Morocco, a bridge between Europe and Africa
I was recently in Morocco for two weeks. It wasn’t my first time, I had already been there 8 or 9 years ago. I had good memories from that trip and these two weeks confirmed that Morocco is a beautiful country to visit, and for more than one reason.
I like Morocco because it’s in Africa, but it’s still quite similar to Europe and you don’t feel that much of the culture shock you might find in other African Countries. Plus it has culture, architecture and handicraft that are incredible attractive.
Here are the reasons why I love it and would go back again and again.
Why you should visit Morocco: The Orange Juice
This is the country of orange trees. They are everywhere, wild in the countryside, in orchards, in gardens, in courtyards. You can drink fresh orange juice any time you want in Morocco; you will probably be offered one in the morning at the riad with your breakfast, you can buy one from 4 to 20 Dirhams (about 0,40 to 2 euro) anywhere. Fruit juice shops are as common as cafeterias, and quite often you can also get pomegranate, banana, lemon, mango and a mix of whatever you like. The orange juice is the best and sweetest you will ever have in your life.
Pottery, carpets, leather goods, lamps, scarfs, jewelry… your mind will be blown away. If you live in Europe it wouldn’t be a crazy idea to arrange a weekend trip to Marrakech just to bring home some beautiful home furniture.
Moroccans love to bargain. And with tourists they like to start big. Very big. So, ask for the price only when you have your own price in mind, what you are ready to pay. And start bidding a third of what you are ready to pay. Don’t worry if it’s a lot less than what you are first asked. Moroccan sellers can ask 10 times what the real price is. And if you don’t get to the price you want, try somewhere else. If when leaving, the seller doesn’t follow you to accept your offered price, probably you are asking for a price that is truly too low.
Morocco is a country full of charm, and a few places are pure magic. To mention one, Chefchaouen, the blue town, the prettiest and one of the cheapest places in Morocco.
Other magic places are the “medina” of any city. I loved it in Marrakech, in Fes, in Tang’er, in Essaouira. The old towns are messy and confusing and might seem a bit dirty, but they are certainly charismatic.
I have never seen cats as well treated as they are in Morocco. I don’t know if they are stray or domestic cats, probably somewhere in between. They are well fed and well taken care of. Cats wait patiently near a butcher, knowing they will get their share of meat, sooner or later. They are given warm shelters, they are cuddled and loved. And to confirm this they are beautiful and healthy.
Cats became my favorite subjects, because people don’t like to be photographed much, while cats don’t really mind.
The landscape is so diverse, it’s incredible how the view from the window changes in such a relatively small country! From the green fertile plains of the West, to the snow capped mountains of the Atlas, to the dry lands of the East, passing through gorges and canyons till the end of the road by the desert. This variety makes this country incredible interesting to my eyes.
Yes, there are plenty of reasons to go to Morocco, and even more to go back. Next time I want to hike in the Atlas and go further South, where fewer tourists go and where probably a more authentic Morocco can be witnessed. And clicking on this link you can see more pictures I took in Morocco.