Souks, sand and camel burgers!
Welcoming, friendly and a country of contrasts – from the colourful bustling life of winding madina’s to the serene calm of traditional Berber towns and desert camps – Morocco is full of marvels.
In an attempt to escape the busy city life (for a spell) and immerse myself in a culture that I knew little about, I threw together a bag, grabbed my camera and spent two weeks exploring Morocco.
Beautiful people, fascinating landscapes and familial hospitality greeted me wherever I turned. I travelled with a group of 11 other people and can truly say this was one of my most rewarding trips to date.
The country is so diverse and, besides it’s stereotypical mint tea, camel rides and colourful markets – which are definitely all worth the hype, it has soo much to offer!
Around every corner we encountered locals who seemed genuinely interested in sharing the jewels of their country with us: from the serenity of their mosques, to the pungent oder of their leather dying pits and delicious cuisine (including the most mouthwatering camel burger!)
We travelled during the sacred month of Ramadan, which meant that nothing could pass the lips of the local muslims, during daylight hours. This presented us with a fantastic opportunity to learn about the special rules and celebrations Moroccans adhere to and helped us understand a little more about the country we were visiting.
We did what we could to respect the culture, by making sure we covered our shoulders and legs when in public (which really was not difficult), and we were always welcomed with warmth and respect. I was greatly impressed by the fortitude and dignity of the people we met during this time. In spite of suffering from food, water and (in many cases) sleep deprivation, in the middle of the Moroccan summer, most people continued with their daily-lives and duties with smiles on their faces. (This of course did not apply to all of the vendors in the larger cities, who had to deal with scantily-clad tourists with a disregard for manners or the belief systems of Morocco.)
The highlights of my trip were too numerous to count, but it will be a long time before I forget Morocco’s dilapidated charm, stucco buildings, warm welcomes and happy children – often running and giggling in the street as donkey-drawn charts trundle by.
Over the coming weeks, I will tell you a little more about my adventures in this spectacular country and, through my memories, observations and photos, I hope to give you a taste of a country that has had such an impact on my own heart.