What’s the one thing I didn’t do in Morocco and regret?
From now on I’ll be doing these ‘Bucket lists’ for every place I visit. Why? Personally lists work for me, I’m way more eager to see places. Also, it means you’ve really though through all the options a place got to offer. If you don’t have that kind of time and motivation before visiting a place, you can come here and ‘borrow’ the list and see how much can you fulfil. I have carefully selected the points and researched it beforehand, so it’s just not only my point of view but also what locals and articles have pointed out to be the ‘must try’.
I’ll be sharing the template also in my Instagram stories and will list them in the future under the highlight section, so you can revisit, screenshot and share your own ‘accomplishments’.
We took a 3 day Merzouga desert tourand spent one night of it in the desert. I’ll say that I’m sure there are better organised trips out there, but more of it in the next post about tips while travelling in Morocco.
Going to the desert was my nr 1 in the list and I didn’t have to be disappointed. It was somehow like travelling to
your childhood fairy tales because hell, desert is pretty far opposite from where I’m from. And even though Estonia has little light pollution in the rural areas, I have NEVER seen so many stars in my life.
So-so to be honest, because we did go there, but for a really little time and did not hike nor climb, but just walked through it. Still such a stunning place and I am always blown away because of mountains as I think I was 19 when I first saw some in Bulgaria.
As we heard, it is popular also for climbing, so if it would be something you’d be interested in, that’s your place. I’ll drop a link to find more information (something I found while googling, you can surely find more).
SEE THE ANCIENT CITY AIT BEN HADDOU
Historical fortified village which is UNESCO World Heritage List and attracting tons of tourists. Why? Well, firstly it’s mystical and secondly, many famous movies have been filmed there, e.g. Gladiator and Alexander.
Most of the locals live nowadays other side of the river in more modern premises and the nature is nourished thanks to the water coming down from Atlas mountains. Never been to Arizona but this is what I imagine the red desert like “mountains” to look like. Tell me if I’m wrong.
SHOP IN THE SOUKS
Before going to Morocco, I searched through tons of articles and pages what to consider and expect when travelling there. Many pointed out that you should be careful not to get lost in the souks and also about the hostile environment sometimes. Some even suggested to find a guide to get around. I think it’s totally unnecessary. Just walk around and when you’re tired, open your Google Maps and find a way out. Things might get more tricky if you want to find a certain spot in the maze, though.
EAT IN MARRAKECH’S JEMAA EL-FNAA
After out cooking class with a local family (more about it in the next posts), we were so full that we didn’t think we can eat in the next three days. So, in the end, during our two nights in Marrakech we just walked around, bought some dates, nuts and juice but didn’t have a often suggested dinner by the square. Did experience the energy and craziness of the place though. A must visit for sure.
EXPOLORE THE BLUE CITY CHEFCHAOUEN
It was actually our first destination and it did not disappoint. Arriving by bus it didn’t seem to be the right spot because the area around bus station is rather different, but arriving closer to the old town by taxi showed how blue everything was already from afar.
Perfect spot for start getting use to the hectic Morocco, as on these streets you can just look around without any hassle and stroll around without feeling like you’re a walking wallet (harsh, but true).
VISIT THE FEZ’S LEATHER TANNERY
Only time we managed to attract the local ‘guide’ who was only there to ‘help us’ finding the entry to see the tannery in exchange to ‘only’ visiting his carpet shop later. We went there through a three storey leather shop and had a guy guiding us up and explain us the methods. As we were anyways in a lookout for some leather goodies, we didn’t mind. In the end we didn’t find what we were looking for and didn’t have any problem exiting the shop. They had tons of other customers to take care of and in general, don’t always believe the articles and trust your gut while travelling.
UNWIND IN A HAMMAM
Did not have time to do it and definitely regeret it. From the local guy in our cooking class we heard that if you go to the local hammam and pay around 10€ (dh 100) to the lady/guy (hammams are separate for male and female), you’re well taken care of with scrubbing etc. For touristic hammams, the prices start from around 30€ but are definitely less authentic and more luxurious in outlook.
STAY IN A TRADITIONAL RIAD
Our goal was to stay only in traditional riads. You can find them for real cheap, starting from 10€. Ours were on average ~25€ and varied regarding their hospitality and looks.
As most of the riads are in the medina (old town), it’s difficult to find them and easy to get lost in the maze. On our first night in Marrakech we managed to lose our way coming back to the riad because so many streets were dead ends or just really shady, so we took a taxi. Again, trust yourself and what feels right. Dh 30 might seem expensive for 5 minutes drive but 3€ seem pretty good for less stress.
EAT A TAJINE (OR TEN)
Couscous and tajines are life in Morocco. Our Spanish friend Maria who’s volunteering in Morocco currently, said she’s eating tajines just sooooo often. I can imagine. After coming back from Morocco, I felt I have had enough couscous for a while.
They’re really delicious though, mostly varying regarding meat (or no meat) and pack tons of vegetables and sauce, if you’re lucky.
Up front is kefta which is brought to the table boiling hot, just the way I like it.
Do you have any suggestions regarding the blog or this theme? Same again, let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.