Our Trip to Morocco

Last November, Josh and I took a trip to Morocco. It was our first time in Africa, and to be honest, that made me just a wee bit nervous. But the people were so welcoming, and the landscapes so beautiful, that I soon left all my worries behind me. Morocco is rich with culture and tradition. Every morning we woke to the sounds of Fajr at dawn. These Islamic prayers filled the air as hundreds of people chanted through speakers and horns. We would then walk up to the rooftop terrace of our beautiful hotel where we watched the sunrise over the Altas Mountains. When I describe our time in Morocco, I can hardly believe this place is real. We stayed at the beautiful Dar Roumana in the city of Fes, located in the central part of the country. Fes is an ancient walled city dating back to 859 AD. The city is surrounded by tall stone walls and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are no cars inside these city walls- only people and donkeys can fit among the narrow alleyways of the Medina. Walking through this city was like traveling back in time, when merchantry was the only way to make a living. We saw mosaic artists, carpet makers, and giant tanneries all of whom made their goods by hand using simple tools and manual labor. It was such a feast of color and photo inspiration.

One of our best experiences in Fes happened when we were wandering the streets of the medina searching for a leather guitar strap. We told a friendly Moroccan what we were looking for, and he then led us through a labarynth of alleyways up to a tiny leather shop where an old man and his friend were creating hand-made leather goods. We told him what we wanted as another person translated our english into Arabic, and right there in front of our eyes he cut, hammered, and created a beautiful guitar strap. The artistry that remains in Fes is just unbelievable.

During our time in Morocco, we also spent some time wandering through the Altas Mountains, stopping often to take photographs. We visited native Berber people and even walked up to the tents of some real life nomads! These people wander the land with their sheep, moving on as their herd searches for new food. The woman who we met didn’t speak any English, but she hugged us when she met us and spat in her hand before she took mine. Our driver said this was a sign that she really liked me :). He also said that this woman is probably very lonely and only gets one or two visitors every year.

Getting around Morocco wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected it to be. There are frequent ferry trips between the South of Spain and the port cities of northern Morocco, and the train station was within walking distance of the ferry stop. Being an undeveloped country, most places did not have websites and it was pretty hard to plan this trip ahead of time. But as usual, things happen to fall right into place. The people were so friendly and helpful. Whenever we looked lost, someone would come up to us and show us the way to get wherever we were going. If you are looking for a beautiful and authentic traveling experience I cannot recommend Morocco enough! Thanks for reading and happy travels.

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