11.08.2018 - 11.18.2018 74 °F
One of the reasons I travel is to be outside my comfort zone. I like waking up in new places unsure of what experiences will unfold. My journey through Morocco was exhililarting, and can only be compared to eating an ice cream cone on the first hot day of summer. You start off too fast, eager for that first bite, but towards the end you want to savor every bit.
My first taste of Morocco was Marrakech. I was not prepared for how hectic it would be. I admit i was overwhelmed. Coming from a big city like New York, one would think that i would be used to an abundance of people, but Marrakech was different. It was crowded, chaotic, the hustle and bustle of Jemaa Al Fna Square, and of course the souks. There's so much to see/do that you feel your mind is overloaded. And I cannot begin to tell you how many times i got lost in the medina...and YOU WILL get lost, but somehow it all makes sense.
My time in Marrakech was limited as there was so much Morocco to see, and time was not on my side, so off to the desert we go!!! The drive from Marrakech to the Sahara was 9 hours. The trip was broken up over two days with plenty of stops to visit popular attractions.
The desert to me was the highlight of my trip. We rode our camels off into the sunset, had a delicious tagine prepared for us by Berbers then we played drums and sang under the milky way, followed by a moonlit hike on the sand dunes to be closer to the universe and count the shooting stars. One of those moments you know will be a great memory.
The morning was just as magical as we awakened to the sounds of the camels waking up and the colors of the sun kissing the Sahara. I also did a little sandboarding and mingling with the passing Berbers.
Sadly, after breakfast it was time for our journey to Fez. By the time we reached Fez I was adjusted to the Moroccan way of life so i was better prepared to haggle with shopkeepers and navigate the medina.
i tried cactus and i loved it!
One simply cannot go to Fez without a day trip to one of the most picturesque towns i have ever seen, the Blue Pearl City of Chefchaouen. Chefchaouen is located four hours away from Marrakech and was one of my favorite places to visit in Morocco.
Not far from Marrakech is Ouzoud waterfall (the second tallest waterfall in Africa). Any time you have a chance to chase a waterfall, take it! If you plan on visiting Ouzoud, please note there is alot of walking involved so wear sneakers or hiking shoes.
Next stop was to the fishing town of Essaouira. Oh Essaouira, you were just what i needed nearing the end of a hectic trip. This beachside town is two hours drive, yet worlds away.
The last stop on my adventure was to Casablanca. Since i only had a few hours to spare, i visited the Hassan II Mosque. I was completely blown away by the architecture of the mosque. What a way to end an amazing trip.
If you ever plan on visiting Morocco, my advice to you is:
- learn a little French
- always carry Dirhams (in lower denominations).
- It's easy to get around Morocco once you're there by Petit or Grand Taxi, CTM bus or train.
- Be prepared to haggle for prices.
- If you get lost in the medina, ask a shopkeeper for directions.
- If you are lost and are offered to be taken to your location, you will have to leave a gratuity.
- Most importantly, please respect the culture and dress appropriately.
Au Revoir Maroc! Merci pour tout. Je 'Taime!