Morocco: A North African Treasure

Morocco! Why would you ever go to Morocco? Whats in Morocco? Its not safe you know. Are you kidding, Morocco was crazy amazing and I would recommend it to anyone!

Essaouira Boats

So why Morocco. It started with the girl I met, not even two weeks in after we first met she asked me to come to Morocco. Without hesitation I said sure lets do it. She found the flights and we pretty much booked it in a couple days. We were set! Not knowing much about her at the time, we were still new to each other, dating. All I knew at the time was this girl’s pretty cool and chill.

December 19th comes, we book an Uber at around 3AM and head to Pearson. First leg was to JFK via AA. With an 11 hour layover we decided to purchase the Admirals club which cost $50 USD. For a long layover it was definitely worth it. The next leg was JFK to LHR and again we would have a 11 hour layover as well. It was years since I was in Heathrow and boy its massive. As we head towards customs since we were switching airports, we were at the counter where we need to fill out customs forms. Low and behold, under our feet was a bag. A duty free bag with a bottle of Chivas and Yves Saint Laurent cologne. Well that came with us during the whole journey ūüėõ Making our way out of Heathrow we were both dead tired. I suggested to get a room and snooze for at least a couple hours. Waking up and with time against us we were cutting it close. We head to the lobby and tried to figure how to get to London City airport. At this time of the day it was all rush. We get a cab and it took almost two hours to get to the airport, weaving through the crazy London traffic. On the flip side, we went through downtown and had the pleasure to see Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Big Ben and the British Museum. We reach the airport, get our bags checked and grab some grub. Again as always we were cutting it close, she wanted to look around but low and behold, we were late as the screen said boarding. We made a dash and ran towards the gate and with a relief they just started to board. This next leg was LHR to MAD via Ryanair. All I have to say is Ryanair sucks, royally. The staff were rude and didn’t seem to care. Just as soon as we took off, a girl ran up to the washroom and starting puking. Some of it landed right in front of me but boy I was glad it was a short flight.

We stayed in Madrid for one night, booking a room using Air Miles at the AC by Marriott. This is a break we definitely needed after a long journey.

On to Morocco! Landing in Marrakech we were immediately greeting by warm weather and soon enough our driver who helped us get to the AirBnB booking. Having only seen pictures of Riads was one thing, but to stay in one was totally amazing! We stayed at ‘Camelia – 22’.

Riad Camelia 22

Riad Camelia 22

Once settled in, showered and freshened up we took a stroll to the all famous Jamaa el Fna.  This among the souk is probably the most known place to visit in Marrakech.

Jamaa el Fna

Jamaa el Fna

I should point out this was December and the crowds were not as big.  Perhaps because this was the winter season there with temperatures around 20C at night.  Perfect if you ask me!  Doing the touristy bit and snapping pictures, we venture to find the souk.  The souk was chaotic, immediately greeted by hawkers who were trying to sell little toys to locals dressed in traditional outfits where a small fee would have to be given.

One thing to mention, especially because this was our first time visiting this type of country, you always have locals trying to ask where your going and offering to take you there.  Not knowing what to expect the simplest thing to do is to say thank you and keep walking.  Anything more will lead to them following along side and perhaps even behind you.  This happened on occasion from little kids to older teens with the end result being they want money.  Being at night in the souk amongst small narrow alleys and some without proper lighting can make you nervous!  Nevertheless, it is an experience and like any you eventually know how to deal with the locals.

Both of us were very hungry.  Not to worry though, there were plenty of restaurants with good views of the souk.  There were a bunch of kids below trying to persuade tourists to come and eat at their restaurant.  Eventually we picked one, headed upstairs and ordered the first of many tagines!  We were in for a treat!!

Vegetarian Tagine

Vegetarian Tagine

Stomachs full, we head back to our riad where I asked Abdoul (I think that was his name) if they had any Beer.  Beer is not commonly found, especially since our riad was inside of the old Medina.  Nevertheless, Abdoul hooked it up!  Spéciale Flag.

Spéciale Flag

Spéciale Flag

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