My name is Sandy and myself and 3 friends travelled with Morocco Magic Travel in April 2017…following are some extracts from my diary.
“Not being schooled up on how safe it was to travel in Morocco and conscious of the fact we would be travelling in the desert alone and being totally mis-informed on how women travelling without men would be received in a Muslim country. Oh, how wrong we were in our thinking.”
“I now see the real Morocco in an entirely different light, a country that was to me mysterious but also kind of romantic as depicted in the old black and white movies, and even after this journey, it is still mysterious, but there is so much more to the country than I ever expected.”
“We drive to Rick’s Café in Casablanca which is a recreation of the famous bar in the movie…you just gotta do it don’t you”
“As we are walking the narrow lanes of the souk I see a small boy with his hands cupped around lots of green leaves and wonder what he is carrying so carefully. As we walk on, I see large boxes of leaves with hundreds of fully grown caterpillars…reminds me of childhood days.”
“After our meal, we check out the souk, OMG all those gold and jewellery stores, Lynne thinks she has died and gone to heaven, the colours of the clothing and fabrics are stunning. Watch out… here comes a man pulling his wagon of wares. Balack Balack…get out of the way.they stop for no- one.”
“From what I can observe, the only residency is within the old Medina with the housing in and along the mazes of lanes and appears to French speaking while the Arabic speaking residents appear to live in the hundreds of multi-story blocks in all stages of construction and OH&S doesn’t seem to apply here with men perched on the edge of buildings, sawing hammering and concreting etc.”
“Mind you, Lynne went up to the trader in the Souk near our Riad to buy 6 strawberries, but something went wrong in translation and she ended up with 2 x1kg bags for approx $3AUD. We are stawberried out and so is Brahim our driver.”
“The city started to crumble and become overgrown when the Romans abandoned it in1154. We spent a long time walking though beautifully maintained shady and fragrant gardens of fruit trees. and lots of wild flowers.’
“There is a colony of storks that have built their nests on top of minarets and any high structures.”
“The story goes that the Pool of the Nymphs still attracts women who believe that feeding boiled eggs to the eels brings fertility and easy childbirth.”
“Our seafood lunch in Larache was totally delicious and so inexpensive, a heap of small prawns, 3 sardines (Moroccan specialty) and 4 other fish, salad, eggplant, olives and another warm salad, all for 80 Dirham’s, about $11.00 between the four of us.”
“From there we travel along the coast towards Tangier where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, the style here has a very Mediterranean look and feel”.
“I’m loving this country. It’s so much more than I expected and so colourful, green and beautiful, not all flat and desert like I imagined”.
“ After shopping at Carrefour supermarket to get in some supplies of beer and wine we drive to the outskirts of the city (Meknes) to our accommodation, a gorgeous French style villa that has 5 guest rooms, so luxurious. Wine on the terrace and watch the sun set, so lovely”.
“We walk the Medina of Fez for hours with our guide. You need a guide here as the lanes and alleyways are so extensive, twists and turns everywhere. “.
Lunch didn’t happen till 1pm as I guide went to prayers at that time, however it was so delicious, cooked salads with Lamb Tagine and massive plates of fruit with the sweetest oranges and strawberries I have ever eaten.”.
We are taken up a couple flights of stairs and handed a sprig of mint. The mint is to sniff to help disguise the smell of leather hides being dyed in huge vats in the Tannery below us”.
“We visit the herbalists and he shows us his wares and we purchase Moroccan Argan Oil and Rose Oil”.
“We have virtually walked the length and breadth of the Medina…. our guide suggests we get a car back to Riad Sara, so all five of us pile into a beat up Citroen taxi, we hear the suspension groaning back we make it back”.
“As we leave the Middle Atlas behind, we visit the Cedar Forests and watch and film the Barbary Apes as they come to us to be fed and drink from water bottles. They are remarkable gentle and just take food from our outstretched hands”.
“ Along the road near Zaida we see 2 small children peeping out of the crops ready to beg for money. We stop and take their photos and hand over some chewy muesli bars, next thin Mum appears, then grandma and aunties so we have a group photo taken. I found some Lollies and nougat and the children are rapt. Grandma was suitably impressed and insists we come back to the house for mint tea. The home is close by so we all pile into the car