Obviously, when you hear Morocco, the first thing that comes to mind is the architecture and its charming tiles, and the vast desert. That was my expectation as well before my trip. But as my eyes got accustomed to the architecture through pictures and during my visit there, I started discovering other reasons that led me to love this country and enjoy my time there.
Because of its size the country has a diverse geography and climate. Depending on your destination, you will find very different sceneries that could surprise you. One of the facts that mesmerised me was the colors in this country. Each and every city has its own colors, reflected in a unified architecture and facade for the buildings and colors of the taxis.
The only cities where I had seen so many bikes before were Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Even compared to many other European cities I have seen more bikers in Morocco. But unlike the bikers in Europe, these guys have some interesting skills and maneuvering. As you walk around the old Medina and the small alleys of the souk, you will see them steering through and making their way between the shops, the products, the locals and the tourists. Add to that a touch of adrenaline and heart stopping actions as these guys go on their bicycles, on to the busy streets of the city, with no dedicated routes, and they ride, swaying between the rushing cars, and still manage to skim through the music and messages on their phones. Not to mention that these bikers come in all ages, and gender. From the young energetic men, to the old wise men, to the ladies wearing the traditional Moroccan dress and the veil over their hair.
Mosques are another unique element in this country, as they are adorned with a unique local style and covered in colors that blend in harmony with the rest of the city.
Morroccan Food is not as much diverse as other Middle east- Mediterranean countries, yet the food is delicious and made in a very special way, with special Moroccan pottery. plenty types of Tajin, Couscous and Pastilla are the signature dishes. My favourite is Pastilla as I found it very different. It is a pastry filled with chicken and covered in powder sugar. Such an odd combination, but irreplaceable taste.
Morocco Tea is mainly green tea with fresh mints. It is almost not possible to find another version of tea in the traditional Moroccan cafes and Restaurants. But the tea is so tasty and I assume healthy as well (if you ask less sweet of course).
In general it is always a big pleasure to do shopping in Middle easter countries and get plenty of oriental ornaments. Moroccon cities with their huge and well organised Markets (Souk) are the shopping destination for many people. The fresh spicies, high quality Argan oil, wooden boxes, pottery and hand painted plates, traditional shoes, rugs/ carpets and finally the handmade leather products. Leaving the country without buying at least some leather items and organ oil would be a “sin”. the quality of the products and the price will not be easily found anywhere else.
Moroccan cities are generally quite safe. Of course one must take some precautions and avoid situations that could be problematic, anywhere in the world, such as being in quiet empty streets with obvious signs that you are a tourist, like your camera, especially at night time. If you pay attention where, when and how you move around, all should turn out for the best. I will write more details about the safety and our experience during the trip in one of my next blogs.