Strap in you guys, this is going to be a long post. If you need to take a coffee or Cheerios break, please do. I know I did.
We just got home from Morocco and one of the first things I wanted to do was sit down to write about our experience because the need to get these thoughts “on paper” is overwhelming. Not as overwhelming as the need to start the laundry or take a shower or very carefully inspect the suspicious bites I have on the back of my right arm (do not google bedbug bites, do not google bedbug bites), but still. I spent most of our hours of travel today mentally turning over of the details of this past week and I’m just not sure how to relate them in a way that does justice to our Moroccan experience. But I’ll try. Also, the pictures I’m including are about a tenth of the pictures we actually took. Trying to decide which ones to post here was quite the endeavor.
|Our hotel rooftop terrace|
Back in June I came across a livingsocial deal to Morocco and sent it to Z to look over. We decided early on that we’d take advantage of our time in Germany by doing as much travel as possible, and this trip certainly fit the bill. We booked the trip for Thanksgiving week for a few reasons. One, we knew Z would have time off for the holiday. Two, we knew it would be freezing cold in Germany at that point and we knew Morocco would most likely be warm and sunny. Oh, how right we were. It was 70 and sunny the entire time we were there. In fact, I spent one whole day laying in the sun, soaking up
the warmth and vitamin D and reading a good book. It was perfection. ANYWAYS, also, it was a nice way to spend our first holiday away from our families…while I still had some pangs of sadness over being so far away, I was easily distracted and it was hard not to enjoy the day when you’re vacationing in an exotic, foreign country.
|Door to our room|
|My sunny spot for the day|
|One of the mosques|
|Courtyard we stumbled upon, tucked away off a side street|
|Spices, etc. in the market|
|A typical market alley|
|HOW do they stack the spices like that?!|
|The square at night|
|For our cooking lesson, we went to the market and watched as our chicken was selected and killed...freshest chicken I've ever had!|
One of my favorite moments was when we decided to spend a few dirham to take pictures of the snake charmers, because really…when do you see that? So we approach these snake charmers and before we know it, they’ve draped a snake (harmless garden snake, SO THEY SAID) around Z’s neck—he was not thrilled and I don’t blame him—and they have my camera and are snapping pictures like crazy. I really just wanted one, maybe two, pictures of a cobra but we got way more than that. After all of this, the man demands 300 dirham…which is like 27 euro…or about $35. Z is the best and firmly tells them they can have 40 dirham. The snake charmer is NOT happy and demands another gift then. Um, what kind of gift?
We walked away 40 dirham less and minus one ballpoint pen. I think we got the better end of that deal.
Ok, so we explored the city, we spent a day soaking up the sun (mmmm), rode camels, had massages and a cooking lesson at our hotel (Moroccans do not shy away from flavor! It was a good meal and we came away with a killer eggplant recipe), and then…our favorite day. We had a private excursion to the Atlas Mountains, a few hours outside the city. This day was amazing. The weather was beautiful and the scenery was so dramatic and so breathtaking…the pictures do NOT do it any justice, I’m sorry to say.
|Moroccan cooking lesson|
|Valley of olive trees|
|Momma and baby cow...just chilling inside a Berber house, right next to the kitchen|
|Our Thanksgiving riverbed lunch|
|One of our souvenirs! Handmade Moroccan pottery plate|
|Gorgeous waterfall. If you look closely, you can see the teeny tiny person standing a little to the right and above the 2nd big rock in the bottom left corner of the picture. We hiked WAY up the mountains.|
|Berber village by the river|
|Some really sturdy, safe, up-to-code bridges|
Whew. This is entirely too long and I feel like it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what we experienced those five days, but that’s the big picture. A one-in-a-lifetime experience and we’re SO glad we took the opportunity. We’re also glad we went in the “winter” because I’m not sure I could have stomached the city (and the smells) at 100+ degree temperatures. We came away with great pictures, wonderful memories, and some fun souvenirs too (Moroccan spices and coffee included)!
I’d say it was a successful Thanksgiving.