Everyone who knows me knows I love travelling. In December, around the holidays, I decided to take a few weeks off work and visit Morocco. I travelled through many different cities so I had a chance to get a glimpse of almost all the main attractions of this beautiful country. I was taken by the beautiful colors, the countless number of different landscapes, the beautiful nature, the vibe of everyday life in the cities and of course kindness of local people.
I combined my love of travelling and my love for surfing and for the first week I stayed in Agadir, a coastal city of Morocco renowned for some of the most amazing surf beaches in the world and its colorful small fishing villages.
The next stop was Marrakesh, one of the largest cities in Morocco. Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakesh comprises an old fortified city, also know as the Medina, packed with vendors and their stalls as well as small boutiques hotels know as Riads. Walking through the Marrakesh Medina was so inspiring for me as I discovered the beauty of the products created by skilled artisans and the craftsmanship of workers in manufacturing beautiful decorative lanterns, jewelery, house furniture, fabrics, and so much more, all made by hand.
Even more inspiring was the architecture of the city and the attention to detail found in the simplest elements like floor tiles, staircases and fountains and of course the food!
After 3 days in Marrakesh I departed on a 3 day road trip through the Atlas Mountains, Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate and spent new years even on a tent in the middle of the majestic Sahara. Despite the fact that I have been to a dessert before, there are no words to explain the beauty of the Sahara Dessert so I will let the photos speak for themselves. Needless to say the experience of welcoming the New Year in a berber tent around a camp fire under the bright stars with the sound of drums was one the best in my life!
The final stop was another beautiful medina, that of Fès el-Bali (Old Fez). This medina was surprisingly different. A real awakening of the senses, a warren of narrow lanes and covered bazaars fit to bursting with aromatic food stands, spices, craft workshops, mosques and an endless parade of people. Men wearing the traditional jalaba and Fes hats, driving the donkeys and mules that remain the main form of transport in the city, while the ancient skyline is punctuated with minarets.
The most iconic sights of this city is the Chaouwara leather tanneries. Fez’s tanneries are composed of numerous stone vessels filled with a vast range of dyes and various liquids spread out like a tray of watercolors. Dozens of men, many standing waist deep in dyes, work under the hot sun without the need for modern machinery to dye leather and the process has barely changed since medieval times, which makes these tanneries absolutely fascinating to visit.
When it comes to the senses of smell, taste, and touch, Morocco provides a feast to indulge in and all these are well engraved in my mind and heart.