Category Archives: Morocco

Northward Bound Reunion

I’m a huge advocate of volunteering overseas. Not only is it relatively cheap but it’s also a great way to immerse myself into the culture. I love sharing my stories to people back home and always recommend my volunteering networks to them if they are at all interested. I managed to convince one friend of mine back home to volunteer in Morocco for a month. Her name is Lisa and we actually work together back in Michigan. Another great thing about this is that I would be able to meet up with Lisa in the capital city of Rabat, since we would be in the country during the same time.

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After spending one more night in Marrakech, Chris and I took a train ride north to Rabat. On the way up, we met three Americans who were going to Casablanca. They traveled quite a bit and we shared our stories with each other pretty much the whole train ride. We arrived to Rabat a lot sooner than we anticipated! I’ve heard stories about how bland and boring Rabat could be, but out of all the places in Morocco I’ve been to, Rabat was the cleanest and nicest looking city of them all. Especially considering there was a McDonald’s within walking distance!

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I booked a hotel nearby which also was actually really nice. Once I got Wi-Fi, I messaged Lisa letting her know that we arrived here hours earlier than I told her before and we can meet up whenever she’s ready. She messaged back saying she was in the middle of her work placement and that we could meet at a bar on a boat on the sea-shore, along with a couple of her other volunteer mates she’s met here in Rabat. We didn’t know exactly where this ‘bar on a boat’ was but she left us some directions. Later that evening, we left to search for the boat. We walked through the Medina of Rabat which resembled the Medina of Casablanca. We ended up getting a little lost and had no clue where we were, so we had no choice but to find a taxi to take us to where Lisa was. The driver didn’t understand a word of English, so I motioned “drinking on a boat” with my hands and he understood. It was actually nearby to where we were and it actually WAS a boat in the ocean. Looked like a pirate ship! Chris and I walked in and we saw two girls sitting near the front deck waving at us to come to them. Neither of these girls were Lisa but I walked slowly towards them, not sure if it was us they were waving to. Turns out they were Lisa’s friends, Capucine and Maria. Capucine is a travel blogger too and has a very, very impressive blog site which you can see here. Maria is headed to Spain and Italy after her time in Morocco. A few minutes later, Lisa came over! So great to see her again! We caught up on everything and she told me what her placement was like. She works with women and children in the city and lives with a host mother in the medina. It took her a few days to adjust to everything but now she’s loving it!

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The five of us enjoyed a few drinks and talked for a bit before we headed to the small-scale carnival right outside. When we saw the carnival, we all decided to go on the bumper cars. I haven’t been on the bumper cars since I was a kid and I remember that I was always stuck in the corner or jammed between other cars. But this time was not the case!

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After our brief yet amusing time at the carnival, we all walked back through the Medina to our respective stays, but we made plans to meet up here the next day. We all met near the tram tracks and headed to the coast to have lunch. I ordered up a burger and fries (typical) and then a brownie with chocolate sauce and ice cream for desert! It was one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while!

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After we stuffed ourselves, the five of us ventured further along the coastline to see what else Rabat had to offer.

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It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to write a blog regularly. Capucine has all the discipline in the world! I’ve only met her yesterday, but I noticed she takes her camera with her everywhere. I try to do that too but sometimes I just want to enjoy my time without carrying such a big piece of equipment everywhere. Based on the photos on her blog, I think it’s worth carrying around everywhere. Anyways, we walked through a fort where there were dozens of young locals just hanging out and eventually to Lisa’s and Capucine’s homestay. They live with a host mother and her daughter in a small abode branched off from the busyness of the Medina.

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The daughter came by and offered us tea which was amazing like all the tea I’ve had in Morocco so far. Lisa said she likes her new home, minus the constant noise outside of her window early every morning, which I fully understand! We chilled at her place for a bit before Chris and I left so they could eat dinner. Later on, Lisa and Capucine met us at a bar near our hotel for one more go before Chris and I had to leave Rabat in a few hours. It was very difficult to find a bar in Rabat that was open and catered to both men and women. One, it’s tricky to find alcohol anywhere in Morocco if you’re not in the right places. Two, a lot of the bars in Rabat catered only to men. We had to make sure the bar we found accepted both men and women.

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We had a few drinks, then beelined straight to McD’s before we said goodbye to Lisa and Capucine. Lisa would be volunteering in Morocco for a month. Afterwards, she will head to Paris to try and land an internship at a local bakery there, while living in an apartment in the city. Good luck with everything Lisa!

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Chris and I booked a night train up even further north to Tanger that would depart at 1:57 am. Off the whim, we decided to extend this ‘trip within a trip’ by taking a boat across the Gibraltar Strait to Spain!

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March of the Camels: The Sahara Desert

Everyone, I think it’s time I introduce you to my ATLAS.Years ago, I compiled a well thought-out list of achievements I’dlike to accomplish during my travels. I add new things to the list whenever I think of something different, so it’s always slowly growing! Technically, it’s what most people would consider a bucket list. Call it what you like, but I like to refer to it as my ATLAS (Adventure Tasks List of Awesome Stuff). I’ve only shown a few people my ATLAS and they loved the prospect of it. I started this list even before I began blogging and I have managed to accomplish some tasks on it back then. I’ll be sure to tell you all the stories about it one day but right now I’m focused on the current task at hand – task #2: Spend a night under the stars in the Sahara. By the way, this list is in no particular order whatsoever.

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We arrived in the foothills of the desert around 6 pm, about 40 minutes until sunset. Our guide informed us to leave our big bags in the van and to just take our small bags with us for when we ride our camels. Chris and I immediately changed into our Sahara nomad attire we bought in Marrakech. We were now fit for the occasion! We looked so fly, I think the others in our tour group were a little bummed they didn’t think of the idea too. How could you not? Anyways, one of the desert leaders took us to the area where they kept all of their camels. I noticed the camels here only had one hump as opposed to two humps. Interesting. They were all obedient and well mannered as they rested on the ground waiting for us to mount them. Either it was completely random or we were placed on camels specific to our weight. My camel had dark brown fur and continuously slurped on the rope that was in his mouth. It’s the one photo-bombing the picture below.

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There were about 20 or so camels in groups of five or six. Each camel was connected by a rope in order for them to follow a line easier I suppose. There were no tips or guidelines to
riding a camel other than to hang on!

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Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as hot as I expected it to be. The sun was going down and there was a cool breeze in the air. It was perfect! My camel was strong, nimble, and also very
gassy! I had to hold my breath a couple times because my camel, the camel in front, and behind me were letting loose some air the whole time! I didn’t care though; the landscape, the giant dunes of the Sahara, the camels themselves, everything was going great! At one
point, our desert leader stopped my line of camels over a dune so we could watch the sunset.

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Beforehand, we were informed that we would be on the camel for an hour and a half but we were actually riding them for almost two hours. I started to grow concerned that I was
getting heavy for my new matted-haired friend but he (she?) didn’t seem tired or fatigued at all and kept marching on. I’m not going to lie though, after awhile sitting on that camel, my crotch was starting to kill me. I wasn’t the only one. Chris even tried to lay on top of his camel to keep comfortable. There was really no way to get cozy up there so we just had to ride it out until we reached our campsite.

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We arrived at our camping grounds for the night and the guide motioned for our camels to rest on the sand so we could dismount. Once I got off, I saw the sand littered with balls of
camel poop everywhere and that I was stepping right in it!

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We walked a few yards to a few large tents. We picked our tent, set our stuff aside, and went into the middle of the campsite to mingle with everyone. We hadn’t a clue what time
dinner was going to be served or even what dinner was going to consist of. Why was it taking so long?! As I was patiently waiting for our dinner, I pointed my camera up at the night sky to take a photo. But just like the night before, the moon was so bright that it practically lit up the sky. I took a picture of the moon anyways but started moving the camera around, and this is what I came up with.

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That gave us the idea for Chris and I to get creative with the lights at our campsite! There were a few lamps that were staked into the ground that made for great portable lights to get flashy with. I set the shutter speed as low as I could and we found a place just a few feet away from our tent to test our lights. I’ve never done anything like this before so this was mostly experimenting. We began by just drawing our names, and then random objects that we each had to guess what the other was drawing. Eventually, other people in our tour group took notice and joined in on the light games.

We ended up doing this for a good half-hour before we were summoned for dinner. What was on the menu? More chicken tagine. But this time, each table was given a single giant portion to share between about six people. Directly behind our campsite, was the tallest dune around as far as we could tell. Chris and I decided to go up the hill right after dinner but we severely underestimated the difficulty of getting up a steep mountain of sand. We would literally crawl up the dune for about two minutes and take a break for about ten. Our feet would sink a few inches into the sand every time we took a step. It sucked the wind out of us and we weren’t in any rush anyways, so we took our sweet time. Every time we thought we reached the summit, there was another higher summit just behind it! It took a little over an hour to get to the top but it was definitely worth it. I brought an empty water bottle with me and collected sand from the top of the dune to add as part of the “special gift” perk. Out of all the sand I collected so far, this sand was the finest of them all! Afterwards, we ran back down the dune back to our campsite. I overheard one of the guides saying we would be waking up at 5 am to ride our camels back through the Sahara. With that, I immediately went to bed. The next morning, everyone actually woke up and got ready around 6:30 am. I put on my Sahara garb and went over to where the camels were.

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I rode the same, foamy-mouthed camel I had yesterday. Since it was early in the morning, the temperature was quite cool. I preferred it because I bet riding a camel during the midday during the hottest hours would be miserable! It took just under two hours to arrive back to the starting point.

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I dismounted my camel and said goodbye to my buddy. My camel was pretty strong and never showed any signs of fatigue at all! I changed into normal clothes and we all went back in the van. Besides stopping for lunch a little later, we had nothing planned for the rest of this tour. We just had to endure a long, sweaty van ride back to Marrakech! Check item number two off my ATLAS. 🙂

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The Door of the Desert

I don’t care what I do in Morocco as long as I get to ride a freakin’ camel in the freakin’ desert! How’s that for emphasis? In order to reach that goal, Chris and I booked a small tour from Marrakech through the High Atlas Mountains that would ultimately take us to the Sahara desert. We found a guy in the alleys of the square who ran a tour agency. There was no one in his office so we decided to get some information from him while he was free. He told us we could take a three day-two night tour through that Atlas Mountains, across multiple different towns and villages, and eventually spending the night in the Sahara. Marrakech is all about bargaining and we were able to bargain down to a pretty decent price; much lower than I imagined the cost was going to be. The only catch was that we would have to leave the next day, which was a little sooner than we had planned, but we decided to go anyways! 20131026-194154.jpg 20131028-030708.jpg We left the next morning at 7 am. A guy picked us up from our riad and took us to the main square where we met up with a few others who would be joining in on the tour: two women from Germany, a French couple, two Brazilian couples, and three friends also from Brazil. Chris and I nabbed the whole row of seats in the back all to ourselves! I was sure to take a motion sickness pill before I got on though. I saw pictures of the mountains we’d be driving through and I felt queasy just thinking about it! Soon after everyone was gathered in, we hit the road! We drove maybe an hour or so before the driver stopped on the edge of a cliff. I guess this was an opportunity for us to take our first photos of the High Atlas Mountains! 20131026-195327.jpg 20131026-195350.jpg We continued on and sometime in the afternoon we arrived in the city of Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is in the middle of a barren, sun drenched land, and besides the solitary trees in the basin of the grounds, the city was void of barely any other vegetation and water. A city filled with buildings made of stone and dirt. There was evidence of a river that streamed through the quarters but the water has long left it’s presence. I think the river runs during a certain time of the year. Interestingly, this city is also known as the “Hollywood” of Morocco because many famous and popular movies and tv shows were filmed here including one of my favorites of all time, Gladiator. 20131028-025654.jpg 20131028-030259.jpg 20131028-030725.jpg We had a tour of the old quarters of Ouarzazate and walked in and around the place the people here called home. Even though it was quite hot out, walking through the quarters cast tall shadows and the interiors of the buildings were surprisingly cool. We then walked to the the roof of the highest building in the quarters! Along the way, the guide told us how the buildings were constructed and what the people do here as part of their daily life. 20131028-031214.jpg 20131028-030407.jpg 20131028-030417.jpg After the tour, we had lunch at a nearby restaurant. I ordered chicked tajine. Tajine is a traditional Moroccan dish served with tfaya sauce, semolina, and vegetables. The chicken, vegetables, and sauces slowly roast together in a unique cone pot and served hot on a pan. It’s kind of like pot roast back at home. It did the trick and then we made our way to the more modern part of Ouarzazate. There we picked up a spanish couple who joined us on our tour. Now our van was packed and hot! The driver thought the opened windows would be better than an air-conditioned van! It was hard to convince him to turn the a/c on because his English wasn’t the best. He spoke only French and Arabic. And because of that language barrier, Chris and I sweated our tails off in the back seat squished with our new spanish friends. 20131028-030213.jpg As the day started to dim, we stopped at another mountain along the Atlas to see the valley far beyond. 20131028-030521.jpg 20131028-030622.jpg We eventually arrived at our hotel for the night about an hour’s drive away. The place was better than I imagined for what we paid. It had the theme of an ancient civilization, like the old Egyptians or Aztec. After dinner, which consisted of more chicken tagine, Chris and I went to explore around our stay for the night and climbed to the roofs of the building. We figured we would be able to see a night sky like unlike any other, but the moon was so bright that it whited out most of the stars and constellations. No worries though because we still had the Sahara sky tomorrow! After a goodnights rest, we woke up, ate breakfast at our hotel, and went back on the road further along the atlas. We arrived at another city, similar to Ouarzazate, but it was here we visited a family who made carpets by hand. The guy who showed us the carpets mentioned that it’s normally a woman’s job to make them but for the time being, some of the woman were busy doing something else. He was able to tell us a bit about how they make the carpets. For the longer pieces, usually there is a person on each side weaving the wool of a sheep. 20131028-030900.jpgEach carpet also should tell a story. For all of the carpets he displayed, there was a different story within each pattern and design. They can take anywhere from two weeks to six months to make, depending on the size and the intricacies of the details. In addition to telling us all about his carpets, he also welcomed us with mint tea. I must say, I’m not a huge fan of tea, but all the tea that has been offered to me in Morocco has been some of the best tea I’ve ever had! They use home grown mint leaves here, so my tea always tastes like spearmint; crisp and refreshing! 20131028-030841.jpg We went back outside and noticed the path we took to get to the carpet room was bloodied. No doubt, the locals here have just slaughtered a sheep. In Morocco, it’s tradition to sacrifice many a sheep for supper later on. It’s a sign of gratitude and praise, especially when families host other members and guests. We were in Morocco during their holiday week where it’s customary for families to sacrifice sheep by first cutting open it’s neck and then rinsing out the blood. Besides the bones, barely any other body part goes to waste as a meal. We followed the blood trail to another road where there was a helpless sheep lying on the ground surrounded by a few locals. We walked over and found that the sheep’s neck has been severed, but it was still flailing around it’s hind legs. The locals then started to rinse out the neck area with water. We went back to the van before we saw what happened next, but I don’t think the locals are phased at all by this. It’s normal here and part of their tradition. 20131028-030115.jpg We drove a little further down through the Atlas to a gorge lined up to the oncoming desert. The mountains here were tall and almost perfectly vertical! We could see people rock climbing in the distance. Our guide told us that it takes six hours to rock climb to the top! We walked through the gorge, following the narrow stream that flowed in the center. The source of the stream came through a hole in the gorge, further beyond than we could walk. There was a herd of goats there following the stream towards the deeper parts for a drink. But the whole time I was thinking how cool it would be if you could zip line across the gorge! I think it would be absolutely possible someday in the future. 20131028-031022.jpg 20131028-031038.jpg 20131028-031044.jpg 20131028-030028.jpg After the gorge, we drove a couple more hours deeper into the desert. We finally arrived to the Sahara! I was eager and anxious because the Sahara desert part of our trip was something I highly anticipated during my whole time away from home and it was finally about to happen! 🙂

Wise Guise

Let me tell you about my friend Farrah. Chris and I met Farrah a day ago in the medina at one of the shop stalls. He saw us glancing at his tunics, scarves, and other traditional arabic clothing dispersed in his tiny shop, and invited us over to take a look. This was typical routine behavior for any seller to entice an obvious tourist into their shop, but something was different about Farrah. The tone of his voice didn’t trigger the ‘rip-off’ alarm that has been embedded in my brain since Southeast Asia. He seemed genuinly friendly and welcoming. Farrah resembled and sounded like Sacha Baren Cohen’s Borat, to give you some idea. We chatted with him for awhile as he taught us how to wrap a scarve around our heads like the locals do and what type of clothes will help us blend in with the crowd. He also gave us advice on what the prices of these said articles of clothing should cost. With his help, Chris and I were finally able to secure each piece of clothing for our Moroccan garb. We were stylin!

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That guy in the picture with us is not Farrah. He’s just a local on the street who wanted to take a picture with us (for money of course!). Once Chris and I were fully garbed and walked into the alleys, I thought we would get a lot of stares and glares. Who are these two boys making a mockery of us? Actually, the opposite happened. No one even batted an eye at us, that’s how well we blended in. Even the locals who did notice, were quite pleased and helped us adjust our garments. Or maybe it’s because it was a typical thing to do; for tourists to dress up like them. After all, there were hundreds of shops around that sold these clothes in such a touristy area. Whatever the case was, we wanted to spend the day exploring the city in proper attire!

Upon entering the main square, we immediately went over to one of the many snake charmers in the lot. Normally, the charmers would try and put a snake on your shoulders and take a picture but I wanted more! I asked the guy if I could sit on his rug and play his flute to try and charm his black cobra. It was a real cobra by the way folks! He was happy to let me and I sat down next to his buddies and blew away at the flute!

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Never mind the deadly cobra just a couple feet in front of me in defense mode, I had a hard time trying to figure out how to work that flute! The charmer made his cheeks puffy like a blowfish, indicating to me that I had to do the same. It barely worked. I still didn’t know how to coordinate my fingers on the holes. No matter though, I still was fairly amused!

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Chris gave it a shot next.

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After charming the pants off of those snakes, we headed off into the alleys to grab some grub. We found a place nearby that served up traditional Moroccan cuisine which was great! The whole menu was in arabic and french but we were able to figure it out for the most part.

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Afterwards, we walked outside of the main square and near a few mosques where people were in the middle of praying. We took this opportunity to take a few pictures outside of the building.

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We’ve been walking everywhere and decided to relax a bit at our new riad I booked called Amour de Riad which was on the opposite side of the square from Riad Hannah. We went to the rooftop, played some cards (Speed), flung some cards, and on-looked the always amazing sunset over Marrakech. During this time, we could hear a loud arabic chant again. There was a local who sat on the roof with us and he let us know that they guy saying the chant was telling Marrakech to come and pray with him.

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Soon we put back on our Moroccan garb and went back into the main square. Yesterday, I saw a carnival style game where you had to use a fishing rod to hook a bottle of pop using a rubber donut. It looked much easier than it sounds, but it was more difficult than I imagined!

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I tried my best but with no luck. Chris gave it a try afterwards and he was just as unsuccessful. It only cost us two dirhams each to try it so it wasn’t a big deal.

Immediately after, Chris decided he wanted a new scarf. The fastest way to get to Farrah’s shop was to go through the myriad of food stalls. It was quite a hassle! A local who worked for a stall would always stop us and tell us to come eat their food. Even to the point where they would stand in front of me to block my path and latch onto my forearm to tell me how amazing their shish-kabobs are. We kept telling them we weren’t hungry yet and that we will get food later. One guy insisted that we promise him we would come back. He even offered us free moroccan whiskey if we returned. Sold! So we shook on it and I promised him that we would come back in about an hour. We continued on to Farrah’s shop but another guy who was working said he was at a mosque praying. So we continued onto another shop and bought a green scarf as a gift for someone. Afterwards, just like I promised, we returned to the food stall and the guy there gave us a seat. A cook brought us out bread and olives. As a matter of fact, every place we ate at in Morocco, we would get served a dish of olives as a light appetizer. Chris and I ordered up a few cokes, chicken kabobs, beef kabobs, and french fries as our main meal. The free moroccan whiskey actually turned out to be moroccan mint tea. I guess there was whiskey in it…didn’t taste like it though. I’m not too sure! It was still pretty good. The tea in Morocco has always been exceptionally great!

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We called it a night and went back to our riad. Actually, we didn’t want to stay up too late. We had booked a three day trip through the Atlas mountains which eventually will lead us to the Sahara Desert! This has been one of the things I have been looking forward to on this entire trip and tomorrow it would finally happen! By the way, we later on found out that our garb we wore is traditionally worn by nomads in the Sahara desert. So you can bet your grandmas that we will be sportin’ these outfits on some camels in the desert pretty soon! 🙂

I Am Moroccan

It finally happened. I went way too long without getting sick. I am grateful for that, but after traveling through multiple agrestic countries through differing climates, after eating a lot of weird stuff, I was always mentally prepared for the worst. Well now, on my way to Marrakech, my faint symptoms started to intensify. My stuffed up nose blocked any breathing through my nostrils and my held felt like my eyeballs were going to pop out. On the bright side, I didn’t feel the need to vomit which always plays a huge factor of whether I will stay in bed or go out and about. Anyhow, we caught a first-class train from Casa to Marrakech. We almost missed our train because the time in Morocco is weird but fortunately we realized the time difference and were placed in a cabin on the train with a few nice people. A couple who lives in Dubai and another couple from the States. After about four or five hours, we finally arrived to Marrakech!

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Marrakech is the fourth largest city in Morocco after Rabat, Fes, and Casablanca. Most travelers who visit Morocco almost always make their way to Marrakech because it’s the epicenter of cultural Morocco! Squares and medinas filled with markets, shops, restaurants, and attractions! Marrakech’s alleyways come alive during the day and deep into the night spilling out into one of the most famous squares in the world, Jemaa el-Fnaa. I booked a riad near the main square called Riad Hannah. A riad is essentially a Morrocan home or courtyard that’s been transformed into a hotel of sorts for guests to stay in. It’s unlike any hotel or hostel you will ever stay in; it’s a lot more traditional here. You actually do feel like you are guests in someone’s home!

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As we exited the train station, we instinctively passed the taxi drivers who were waiting outside the station and went further along the avenue to find a cheaper ride. We couldn’t find any other taxis until a guy in a pick-up truck pulled up and said something to us in Arabic or French. Chris and I assumed he wanted to give us a lift. We didn’t see any harm in it so we took up his offer. The only problem was that there was only room for one of us in the front seat. The other person would have to sit in the bunk where the driver usually keeps his sheep. Chris volunteered to sit in the back. On the way to the riad, the driver kept pointing at my arm, particularly my skin color and he said to me “You are Moroccan!”. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that. In Casa, locals would speak to me in Arabic or French and when they saw that I spoke English, they would shake my hand and tell me I could pass for Moroccan. Pretty cool!

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The driver dropped us off at the beginning of he medina’s alleyways and he pointed us in the direction, kind of. We made our way and we immediately noticed just how complex and busy the alley streets were! It was really neat! We didn’t know exactly where we were going though. A young guy, maybe a teenager saw us and took it upon himself to show us where our riad was. Turns out, it was just a few simple turns away. I said thanks to him and we went on our way. He stopped me and told me to give him money. I assume this was his “polite” way of asking for a tip. Okay fine. I pulled out a ten dirham coin out of my pocket and tried to hand it to him but he wouldn’t take it. “No” he said. “Give me 100 dirham.”

“100 dirham??” I said. He was out of his mind asking me for that much. “That’s too much!”

“100 dirhams” he persisted.

“All I have for you is 10 dirhams” I said to him. “No, 100” he replied. I began to walk away and told him that I don’t have it and continued to the front desk. He shouted and said to me “Okay I’ll take the 10.” I told him he should of took it when I offered it to him the first time instead of trying to rip me off. Beggars can’t be choosers after all. The locals who lived at the riad showed us our room for the next couple of nights. We relaxed for a bit and immediately made our way into the alleyways to explore some more. This area was like a maze and it was ridiculously easy to get lost if you weren’t paying attention.

20131024-143114.jpgEvery shop we passed up, the owners would shout at us telling us to buy something from them. Chris and I had the mindset that we didn’t want to buy anything just yet, but wanted to explore a bit first before we pursued anything. There were litters of stray cats anywhere and everywhere! We had to be careful taking pictures because someone nearby would ask for money for the picture. To anyone planning on traveling here, just because they say to give them money for a photo, doesn’t mean you actually have to! Unless it’s a photo of the person, then it would be polite to.

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We eventually found Jemaa el-Fnaa square where all of the alleyways led to. Here there were tons of markets, shops, and orange juice stalls. Within the square were snake charmers, monkey trainers, acrobats, spice dealers, horses, donkeys, and horrible magicians. The square was outlined with dozens upon dozens of classy restaurants and hotels. This is what I always imagined Morocco to be like and it felt a little unreal!

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Immediately when we were walking around, a local came and put his monkey on Chris and I without our permission. We knew that if he did this, he would expect a tip. But it was hard to deny any monkey!

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Our mission was to find traditional Moroccan cuisine. We found a restaurant across the square that had a great view of the whole plaza! I ordered couscous. I love couscous…or at least the couscous I eat back in Michigan. The couscous here was a lot more grainy and just different. It wasn’t bad, but it definitely wasn’t the couscous made of pasta and parmesan cheese I’ve grown used to at home. Plus, I was still feeling under the weather so my appetite wasn’t quite with me. The soup I had…I couldn’t even tell you what kind of soup it was, but it was pretty good. I know there was rice and veggies in it but it had a taste of all it’s own.

I started to feel worse than I did earlier so we went back to our riad. My nose was so blocked up, it was hard to breathe and my head felt like it was preparing to erupt. I needed to rest because Chris and I planned on dressing up like the locals the next day and getting silly out in the town!