I was thinking to go somewhere exciting, but not too far and expensive. Friends recommended me to join Calator HaiHui to his road trip in Morocco, and although it was on a short notice, it all worked out and I had an unexpectedly awesome experience. The group was very diverse and fun, and we travelled the whole country in a rented minibus.
It was 2 years ago, but I remember it well… I think. When I organize the trip myself I know all the details, but when somebody else organizes, I just follow them. That makes it easy to forget details, but what I do remember clearly is that I had fun and the views were amazing.
Good price, good price
We arrived in Fez in the evening and next day we visited the old city and a viewpoint. Everything is very oriental, the buildings, the objects, the people, music and food, you get the whole experience. We also went to the Tanneries, where you see how they tint the leathers in different colours.
We went to Marrakesh afterwards. We wandered around and we ate at the night market, which is one of the main attractions. The food is cheap but very good. I didn’t try the snails, but I think it’s a good place to try. I loved the dried fruits variety and fresh orange juice. There are rooftop bars/restaurants surrounding the market and it’s a great place to view the sunset and observe how locals set up the night market.
The “hammam” experience
One funny story is about going to a hammam. I had no idea what they were, but the girls in the group said it’s something like a spa. So three of us decided to give it a try and we followed a local through the small streets. We arrived there, prepared our swimsuits and towels and when ready to enter, a big lady, undressed, using wide gestures, explained that we need to undress more.
It was totally unexpected, but we had to follow her. I have never seen so many undressed women on meter squared. But hey, that’s what public baths are about. And I had no idea when I signed up for it. The big lady found us an empty room and start bringing buckets with water. If it was not awkward enough, she was giving advice on how we should rub one another. Lastly, the big lady would give us a proper rub to exfoliate the skin. I passed on the last bit, and went back to dress up, which I was looking forward to.
If you missed the chance in Morocco, don’t worry, Korean sauna is quite similar.
A night in the desert
From Marrakesh we went to Merzouga, where we would start our trip to Sahara desert, on camels. It was a new experience, and the desert views are amazing. We got to the (kind of) oasis, where the tents were. We enjoyed the Bedouin music and food. It gets really cold in the night, and although I had all my warm clothes on (plus blankets), I was still cold. I regret not going to admire the stars that night, I’ve seen only the pictures, it looked really incredible.
Next day we went back on camels and I was happy the weather was warm again. We then went on a road trip, we had various stops on the way, because it was too beautiful not to enjoy it. We stopped to visit Ouarzazate, which I very nice, and you get to walk over a river stepping on stones. I think that’s cool. We went to Essaouira to watch the sunset then back to Marrakesh to enjoy the night market food. It was a busy schedule, but totally worth.
I see all in blue
We added Chefchaouen as a stop. It was not planned before and quite far, but everybody was flexible enough and excited about it. And it’s very pretty and unique. We wondered around the blue city for a few hours, had local food, henna hand tattoos and back to the minibus.
We stopped briefly in Rabat and Casablanca. Rabat is more modern and busy, like any capital. Casablanca has the iconic mosque, which is so lovely. It’s a pity we didn’t have time to visit more, but I believe the driver took us to nice places and we made the most of both cities (short) stops.
We rushed back to the airport to take our flight back. The group from then, we still keep in touch and we all agree it was a really great trip. We even have a video of it! (made by Iulian Sirbu)
It was a sweeet holiday 🙂