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TBT: Eat, Drink, See, and Do: Morocco


Now that I am abroad, all I think about is traveling! How could I not? Traveling once you get to Europe is so cheap. Today, I found an overnight train ticket from Milan to Paris for 35 Euros. I mean, come on! Unfortunately, I can't just pick up and leave every weekend, I do after all have lots of work I need to get done here in the archives. So I though today I could indulge my wanderlust in a different way and share one of my all time favorite trips -- Morocco in the summer of 2012.

I think Morocco is incredibly underrated and if you are studying or traveling in Europe you should really consider adding it to your list. The history nerd in me was in heaven. Morocco has long sat at the crossroads of Africa, Arabia, and Europe, giving it a fascinating history and an unique culture. To entice you, I've pulled some of my favorite photos from the trip and made a list of the top things you should eat, drink, see, and do in Morocco.

I stayed in this adorable historic Riad in Marrakesh.



Oh the colors... everything is a vibrant color!




The snake charmers in Marrakesh




Embracing the local style




My camel Aisha 




The leather tannery and dying factory




Overlooking the city of Fez



During my trip, I visited the cities of Marrakesh and Fes (and took the train between the two). You can easily (and cheaply) fly from Pisa, Italy to Fes! I didn't bother with Casablanca, since most people said it is very modern and industrial. I wish I had spent more time in Marrakesh since it was definitely my favorite, although both cities are full of amazing historical and cultural sights. I loved shopping in the massive Souqs, exploring the maze of the medina in each city, riding a camel outside of Marrakesh, people watching in the Djemma el Fna (main square in Marrakesh), exploring the historical palaces, and seeing (and smelling) the tannery in Fes, which might have scarred me for life. You do not want to know how they treat/soften the animal skins. Just say ok when they hand you a sprig of mint to hold over your nose!


Eat:
Dates, vegetables, camel, and anything cook in Tajine (or Tangine) clay pots

Drink:
Mint tea (and yes hot tea is great on a hot day!)
Freshly squeezed orange juice

See:
The amazing architecture of the historical palaces and mosques (and university in Fes)
The incredible handmade silk textiles
A leather tannery (although warning, you will never look at leather the same way again!)
A snake charmer in action

Do:
Take a steam in a traditional hammam (bath house)
Stay in a historic Riad
Go on a camel ride in an Oasis (or overnight in the dessert if you have time/are feeling adventurous)
Shop in the Souq (or Bazar)
Get lost in the maze of the medina
Buy lots of amazing spices 

Tips:
Realize everyone is trying to sell you something... always, and no gesture or kind act is for free (but that's ok, if you know that going in, you can be careful and go with it). Tipping the snake charmers was totally worth it! 

It is very warm (I mean it's basically the Sahara) but you still need to dress respectfully. Plus it's a very dry heat (temps were in the 110s when I was there). It was definitely hot, but strange without the humidity I'm used to. Also remember to drink plenty of water!


If you want to do a little more research on visiting Morocco, Frommers has an amazing (and free) guide online here.



Would you visit or have you visited Morocco? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Ashley B
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12 comments:

  1. Morocco is definitely on my bucket list! Love the photos, your camel looks so happy to be hanging out with you!

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  2. My dad ran the Marrakech Marathon last January (we live in Munich so it was just a four flight) and I'll have to be honest, Marrakech was a little too crazy for me. Since living in Germany, we've had the opportunity to travel all over Europe and parts of Africa and Asia so I would've thought I was used to loud vendors and hectic streets/alleyways but Marrakech was wayyy outside of my comfort zone ;) I really loved the Riad we stayed in though (Riad Al Mamoune) and we ate really well :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes Marrakesh is definitely crazy, but I had previously been to Istanbul and I think the crazy souqs there prepared me. Inside the Medina is definitely an overwhelming maze!

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    2. Totally! I felt the same way when we visited Istanbul ;)

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  3. Your pictures are stunning! I don't think I could ever get that close to a snake!!!
    -Kristen
    www.pugsandpearls.com

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  4. Great post! Would love to visit. Would you consider making a post about traveling to countries where you don't speak the language? I've been meaning to plan some adventures but I'm a bit afraid of the language barrier. Thanks!
    -Alexandra

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Alexandra, this is a great idea for a post. I will have to think about it, I have never really been afraid of a language barrier (hand gestures go a long way lol). But I think it is good to reflect on how I have handled it in the past and some tricks and tips I have come up with along the way.

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  5. Morocco has long been on my wish-list, love this post! The colors are just gorgeous.

    Italy: have you been to Assisi? It's one of my favorite places! Great for a quick and easy trip from Florence and just gorgeous/peaceful.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Clare, yes I have been to Assisi and of course I love it as well. The Giotto frescos and the charming Medieval town should not be missed!

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  6. I've been really wanting to travel to Morocco, thanks for sharing your experience. My wanderlust is at an all time high!

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  7. The colors in this country are unbelievable! I never considered traveling to Morocco before but it looks amazing.
    -Alex
    www.monstermisa.blogspot.com

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  8. I love Morocco, and can't wait to return there next month! Off to Marrakech/Imlil (the mountains), Fes, Chefchaouen, and Tangier. These pictures really rekindled my excitement!!!! Also, I gave you a shoutout in my most recent blog post about Florence. Hope you're enjoying being back!

    Chloe | Wanderlust in the Midwest

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