Morocco

From cosmopolitan Casablanca, with its western shops, and the administrative capital city of Rabat, to the magic and mysticism of Marrakech, Morocco is chameleon-like in its ability to please all tastes.

Hassan II mosqueIan and I riding camels in a palm groveBerber marketDuring our two week stay we saw old cannons in the Casbah at El Jadida, walked along the town walls at Azemmour, visited the Hassan II mosque (one of the largest in the world), watched the Bastille day firework display outside the French consulate, and rode camels through a palm grove. We bought and ate cactus fruit from a street-seller, drank cans of Coke cooled in a mountain stream, and touched not a drop from the water sellers, as we had been warned that this would upset our delicate constitution. We went to a Berber market, saw the waterfalls at Ouzoud, and watched the river they flowed into turn red in the unexpected storm.

inside a soukBut by far the most memorable place was the city of Marrakech, where we haggled for souvenirs in the souks and got completely and gloriously lost in the spice market.

We stayed in a traditional Riad-style hotel, built around a central courtyard with all the windows on the inside to keep out the glare of the sun. On our first morning we were awoken at 4am by the call to prayer at the mosque next-door, but from then on we were so worn out from all the sightseeing that we slept right through.

And what a lot of sightseeing there was to be done. We explored the narrow streets, visited palaces with orange trees in the gardens, and admired the Islamic architecture. We tried the local food and looked down on Djemaa el Fna Square from the roof top terraces of several cafés. It was quiet during the day, but at night it came alive with belly dancers, musicians, snake charmers and hundreds of stalls selling fresh orange juice and tagines.

There aren’t many places I would go back to, but Marrakech could be one of the exceptions.

This post is part of the Travelizer competition at www.travelizer.co.uk.

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3 Responses to Morocco

  1. Di Coke says:

    Ah, Morocco has been on my T0-Do list for many years now, it sounds like a real adventure! I’ve added your post to my Travelizer Blog Hop, feel free to copy the code if you want to add it to yours! http://super-lucky.blogspot.com/2011/10/foodie-weekend-in-paris.html

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