*Guest Post - Morocco*


After comparing the poverty of Karachi and the gloss of Dubai I realised Morocco is somewhere in-between and I haven’t experienced much of a cultural shock. Familiar Arab reality and tons of new impressions. I’d like to share with you some of them...
It all has begun on Wednesday with the evening flight Vienna-Agadir, which is approx 2K km,4 hours and price of 200E. Tiny airport, a resort on the Atlantic ocean. From the airport you are picked by polite taxi drivers, though you've heard in such country bargain is a must, the fixed price of 220 Dirhams (22E) calms you down. For this offer, you get 80’s Mercedes 200D and a funny driver. The moment I realised Morocco ain't cheap at all, but amusing whatsoever. In half an hour we've reached downtown of Agadir. It was time for a midnight walk.
I would highly recommend the local pubs. Authentic atmosphere, locals only, Berber music and dances. There are shisha and cheap beer. You will recognise them from distance by the noisiness.
The temperature in February is between 20 and 25C daytime and as low as 10C in the night. The days are sunny and long enough for an out of season visit. At the beach, there are few tourists sunbathing and peddlers circling around offering everything you may imagine: from volcano rocks to Moroccan hashish. Those fellows are fine, they are not intrusive, as one of the mat sellers concluded: one day work, two-day sleep.

Чети на български



In Agadir besides the beach, there isn't other amusement. In the 60’s earthquake has demolished the old town. From the hill where the old town used to be there is an excellent view of the new Agadir and the surroundings. The serpentine road leads to the top. You may get there by city cab: the Petite Taxi.
Red, small, usually Fiat Uno or Peugeot 106 with a rack on the roof for a suitcase. Later on, we discovered, that those petites are not that small at all. It has space for 2 more suitcases in the trunk which is half opened during the ride, such a fact didn't seem to disturb anyone. And for the walk to the view top, we had a codger taxi driver, who was so enthusiastic in promoting the local pride Argan and its miraculous features, that he ate his shoe while driving the curves on the way up! It’s full of such trees nearby the road there:



In Agadir, there is a promenade attached to the beach. There are Marina and all the supplementary for a sea resort. Enjoyable for walks. The venues are mainly tourist traps, but there are some findings. For dinner, I would recommend the fish restaurant right at the beginning of the port. Fresh fish cooked w/o the tedious Argan oil, used by the locals not in the cosmetics only, but for cooking too. One is refined and the other is unrefined.




On Friday as per our plan, we went to Marrakech by a relevantly new and comfortable bus. The trip takes 3 hours. What impressed me is the infrastructure. All the way there we were crossing the speedway through wasteland and cross-country. The view outside was astonishing. The snowy Atlas mountains, lots of red, cactuses, donkey rides and all kind of wondrous images.



Marrakech is colourful and noisy. At the arrival at the bus stop, there was a quarrel between the taxi drivers whom to pick us up. After all, an English speaking bakshish, non-quarrelling and normal looking drove us. In Marrakech catching a cab is such a bargain. If you are persistent enough and bid on several cabs you’ll get a very good offer. We were staying in a Riad (The riads are old-fashioned houses with English yards, many of them are accommodating tourists) in the Medina (The medina is the old town of Marrakech surrounded by fortress wall with many gates). The car dropped us by a Bab (gate) in the inner city and from there on we had to find our way to the Riad in the network of tiny streets with no street names, numbers and city planning. If you decide to stay in a Riad, ask to be picked up by Riad personnel. Avoid the local idlers the so called guides. For directions ask in the vendors nearby. The majority of the sellers speak English and...Polish. If you are a French speaker navigating in the Medina won’t be any issue.
Excluding the guides and similar dodgy fellas, the locals are warm hearted, welcoming you to Morocco. They are aware of Stoichkov and Balakov and that we are a democratic country.




We've checked-in in the Riad and went exploring the tiny streets. Miraculously we've managed to find Az Yam from the top list of Trip Advisor.This time I enjoyed the lamb chops served in Tanjine, the local pottery. It’s everywhere. It’s served with a ceramic hood on. This has to be the most impressive of the local food: 4-5 tanjines, couscous, Moroccan salad (tomatoes and parsley), bread and olives for tapas.
As every labyrinth, the tiny streets of Marrakech has their exit. All the streets lead to the big square-the main sightsee. Colourful spot, hundreds of people, music, dances, monkeys, fruit vendors, smoke from grills.



From there the new Marrakech is easily accessible and is completely the opposite: wide streets with shiny shops, European bars, casinos.
In Trip Advisor there are few cosy bars in this part of Marrakech. My friends and I visited one of them. A bar with live jazz music in a very chilled atmosphere. Another finding from TripAdvisor is Comptoir Darna. Exquisite stylish venue with plush, baldachin and belly dancers. Joy for all the senses.
On Saturday we were off to Essaouira: a small town on the seaside with a rich history. It charms you with the white-blue houses and the blue fisherman’s boats. There are many youngsters, surfers, hippies,  Jimi Hendrix used to live there they say. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the feeling is for out of time. Awesome spot.







The day has passed quickly and after 3 hours ride by bus, we were back to the craziness of the big small city of Marrakech.
Sunday was a day for shopping. We were advised to visit the market in the morning and we did so. As the first buyers for the day, we managed to make profitable bids. What impresses me in the souks are the copper lamps. It was full of carpets, scarfs, handmade bags, silver jewellery. Figures made out of stone, ceramics and spices. Argan oil is also everywhere.





On Monday we joined a group for a day trip by minibus to Ourika Valley. We passed by several Berber villages and reached 1500m of altitude. We had to climb rocks to reach the top which was rewarded by a cup of mint tea by the waterfall.



On Tuesday we went to Agadir, where we spent another 2 days at the beach before the night flight on Thursday taking us back to the familiar European countries.




Photos: Andrey Shirokov
Edited: by me
Text: Andrey Shirokov

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If you want to see your travel story here, e-mail me at sunandsany( @ )gmail.com.


*Guest Post - Morocco* *Guest Post - Morocco* Reviewed by Stanislava E. on February 25, 2015 Rating: 5

19 comments:

  1. Oh my, is so so impressive! To be honest, I didnt imagined Morocco in that way, it goes beyond my thoughts in fact. If Argan Oil is everywhere, then I need to book soon a trip lol, Im so addicted to it. The photos are amazing, both Marrakech in particular caught my eye for its colors and people. Great guest post Sany! Love this feature, makes me travel. Many kisses xo

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  2. Wow, so want to go Morocco now! Great photos! Completely in love with the place! http://ashaopryhirsi.blogspot.co.uk/

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  3. K so this is STUNNING! I wish I could travel this one would def be on my list of places to go :)

    http://floralsandsmiles.blogspot.ca/
    twitter.com/floralandsmiles

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  4. Страхотни постове. Мароко е наистина уникално място, миналата година като бяхме на почивка в Испания, имахме възможността да отидем за един ден до там, но ми се видя много далече.. Предпочитам да го посетя за повече от един ден. Много изнетересна история, много хубав дневник и снимки. Радвам се, че правиш такива прекрасни постове в блога си!
    хх

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  5. Amazing post again <3
    Dear can you click in link in my last post? It is really important for me <3 http://kasjaa.blogspot.com/

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  6. Morocco has been on my list of places to visit for quite some time. Friends and family who have been always send me fabrics, and spice market items. I would love to go to spend time there extensively. :) Thanks for sharing. great post.
    Madison
    Foodie Faves

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  7. Thanks for the walk into the unknown Morocco.

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  8. Such a beautiful place! I would love to visit it sometime!
    xx
    www.junewantsitall.com

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  9. Thanks for this virtual journey around Morocco. It's a country I didn't know all that much about so this was very interesting and the photos are lovely as well. How fascinating that argan oil is also used for cooking there.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  10. These are amazing photos! I love the sky with the birds the most!

    www.annescribblesanddoodles.blogspot.com

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  11. Сигурно е прекрасно изживяване! Никога не съм ходила на подобни места, благодаря ти, Сани, че ме вдъхновяваш с тези страхотни постове. И ако някой ден реша да ходя в тези земи, ще имам предвид твоите ползотворни съвети. Страхотна си!

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  12. Morocco is so rich and lovely.

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  13. I recognized the shea nuts there! It looks very beautiful and most importantly - HOT. I'm not convinced I want to go there though ;))

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  14. Firstly I want to say that I really like your guest posts and this one is amazing. I'd love to go to Morocco so badly, because I really like Morocco cuisine and argan oil (of course!). Moreover, I heard that this country is so beautiful (what I can see on those photos). Have an amazing weekend, my dear! :)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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  15. great pictures!

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  16. I love Morocco, it's a fantastic country. I really want to visit it again soon.

    www.LUXESSED.com

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  17. AHHHH IT LOOKS AMAZING and ive always wanted to go there:) my sister went there and she says you can buy real cheap interiors

    Check out my new post..7 Swedish living room styles to copy :)

    have a fab day dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis – inredning it’s, Swedish for decor :)

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