As I’m short on time and this post is super late, this post will probably be mostly pictures; but luckily I have lots of them!
So my flatmate and I decided to book a weekend trip to Morocco as it’s so close to where I am on the south of Spain, it would be a shame not to make the most of the opportunity while I’m here! Couldn’t wait for my first experience on the African continent and was a little overexcited about getting my first stamps in my passport. In the picture below you can see the lights of Morocco from the Spanish coast and my phone actually changed to a Moroccan network before we’d even got off the coach in the Spanish harbour, which shows you how close it is!
We’d managed to get a really good deal through a company called Discover Excursions, which take care of everything (all travel, accommodation and food) for only 180€! I’m not normally a tour group kind of person but I definitely felt more comfortable travelling with guides etc. for my first time in Morocco, which was such an unknown environment for me, rather than just hopping on a boat and trying to figure everything out for myself, as I normally would. So the only downside was the tour groupy vibe of being with about 100 american students, but it was such a good deal it was definitely worth it, and we got lots of free time to explore and shop, etc. anyway.
Here are some pics of our beautiful 4* hotel (very fancy and with a swimming pool- so good for the price!), the Moroccan countryside and the famous mint tea (soo sweet though).
We spent the first day exploring Chefchaouen, also known as the Blue Pearl, as pretty much all of the buildings are painted blue and white. You get the idea from the pictures but it was really very beautiful to see for yourself! (Even all of the taxis are blue)
We had lunch at a really cute restaurant (which did a pretty good veggie tagine) and then had the afternoon to ourselves to explore the markets. I managed to spend plenty of dirham on a crazy Moroccan dress, a scarf, some soap and perfume, some hot dried chillies (as I couldn’t find any where I live), amoung other things, whilst dodging the streets’ plentiful hash dealers and dodgy ‘tour guides’. Shopping in Morocco also gave me the chance the practice my French for the first time in months (which was a challenge), as well as the handful of Arabic words I had learnt; “no thank you” proved to be the most useful phrase I would need…
The next day we headed to the coast, to a smaller market town called Asilah, famous for it’s mural art competitions; you can see some examples below! This gave me another chance to explore the markets and practice my haggling skills yet again (there’s no other way to shop in Morocco); apart from a rather heated argument with a street trader over a miscommunication in pricing, all went well…
We then had another delicious lunch in this beautiful restaurant:
Finally we headed to the beaches of Tangier, a little further along the coast, for a quick camel ride along the sands. After seeing how the owners were treating the animals however I couldn’t comfortably join in, so decided to opt out and instead spent the visit enjoying the beautiful beach.
It was a brief trip but a worthwhile one, as I got to explore a culture like none I’d experienced before; my first time in Africa was a success!
My next postcard article will fill you all in on my first ever trip to Germany!