This past weekend in Spain we had a “puente” aka a long weekend, so therefore I decided I might as well use this time to get in one last trip before my year abroad is through. Living in Andalusia and being so close to Morocco, I decided it was finally time to venture to Africa for the first time!
I ended up going alone, since all friends were either traveling or otherwise busy so I found an excursion company that was going to Morocco for 5 days, but not just the northern cities, also the Sahara!!!
The friends I wound up making were incredible. People from all over the world came together to be on this trip: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Australia and many more!! Spending so much time in a bus traveling would be unbearable without these amazing people.
Our first day we made our way to Fez, the oldest city in Morocco. I was instantly shocked by their culture. The way they dress and treat women there is COMPLETELY different, something I was definitely not expecting. Women weren’t seen much on the streets and wearing western style clothing made us all stick out like a sore thumb!
Walking through Fez was like watching Disney’s “Aladdin.” Small crowded streets filled with vendors trying to sell you things and making deals with you. Bartering is a must in Morocco! Shops were filled with handcrafted trinkets such as scarves, leather bags, shoes, ceramics and much much more. The shapes colors and quantities were overwhelming in the best sense of the word.
The following day we made our way to the desert, stopping on the way to see a kasbah or fortress which also held a koran school and the most beautiful handmade carpets and tapestries I’ve ever seen.
By the time we got to our hotel in the desert it was late, but we were greeted by Berbers, aka a nomadic tribe in the Sahara, and a typical drum circle.
The next day many of us took 4x4’s through the dunes of the desert, stopping by fossilized fish and shells that were embedded into where an ocean used to be but where the desert now resides.
Finally, it was time to pack our bags and hop on to some dromedaries to get to the tents we were going to be staying in while in the desert. Dromedaries are actually the proper name for a “camel” but with only one hump. The ride was AMAZING! Being lead into the dunes by Berbers while on dromedaries and being surrounded by nothing but sun, sand, and sky.
While on the dunes we did activities such as making sand angels, using a snowboard to surf down the dunes, and of course a spontaneous dance party. For dinner we had another traditional drum circle followed by amazing Moroccan food: various vegetable dishes, couscous and amazing traditional bread (there was meat too, but since I’m vegetarian I have no idea how it was).
That night we formed another drum circle high in the dunes and watched shooting stars. I was so captivated by the stars and the sand that a few of us, instead of sleeping in the tents decided to sleep under the stars of the Sahara. Never in my life would I have imagined doing something like this. This trip was so spontaneous for me that even a week before, I didn’t imagine myself going to Morocco let alone the SAHARA!
On the way back to Spain, we made a few stops, one including a park where monkeys run wild. We were even lucky enough to get to feed them nuts and seeds, they took them right out of our hands, they were so well behaved!
The next stop was to Asilah, a small fishing village in the north of Morocco. This quaint village is characterized by blue and white painted buildings, an ancient arch and an amazing view of the Atlantic ocean.
Needless to say, I did A LOT in these past five days. I never thought I would be going to Morocco let alone the SAHARA! This is truly a trip I will never forget.
Feeding monkeys in a forest
Donkeys are basically used as cars here. We almost hit these two while on the 4x4 through the dunes.
Riding our dromedaries through the dunes!
Standing by 1/7 of the doors that lead to heaven at the King’s palace.
Relaxing by the dunes before our ride through the desert!
I’m a sucker for high viewpoints, this is overlooking Fez
They just wanted candy, I just wanted a high-five.
"How do they get the buildings to look so old…?" Finding home decor inspiration inside of a kasbah in Fez.