Despite the romanticism that may have been created by the movie with the same name, Casablanca isn’t that. This is not to say that Casablanca wasn’t enjoyable, it’s just a big city with everyone on the move and trying to make some money. Casablanca had a mixture of old and contemporary architecture. The Hassan II Mosque was a great site with a lot of history. At sunset all the kids were gathered near the mosque, jumping into the water playing; it was cool to see.
Also known as the blue city, Chefchaouen was the highlight of my trip to Morocco. It was a treat for the eyes, ears and stomach. Walking through the blue medina you would hear English, Arabic, French and Spanish. It is also quite a shift from the normal tourist experience. The city sits within the mountains and gives off a serene vibe that just calms the mind.
A very old city rich with culture and interesting people. In Fez stands one of the oldest medinas in Morocco. During our time there, they were celebrating Eid al-Adha so, most shops closed early and there weren’t many tourists around. This worked out in our favor when it came to visiting monuments and getting to see how Moroccans celebrated Eid. Once the holiday was over, things went from 0 to 100 quickly.
On the road to Merzouga and the Sahara Desert we made our way across the countryside. During the trip we passed through Ifrane (They call it the Switzerland of Morocco) and the Cedar forest. This was all through the Atlas Mountains where I saw some crazy views.
A desert oasis that’s instantly captivating the moment the dunes catches your eye. Everyone we met was very friendly and welcoming. Strange plants, to sparkling rocks, Merzouga felt like I was hundreds of miles away from anything familiar; it was a great.
This city is considered the Hollywood of North Africa. Going through Ouarzazate I realized that there were many famous films and TV shows created there. The stand out show for me was Game of Thrones; we had the chance to check out where they shot the city of Yunkai. This was also the point of the trip where I got food poisoning so it was a mixed bag of experiences.
Marrakech felt like a more modern version of Fez to me. The roads were nicely paved, lots of street lights and exotic plant life everywhere. One thing that took some adjustment was the fact that there were mopeds riding through the Medina every minute of the day. On the flip side there were some amazing gardens, my favorite was the Yves Saint Laurent garden and museum. Plants from all over the world were gathered in that garden. The blue paint in the garden was also amazing. It is something that a camera can’t do justice to, you just have to see it in person to appreciate it.
The beach town of Morocco, it definitely felt like it. This was the most laid back city that we visited in Morocco. Not once did a shop owner try to force us to buy something, it was refreshing. The surfer culture is also very real in Essaouira. If anyone plans on going to Morocco, you have to check out Essaouira.