“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you… Hopefully, you leave something good behind” – Anthony Bourdain
Morocco is not a place that is easily described in words or pictures, it is something that truly needs to be experienced to understand. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I jumped on that plane, but after 22 days I came to realize that I was truly blessed to see such a wonderful and underrated gem.
After 20 or so hours I stepped off that plane in Rabat, Morocco’s capital City.
I was instantly surprised by the hospitality given and with the help of the Moroccan people (and google maps) we finally found our Hotel; Riad Sidi Fatah. This was an unbelievably beautiful, convenient, friendly hotel in the heart of Rabat.
Rabat was an incredible introduction to Morocco – I honestly believed we would be harassed every minute, and although we had wolf whistles, constant stares and random French or Arabic comments we spent the first 4 days ignoring that and happily pacing through the markets, exploring the coast line and learning every detail of the McDonalds restaurant down the road.
Rabat isn’t a city that can be explored longer than a few days, and we were happy to make our way to Marrakesh. Nothing will be able to describe this crazy, weird and exciting place. This is a real-life maze that will lead you to stores, to nooks and to crannies. I guarantee you will get lost and I guarantee you will get played by one or multiple Moroccans pretending to be your friend.
Our Hostel, Equity point was nestled away in the maze of Marrakesh – away from the hustle and bustle of Jemaa el-Fnaa square. Once we learnt our way around we happily spent time in this incredible world heritage site (one of the most exciting places I have ever seen) The nightlife and buzz of this place is unreal and you could probably walk around for days on end continuing to find new alley ways and stores. Monkeys, snakes, artists, food, markets and live-stock are just some of the things you will come across here. I do have to say; please get ready for squat toilets and let me know if you find the hidden supermarket isles for pork and alcohol.
I absolutely loved Marrakesh but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for the next stint of our journey. We booked a desert tour through www.morocco-excursion.com which came strongly recommended by multiple people prior to booking. We saw some of the most amazing things and a side of Morocco I will never forget. I had the opportunity to drive through the highest point of the Atlas Mountains which is approximately 2260m high. We went to one of the most hidden and wonderful world heritage sites – Ksar Ait Ben Haddou – where films like Indiana Jones, Gladiator, Prince of Persia, Galavant and even Game of Thrones have been filmed.
But my favourite, was riding a camel throughout the Sahara Desert. I was absolutely astonished with the beauty and simplicity of the desert.
Have you ever found yourself, staring out into the world, mesmerized with what’s in front of you?
We stayed the night in the middle of the sand dunes and spent hours staring up into the night sky. I cannot express how surreal that is, and how bright the stars shine 18, 026km away from home.
1400km was soon done and dusted (literally dusted) and I can easily say this was the highlight of the entire trip.
After 2 weeks of non-stop action filled travel we made our way to Agadir; the last city of the trip. We stayed in Riu Tikida Palace (Where I quite literally felt like a Queen.) Free food, free alcohol, an abundance of free reading material, free entertainment along with swim up bars and views to die for.. who wouldn’t love an all-inclusive resort in faraway land.
We spent an entire week lounging around by the pool and enjoying the incredible African sun. I caught up on some much-needed sleep from the past year and I finally got to spend time quietly enjoying my own thoughts.
Sadly however, things do come to an end, and before long our 22-day trip to Morocco was over! What an amazing yet frustrating place – I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it and I am so happy I ignored everyone’s negative opinion on the country. The scenery would change your thoughts in an instant – the hills, mountains, desert and the sea.
Morocco is a culture shock, and not necessarily for your everyday traveller. I would suggest this county to those who are well travelled or have a love for unique and quirky places. If you don’t like strange places with a lack of hygiene while coughing, spitting and sneezing then this country isn’t for you (but I am going to tell you to go anyway)
Morocco – thanks for the memories and an experience I will never forget.