift and direct access on subsequent visits. This function also enables users to generate a range of vacation ideas, such as sites to see and activities they would like to try, by selecting specific criteria such as “preferred activities”. This is complemented by the personalised My Travel notebook which allows visitors to save, download and share their favourite travel ideas. Guests can also print out these personalized travel options and take them to their preferred travel agent to get more information or to make a booking for when they visit Egypt.
Web site www.egypt.travel is currently available in six languages (soon in nine languages), with editorial content, photographs and news tailored for each language featuring alongside new services such as an internal search engine. The new automatic country and browser language detection functionalities also ensure that visitors are automatically directed to the correct language web site, based on the country from which a given visitor is accessing the site.
Launched in March 2006, web site www.egypt.travel continues to feature important travel information such as visa requirements and useful phone numbers to help visitors have an enjoyable stay in Egypt. Currently available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, web site www.egypt.travel is one of the key initiatives of Egypt’s integrated marketing campaign. Entitled “Gift of the Sun”, the campaign is designed to double global visitor numbers from eight million in 2004, to reach 16 million by 2014.
A second dedicated website, www.trade.egypt.travel, which caters to the Travel and Tourism trade and press will also be re-launched’ in March 2007 following a complete revamp. The site is now offered to 18 different countries in 13 different languages, including all Scandinavian languages, Czech, and Polish.
Design Museum Holon to Present New Exhibition Showcasing New Works by Israeli Architect and Museum Designer from Ron Arad
Israel's Design Museum Holon will unveil a new exhibition showcasing the works of Israel-born architect Ron Arad, designer of New York's epic 9/11 memorial. The new exhibition, entitled "In Reverse," opens June 19 and will showcase videos depicting the creative process of Ron Arad and feature a collection of specially created design pieces, as well as dozens of works from Arad's 20-year career.
Byzantine-Era Mosaic Uncovered at Kibbutz Bet Qama in the Negev Desert
A magnificent 1,500-year-old mosaic was recently uncovered during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority at Kibbutz Bet Qama in Israel's Negev Desert. The mosaic is adorned with geometric patterns, a pair of peacocks, a pair of doves pecking at grapes on a tendril and its corners depict amphorae, or ancient jars used to transport wine.
American Actor Ashton Kutcher Embarks on High-Tech Tour of Israel
American actor Ashton Kutcher arrived in Israel this May for a private tour of Israel's high-tech and start-up companies. Kutcher also toured holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, and attended a Shavuot dinner and meetings with high-tech industry executives in Tel Aviv.
Legendary American Actor John Malkovich Performs in Israel
Emmy Award-winning actor and director John Malkovich arrived in Israel this May where he performed the lead role in the musical drama, The Infernal Comedy - Confessions of a Serial Killer, at the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival in Tel Aviv and at the Eilat Chamber Music Festival.
New "EatWith" Travel Program Offers Unique Culinary Experiences in Israel
EatWith, a new program that connects food-focused travelers with local host families, is now available for visitors to Israel. EatWith offers unique dining experiences in private homes and visits to dairy and produce farms across Israel. www.eatwith.com
New Exhibition Detailing Architectural History of Tel Aviv On Display Through June 2013
A new exhibition, entitled Tel Aviv's Modern Movement, highlights the historical and architectural significance of the city's expo-style Levant Fairs mounted during the 1930s. The exhibition will be on display through June 2013 at Hangar 16 in the Tel Aviv Port (Namal). It commemorates the 10th anniversary of Tel Aviv being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of more than 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings.
American Singer-Songwriter Daniel Johnston to Perform in el Aviv
American singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston will arrive in Israel this month for a one-off performance at The Barby in Tel Aviv, May 28. The concert will be followed by a concert by the Pet Shop Boys at Nokia Theater in Tel Aviv, June 23.
Weizmann Institute for Science Announces New Multimedia Visitors Center
The Weizmann Institute for Science announced the opening, May 2013, of the new Levinson Visitors Center, offering an in-depth look into current scientific projects and discoveries in Israel.The Weizmann Institute was founded in Rehovot (south of Tel Aviv) in 1934 and is considered one of the world's leading centers of scientific achievement. The new visitors center includes an interactive science exhibition and multimedia presentation. http://visitors-center.weizmann.ac.il
Grammy Award-Winning Pop Star Alicia Keys to Present First-Ever Concert in Israel This Summer
Grammy Award-winning American pop star Alicia Keys will present her first-ever concert in Israel at Tel Aviv's Nokia Theater, July 4, 2013. The concert will follow a concert by iconic British singer Cliff Richard, also at Nokia Theater, July 11.
Jerusalem Hosts Second Annual ice Festival Through April 2013
Jerusalem will host the second annual International Ice Festival in the Old Jerusalem Train Station compound, through April 30, 2013. The festival will take place in a 5,000-square-foot space imported from Belgium and decorated in a special Far East décor by more than 60 artists from China. The festival's "Ice City" will boast three central areas featuring colorful ice sculptures, huge slides, mazes, rain forests, snowstorms and bridges made of ice. The festival will also include a spectacular ice skating performance with more than 30 artists, acrobats and Chinese dancers.
Tel Aviv's Haaretz Museum Unveils new Exhibition Detailsing History of Ethiopian Jews
A new exhibition detailing the history of Ethiopia's Jewish population is now on display at the Haaretz Museum in Tel Aviv through June 10, 2013. The exhibition presents visual images from the history of Ethiopia during the days of the Kingdom of Aksum through the modern era, as well as ritual items, manuscripts, artifacts and musical instruments, with a special focus on the Ethiopian Jewish immigration to Israel. For details go to web site www.eretzmuseum.org.il
Southern Israel's Avdat National Park Reopens After A Three-Year Rehabilitation Project
Southern Israel's Avdat National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, reopened this month after an extensive three-year rehabilitation project. The site is located on the ancient Nabatean Spice Route and boasts a restored Byzantine church, one of Israel's oldest wine presses, and offers a multimedia film detailing the history of the site.
New Tourist-Friendly Street Map Signs Rolled Out in Tel Aviv
New tourist-friendly street map signs have recently been installed throughout Tel Aviv, featuring directions to nearby attractions, maps of the neighborhood and site-specific history. An initiative of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, the signs can be found in various locations around Tel Aviv, including Magen David Square, Rothschild Boulevard and the Mediterranean promenade, and include useful information in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
Kfar Hanokdim Offers Unique Insight into Local Bedouin Culture
Camp at Kfar Hanokdim, a green oasis complete with Bedouin tents and biblically inspired gardens, near Masada. Visitors to Kfar Hanokdim will receive a unique insight into Bedouin culture with desert hikes, special meals and overnight accommodations in authentic Bedouin tents, cabins or lodges under the star-filled desert sky. For details go to web site www.hanokdim.com
New Web Site Simplifies Travel to Israel With Babies
Families traveling to Israel with small children can now rent strollers and other baby equipment through the new Israel with Baby website. The service offers travelers with rental options in various cities across Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya and Herzliya. For details check web site www.israelwithbaby.com
Accessible Israel Brochures Now Available Online
Disabled travelers to Israel can now learn about accessible sites with a new Accessible Israel online brochures. The online brochure features accessible tour routes in Israel, including the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, the Old City of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and Negev Desert. For details check web site http://goisrael.com/accessibleisraelenglish
The Museum of the Good Samaritan in Judean Desert
The Museum of the Good Samaritan, one of the world's largest mosaic museums, invites visitors in the Judean Desert near Jerusalem. Located on the main highway between Jerusalem and Jericho, the Museum rests near the site of the inn mentioned in the New Testament's parable of the good Samaritan. It is identified with the biblical town of Ma'ale Adumim and displays mosaics and artifacts discovered throughout Israel. The museum also features an open-air display of mosaics and archaeological findings from both Jewish and Samaritan synagogues and Christian churches, including cisterns and remnants from the reconstructed Good Samaritan Byzantine Church. For more information, please visit www.goisrael.com.
New Performing Arts Center to Open in Ashkelon in Southern Israel
Plans were announced for the construction of a major new 48,000-square-foot performing arts center and music and dance conservatory in Ashkelon in southern Israel. Designed by French architect Manuelle Gautrand in collaboration with Israeli architect Batya Swirk Malul, the center will boast two performance auditoriums, music and dance schools and a public square for outdoor performances.
The $16.2-million structure will resemble a stack of boxes with a perforated metallic-sheet covering; and include an open-terrace lookout point with sweeping views of Ashkelon.
For more information on travel to Israel, visit www.goisrael.com.
Israel Expands Cycling-Tourism Routes
Israel has announced plans to expand the country's cycling-tourism industry by investing approximately $6-million dollars in new bicycle routes over the next two years. The new Israel Cycling Trail, stretching 750 miles from the north to south of the country, will feature offshoot regional paths including an 80-mile path encircling the Sea of the Galilee, a cycling route in the Acre and Krayort areas and trails in Gilboa, Jerusalem, Beer Sheba, Arad and the Yarkon, Ayalon and Alexander Rivers.
See the Wonders of the Galilee on the "Israel National Trail"
Tourists visiting Israel can experience the breathtaking scenery of the Lower Galilee region by trekking the "Israel National Trail." The scenic route brings hikers through the spring flowers of the region to the beautiful and historic Mt. Tabor, into running streams and lush forests, up to the ancient city of Nazareth and ending at the slopes of the Carmel Mountains. The tour is led by trained guides who will teach travelers about local and national sustainability initiatives and explore Jewish environmental values. www.hikeisrael.org
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
For a country small in size, Israel is extraordinarily rich in history and has been awarded World Heritage status for six extraordinary sites - with more than twenty others under consideration.
Old City of Jerusalem
The holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem was originally built by King David three thousand years ago and has held enormous symbolic significance to the world ever since. Today capital of the reborn State of Israel, its wide ramparts, seven gates, 34 towers, the citadel, its four residential quarters, the Western Wall, the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, and over 200 other historic monuments are eternal landmarks that stand, incredibly, all within the confines of a mere square mile.
A 90-minute drive from Jerusalem, Masada is a rugged natural fortress of majestic beauty in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. This is the site of the last stand of Jewish patriots facing the Roman army siege almost 2,100 years ago. It was built as a palace complex in the classic style of the early Roman Empire by Herod the Great, King of Judea, who reigned two thousand years ago. The camps, fortifications and assault ramps that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege works surviving to the present day.
20 minutes from Haifa, Israel's northernmost city, Akko is an historic walled port-city and was the original link between Egypt and Phoenicia over 4,000 years ago. Today one can see Ottoman 18th and 19th century iconic citadels, mosques, inns and baths. Capital of the medieval Crusader Kingdom from 1104 to 1291, much of medieval Akko, remarkably, exist today almost intact, both above and below street level. Akko provides an exceptional 'snap shot' of Crusader architecture.
Tel Aviv's White City
Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a garden suburb of ancient Jaffa. Construction of the area known today as 'The White City' was begun in the early 1930‚s mostly by German-émigré architects who had studied Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe's 'functional aesthetic' at the Bauhaus in Dessau. Eventually called the 'International Style,' it is characterized by flat roofs, small horizontal windows, shade-providing columns, curved balconies, minimal ornamentation, reinforced concrete construction and white-washed exteriors. Today, Tel Aviv has the largest number of Bauhaus/International-style buildings of any city in the world.
The four ancient Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta in the Negev Desert define the spice and incense routes that ran millennia ago from south Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea. These towns flourished for over 500 years until the second century. Today the remains and excavations of fortresses, sophisticated irrigation systems, forts, and inns bear witness to the way in which the harsh desert was settled for trade and agriculture.
A Tel is Hebrew for a pre- historic settlement mound - and Israel is home to more than two hundred. Those at Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheba are enormous outdoor treasuries of biblical artifacts. They present extraordinary examples of the dense urban community life in the Iron Age --fifteen centuries ago, complete with amazing details of the agriculture, water-collecting, government, commerce and domestic life thousands of years ago.
Additional sites in Israel nominated for coveted UNESCO World Heritage status are:
Tel Dan & Sources of the River Jordan
Early Synagogues in the Galilee
Sea of Galilee & its Ancient Sites
Israel‚s Baha‚i shrines
White Mosque in Ramle
Other UNESCO World Heritage sites include: historic centers of cities such as Prague, Vienna, Dubrovnik, Venice, Florence and Paris, the great cathedrals and castles of France and Germany, the Vatican and Forum in Rome, the Acropolis in Athens, the city of Havana, the Medina of Marrakesh, the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids, Petra, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon...and Auschwitz.
For more information on visiting Israel, check web site www.rs6.net
Where to Stay
Israel Hostel Ranks Amont Top Ten in the World
The Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem was recently ranked among the "Top Ten Hostels in the World" in a survey published by Hostelworld.com. The hostel is described as having a "great value and great atmosphere," and is located in Davidka Square just outside the Old City of Jerusalem.
Israel Unveils New Luxury Hotels
Israel has unveiled the Efendi Palace, a new luxury boutique hotel in the Mediterranean coastal city of Akko; and the construction of a new 47-room boutique hotel located at the foothills of the Carmel Forest near Haifa. In addition, the Hagroshrim Kibbutz Hotel in Israel's Galilee region unveiled the addition of a new guest wing, business lounge and 5-star spa in April 2012.
Octogone Terre Resort & Spa Shares Its Most Requested Recipe
At the Octogone TERRE Resort & Spa in Marrakech, guests can experience the best of all culinary worlds. They not only get to dine on innovative and eclectic menus in the resort’s Milagros Restaurant, but can also arrange for a special meal prepared by the chef served in a romantic candle-lit Berber tent or even for a private cooking class with the chef.
One of the best ways to explore a country is through its cuisine and while dining at the vast number of restaurants in Marrakech will reveal the city’s cultural diversity, for true foodies, nothing beats the hands-on experience of shopping for ingredients and actually preparing the dishes, whether it’s shopping at a local market in Marrakech and preparing the meal in one of the private kitchens of the TERRE Royal Residences or at a market and the kitchen at home.
TERRE Resort & Spa offers a wide range of dining experience to suit every mood and palate, including their “Anywhere Dining” concept which offers guests the flexibility of dining anywhere on the property in the comfort of their villa, al fresco by the pool or on the rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains and the city. No matter where guests dine, they are assured of the freshest ingredients and organic fruits and vegetables from TERRE’s own gardens.
The Chef shares the recipe most requested by TERRE’s guests his take on the classic Moroccan tajine.
Moroccan Lamb Tajine:
For 4 Servings
1 boneless lamb shoulder about 800 grams
800 gr of pumpkin
1 spoonful of cumin, coriander, ginger, paprika, powder, cinnamon, saffron yellow
1 spoonful each of cumin, coriander, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, saffron
30 gr of butter
2 spoonful of liquid honey
Salt and pepper
1 bunch of fresh coriander
Infuse the saffron in some warm water, at least one hour before
Cut the meat into cubes.
Peel onion and slice thinly.
Peel the pumpkin and cut it in rather thick slices
Chop the coriander.
Preheat the oven in 160 C°.
Cooking the tajine:
In a bowl, thoroughly mix the cubed lamb, spices and salt. Add half the oil to a frying pan, add the lamb and cook until browned. Remove lamb from the frying pan and put in a dish with earthenware cooking pot. Add the remaining oil and onions to the frying pan and cook until browned.Remove onions from frying pan and add to the meat in the dish with tajine, then add 2 glasses of water and cook in the oven for one hour. Add butter to frying pan and brown pumpkin slices on both sides. Add the honey to coat the slices of pumpkin. Add pumpkin to the meat and cook an additional hour. Sprinkle chopped coriander over the meat and pumpkin before serving over cous cous.
Milagros Traditional Moroccan Cous Cous
For 4 Servings
1 cup orange juice or other juice
1 cup instant cous cous
1/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Bring juice and 1/2 cup water to boil in a small pot. Removed from heat, stir in cous cous and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a separate saucepan saute dates, raisins, almonds and cinnamon in 1/2 cup water for 2 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Add mixture to the cous cous and stir.
ABOUT OCTOGONE TERRE RESORT & SPA
Octogone TERRE (Earth) Resort & Spa is a secluded luxury five-star getaway located at the doors of the famous palm grove "Palmeraie" just 7 kilometers outside of Marrakech and on the road to Casablanca. Everything at TERRE -- from the architecture to the cuisine -- is an innovative blend of old and new enabling guests to step into the past and be immersed in true Moroccan style while being pampered with all imaginable present-day luxuries.
The 52-room luxury suite property is set on almost 12 acres of land in its own small village. Facilities include three restaurants, a full-service spa, an infinity pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, golf putting area, and access to a nearby world-class golf courses.
For reservations, call: (480) 503-8022 or (800) 915-4012 or visit web site www.octogonehotels.com.