Should you visit Morocco?
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considering various aspects: infrastructure, beauty, people, culture and originality.
An overall advice
Always approach everything with good sense of humour, in a playful way and you will receive the best treatment, never get annoyed or aggressive as the response will be in the same direction but even more intense.
The capital city functions very much like a big, not so big, city where people have their matters to worry about, taxis function on meters, shops have fixed price and in the old medina nobody harasses you for anything, despite the lack of tourist appeal for Rabat in guides and perhaps it is not as exotic as some other places in Morocco I liked Rabat a lot, it has this seaside feel to it and the whole feel of it was just very pleasant.
The blue town is literally blue of light and dark shades, it is like a mixture of a mediterranean sea resort and a fairytale village only that it isn’t in the seaside but surrounded by gorgeous mountains and it is very real.
Chefchouen is stunning, I couldn’t stop ‘looking at it’ and as you can probably guess, if you know how much I like photography, the number of pictures I took to only have to delete 70% of them as majority looked pretty much the same. It is not just the look of this beautiful village that catches your attention but the feel of it, it is small, the climate is pleasant, warm and blue sky during the day and a little chilly at night which makes you sleep like a baby, people are friendly and it is so small that everyone kind of knows everyone, greetings and smiles are plenty.
The daily stroll in this place is like living in a constant dream.
Merzouga - The Desert
Erg Chebi dunes – the red desert, probably one of the most incredible sights I’d come across in my life, I spent 5 days in the desert and everyday was special, they were peaceful days with so much beauty before my eyes showing me how grandiose and powerful nature is and for that I can only feel blessed with the opportunity to appreciate it and pay my respect.
I spent my birthday at the desert and I planned that way as I wanted it to be special and it was!
An old Kasbah, this place is magically beautiful and I have experienced something very special here as so far my impression of Moroccan people was that for every kind action from them they expected something in return but it was very different here where in an a hour walk around I got offered food and 2 gifts from different tradesman and they actually offered as I was leaving knowing I wouldn’t purchase anything, I accepted happily as that finally represented the Berber and Arabs hospitality they talked about so much across the country. i was happy to have experienced it!
Marrakesh is the perfect representation of love and hate relationship, it is a must see and go place, more than once if you can actually but… it will irritate you and push you to the edge specially if you haven’t done your homework on what to expect and how to behave with the local culture.
Its beautiful red buildings,the gardens, the striking, colourful and unique souk, its main square Jemaa el-Fnaa which is a busy but unassuming square during the day where you find stools for fresh fruit and juices and some sales people scattered across the square as well as some performers BUT you won’t know what the square really is if you don’t visit it during the night when the transformation is monumental, the square becomes avenue for gastronomy, noisy and smoky with all the delicious local food being cooked there and then, the number of performers increase considerably and so does the level of harassment, absolutely everyone trying to sell you something be it food, performance or anything. They will grab you by the arm, pull you, talk fast and loud and they are intense and here is where I would advise you to understand the culture to make it easier and pleasant for yourself, do not react, do not get irritate, people from Marrakech have an incredible sense of humour so if you can take everything with a smile and in a playful way you will have the time of your life but if you get annoyed they will take it personally and get aggressive, shout at you and all and then the experience won’t be that pleasant.
Similar behaviour applies for the souk, they will expect you to barter and the salesman enjoy the process, they actually love it so if you can enjoy as much as they do it will be a great experience and you will get some beautiful, original and high quality products for a bargain. Having said all of that it is not an easy task to keep the good humour as they are intense and will wear you off, also they will try to take as much money from you as possible, they are very greedy in this part of the country differently to Fez, but if you can follow this advice you will have happy days here.
Essaouira offers the perfect mix of a historical town and beautiful seaside, it is a very pleasant place to spend few days specially if you are into kitesurfing, plenty of wind and good infrastructure available.
Imlil - Toubkal
Imlil and surrounding villages are beautifully located in the Atlas mountains in the southern part of Morocco. These villages will offer stunning views, peaceful days, good food and a warm hospitality from these lovely Berbers from the mountains.
Imlil is also the base for those wanting to hike the highest peak of Atlas Mountain and of Northern Africa, Toubkal with 4,167 metres of rocky and steep climb, which I managed to reach the summit after walking 6 hours from Imlil to the base camp then 6 more hours up to the summit and oh My God it was the biggest physical challenge of my life but worth every difficulty, 2 lost toenails, dealing with short breath at certain height and physical exhaustion were reasons for my tears one time but the reasons which justified the other two times I cried was seeing the magical sky full of stars at 5 am when I start climbing the mountain and was still dark and cried again when I reached the peak of Toubkal and felt like in the top of the world. Truly a magical experience!