Morocco is a country of variety. Throughout our trip we experienced both luxury and poverty, saw beauty and squalor, and met people who ranged from scam artists to saints. All of these experiences were juxtaposed as we snaked our way around the country.
Casablanca & The Big Cities
Casablanca is the first city that comes to mind for most when they think about Morocco. While the city is largely industrial, the Hassan II Mosque is an exception to that generalization. The building towers along the cost at nearly 700 feet tall.
Standing in front of the minaret starts to make the scale of the tower apparent.
If you are a fan of cats, Morocco will be a welcoming place for you. They seemed to be everywhere and outnumber the human residence.
Farm To Table
At home trendy restaurants feature the freshest food and locally sourced goods. Across Morocco this felt like a given, even at the most basic food carts. Local butchers prepared meats fresh daily.
To the delight of our noses and stomachs bakers around every corner produced what seemed like an endless supply of khobz [local round bread]. The hot dipping sauce for the khobz now holds a special place in my heart.
Mint tea was another staple. It was a given anytime we met someone new or visited a house.
Nine thousand seven hundred and thirty nine - the number of twisting winding alleyways woven together to form the ancient Fes medina. Each major city had it's own marketplace, but the shops and street carts of Fes were the most impressive by far.
During our time in the medina we visited a Turkish bath, got a quick shave, and haggled over the price of a jacket. Negotiating is mandatory unless you want to get ripped off.
Traveling always gives me a renewed sense of humility. This was no different in Morocco. The quality of homes changes dramatically from block to block. On one road new premium apartments were being built, while a few blocks over families cobbled together the bare essentials.
Midway through our trip we met up with a driver we had hired. We headed South over the Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara Desert. The beauty and harsh weather of the Sahara quickly made Merzouga one of my favorite destinations.
During our second day a sand storm rolled in which made an appropriate backdrop to a desert 4x4 tour. Watching the video does not give the level of sand justice.
Seemingly every door we walked past was unique and original.