This is a guest post by Trippy community member Ben van de Vusse, who took an epic 18 month honeymoon with his wife Annalise.
Today Annalise and I wrap up our two week adventure in Morocco, having visited the Imperial cities of Fes, Rabat, Casablanca and Meknes, the Sahara in the desert of Erg Chebbi, and the Middle Atlas cities of Ouazazate and Marrakech. It’s been a blast. Here are ten reasons why you should go to Morocco too.
Morocco is alive with a beat. Live music is everywhere, especially in the evenings. There’s really nothing like sitting around a campfire, drinking some mint tea and hanging out listening to music under the stars.
Ahmed and Hassan provide some beats by the camp fire
Riads are the guesthouses of Morocco, they are basically old buildings that have been renovated beautifully and converted for people to stay in. Usually there are only 3-5 rooms, so it’s a very intimate feeling. Breakfast is always included, and there usually is a terrace rooftop and an open roof which floods the place with natural light. And you can really get a bargain too – 40 euros a night was pretty common.
Riads – the best way to stay in Morocco
8. Mosaic Tiling
Attractive mosaic tiles can be found all over Morocco, they really add a splash of colour and intrigue to the landscape.
Mosaic tiles galore
These sweet creatures are found hauling lots of goodies and people all throughout Morocco, sharing the roads with buses, taxis and trucks, and squeezing into the narrow laneways of the ancient medinas. But they never seem to complain. Annalise managed to snap this fellow just before a sneeze, but he really does look like he’s smiling.
Service with a smile
6. The Sahara Desert
Heading down to Erg Chebbi near the Algerian border for a three night camel trek was one of the main highlights of our trip to Morocco. The golden red sand dunes are magnificent, especially during the sunrise and sunset. Sand boarding was great fun too – but I think we’ll be finding sand from the Sahara well after we return home late next year.
Enjoying the Sahara – Erg Chebbi
5. The Markets
There is no doubt the market is the lifeblood of the Moroccan people. Souqs (covered markets) are found in every big city, selling everything from carpets to chameleons. The produce markets sell food at dirt cheap prices, and it’s all seasonal, organic and fresh. No doubt if we were only coming to Morocco as a sole destination we would have bought up big – the things you can find at the markets are amazing.
Just a small selection of leather slippers
4. The people of Morocco
Moroccans are extremely friendly people. Granted, some of the people are out solely to wrestle dirhams out of you – but these are few. The majority of the people here are super friendly, genuine, and really helpful. The old man in the picture below was a super giggly chicken seller. He got a kick out of poking all his chickens at once, and having them all squawk at the same time – and then laughing his head off. It was hilarious!
Our chicken man in Fes
3. Ancient Medinas
Ancient Medinas are the “old cities” of cities in Morocco. Fes has the largest Ancient medina of all -a walled city which contains more than 9000 streets, so it’s pretty easy to get lost, but that’s the fun. Constructed over 1000 years ago, It’s actually the only still functioning (in its original capacity) medieval city in the world. Forget Marrakech’s medina, this is the place to be. With so many hidden lanes, nooks and crannies, it was extremely easy to spend a couple of days here.
The ancient Medina of Ouazazate
Camels are without a doubt some of the most interesting creatures we’ve interacted with on our journey so far. They are essentially pretty sweet animals, but they definitely do some weird things and make some bizarre noises. But we’ve really gone a bit camel crazy – three days in the desert can do that to you.
Annalise with Curly, our favourite Camel
Moroccan food is AMAZING, and very inexpensive. From delicious seafood for Annalise, tagines, couscous, dips and tapas, mint tea, fresh fruit from the market, and lots of sweet treats, we’ve really had an absolute feast here.
Mountains of mandarins – $1 will get you 70 of them!
That’s all for now, we’re off to Mali!
Ben hails from Melbourne and is currently a software engineer in Venice Beach, CA. When he isn’t writing code or sharing travel advice on Trippy, he’s off globetrotting with his wife (he’s been to almost 50 countries!) and you can catch their travels on their blog Spoonful of Travel.
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