Morocco

For me, usually, best trips are those which are not well organized and booked really fast, without actually thinking of what you are doing. And that situation was with Morocco. I booked the tickets two weeks before the flight, even without asking my boss about having a week off. We were two girls going to this north African country and frankly speaking it was the best solution. Thanks to being females we were usually much efficient in negotiating the price with the Moroccan sellers 😀

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Our travel actually started in Marseille from where we had a flight to Fes. In Marseille we visited my first couchsurfing host- Laura who again hosted me and my friend with the great pleasure and we spent a crazy night in Marseille exploring the pubs and tasting crepes made by our French friends. Actually ,I have to mention that one year ago when I was in Marseille I didn’t like the city at all. It looked really dangerous for me and I didn’t feel safe. However, this year I visited it twice and I literally fall in love with this city. It has so much to offer for the people living there and it’s much cheaper than different cities in the south of France. What I like the most were a lot of tiny, cool pubs in colorful districts where you could have a nice glass of wine or beer for an affordable price. The second thing is the railway station which is also extra-ordinary. You have wonderful view for all Marseille and its Basilique which is on the top of the mountain plus you have really cool stairs which lead you to the station. LAST thing is the piano that is inside the railway station and everybody who wants to play can play on it for free. Last time when I was there I came across the pianist who was playing there exceptionally.

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But Morocco…the trip cost us about 300 euro for one person for one week with everything. We did it at the end of february so it wasn’t really hot but it wasn’t cold as well but during the nights, actually, it was really cold. Moroccan houses don’t have the heating so we had to sleep under three or four blankets. So except of three nights that it was freaking cold for me, everything was perfetto!

We started our trip in Fez where we spent one day. We didn’t like that city that much as we liked Marrakesch. I don’t know why, maybe just because of the ambiance. There are some good things to see in Fez like a tannery. The others are of course the architecture of the city ( all the gates, some synagogs, medres, fortifications). I am not that interested in the history of the city ( I should because I did my exams from history in the high-school) but I am more concerned about the atmosphere, people, colors, tastes and especially food ;D

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the tannery

After Fez we took a night train to Marrakesch ( it goes at 2.30 at night and comes at 10.30 in Marrakesch) so you don’t have to pay for the night in the hostel but you can sleep in the train which is more comfortable than trains in Poland and you can meet some local people as well. The train costs 195 MAD.  I have to mention that all the raliway stations in Morocco are in a really good condition. They are new, clean, good looking and the billeterie is open 24 hours a day ( except for small breaks during the day). One inconvenient thing at the railway stations is that they are really cold during the nights ( in winter). We slept two times a bit during the night at the railway station and it was, believe me, really cold. But let’s switch to Marrakesch…I loved this city. Its full of colors, crazy people, traffic jam, moroccan food, crazy taxi drivers…it’s full of everything but it has its Moroccan ambiance. When you are there you feel like in real Morocco. You can move to petit local restaurants with only local people inside and taste delicious moroccan sweets and crepes. Usually, if you go to such local spots you will pay the same as the local people. Because normally if you go to some restaurants, cafes they charge tourists a lot.There is no menu, they just see a non-moroccan people and they charge you three times more. The best thing that we did in Marrakesch was renting the scooter. It was a craziness! Imagine two girls on the scooter riding in the Medina, through these tiny roads with petit shops…Moroccan people when they saw us they were pointing at us and laughing. It wasn’t an easy job…the traffic in Marrakesch is really huse and actually there are no rules on the roads…everybody is driving like he wants so I did that as well 🙂 best experience ever!

After Marrakesch we went for a one night on the desert near Zagora city. I have to tell you that it was also a real fun. We were riding camels, we slept in the tents, we were making a fire with Berbers, talking, singing and playing with them…and in the morning we saw the beautiful sunrise on the desert. What impressed me much about Berbers is the fact that they can’t count, they can’t write but they can speak some many languages that it’s unbelievable. One of them know Spanish, French, English, Arabic, Berber and  Japanese. He learned everything of this on the desert with tourists but he doesn’t have any school education. It’s impressive, isn’t it?

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After the desert we came back to Marrakesch for one night and then we went to Essaouira. A resort just by the sea. The city with its harbour and beach was BEAUTIFUL but it was totally different from Marrakesch or Fes. The people there were more tranquille, the city was much more cleaner, the sellers weren’t molesting the tourists for buying something from them. It was a really good idea to rest a bit in such a city before going back to Fes. The hotels in Essaouira are also much better and with the same price as in Fes or Marrakesch. We had our own room with bathroom and the balcony on the roof top for 200 MAD. It was quite expensive but we were there only one night so we decided to use it.

view from our balcony in Essaouira
view from our balcony in Essaouira

Best memories from Morocco:

– PEOPLE!PEOPLE! and again People! I was so surprised about the attitude of local people to us. I know that we were two european girls and maybe it was the key but they were so nice,so open, so helpful for us that I will never forget this trip and if I go back to Morocco ( for sure I will) I will go there mostly because of the people. Each time on the streets everybody was greeting us. They were saying ‘Bonjour!Ca va les Gazelles?’ Les Gazelles means young ladies:) Everybody was smiling to us and we, literally, were doing the same. And it was the solution. I didn’t meet the sellers that were asking only to buy the things from them, I met the sellers who wanted to talk to me about their products and wanted to show me their masterpieces. Having the same attitude as they had we really succeeded in not having any troubles with some rude people.

peanuts' seller in Fes
peanuts’ seller in Fes

The Moroccan rule: BE POLITE, SMILE AND SAY BONJOUR TO EVERYBODY WHOM YOU SEE!

With this rule you will survive without any rude situations, just talk to people and ask them about their life, how they are doing, such a simple thing changes the ambiance so much…

pottery seller in Fes
pottery seller in Fes

-FRENCH LANGUAGE: it helped me so so so MUCH, without it for sure I would pay much more and would be lost a lot of times…of course a lot of Moroccan people speak English (especially sellers) but if you want to talk to a grandpa with a donkey who sells the clementines you won’t be able to use English but you will use French and simply know something about his life etc…It was really important for me as I like to talk to new people, asking about their lives in there and thanks to French language they were taking me like somebody who is local, not like a tourist

Author: Izabela Handerek

Obecnie mieszkam w Peru, gdzie prowadzę biuro podróży Alpinca. Przez parę lat mieszkałam oraz studiowałam we Francji oraz Chinach, które stały się moim drugim domem. W Peru uwielbiam ceviche oraz Andy. We Francji wino, sery i język francuski. A W Chinach wszystko :D

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