A Chicagoan’s Tryst with Morocco and How I fell in Love With It

A Chicagoan’s Tryst with Morocco and How I fell in Love With It

Most travelers love to travel to Africa to enjoy the beauty of the continent. What comes to mind usually when people speak about traveling to Africa is the African Safari. Africa has a lot more to offer than just the Safari, you can watch the Great Migration, you can visit South Africa, Zanzibar, Kenya and above all you should make it a point to visit Morocco. Morocco is in the North of Africa and lies across Spain. Only the Strait of Gibraltar separates Morocco from Europe. I was introduced to Moroccan culture at New Global Morocco Nights of Chicago and I was told that travelers often keep coming back for Morocco vacations as they never seem to have enough of the country. The most common reasons why I keep returning to Morocco are:

  1. The rich history- Morocco has so many flavors. It borders on the exotic, and in so many ways, it is truly timeless. Even the names of some of its key cities are deeply evocative- Marrakesh, Rabat, Fes, Meknes- each word creates a picture in the mind. Each of these cities is an imperial city. While in Morocco, visit the old Medina, the Kasbah of the Oudaias and the Royal Mausoleum, among many other places. 
  2. The Sahara- one of the most compelling reasons for Morocco vacations is the world’s largest desert, the Sahara. Miles and miles of sand can lend itself to contemplation and peace, but also adventure and adrenaline. Indeed, there is night trekking, quad biking and sand surfing to satisfy your need for speed. 
  3. Nature- Morocco is blessed with shorelines on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts. This means that you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to pitching your beach umbrella during Morocco vacations. Depending on what you want to do there, choose a beach that works at your pace. Families with kids could head to those along Casablanca, people who want the drama of the sea, should go to the Mediterranean. It’s not advisable to enter the water, but it won’t matter that much as you take in the most stunning sights you’ll see. The Atlas Mountains are prefect for hiking, horse riding and biking. You may be able to spot some birds and catch some wildlife too. 
  4. Shopping- Morocco has souks which are perfect for shopping with soul. You’re likely to find one of these in every place you visit. These are the places to find the most authentic wares to carry home with you. Tea sets, shisha pipes, spices- you have many choices. Go there to just experience the sights and sounds and sheer excitement of the space. 
  5. Stay choices- it’s no use if the country is gorgeous but staying there is not conducive to different budgets. Luckily, Morocco is a country that offers the traveler every kind of accommodation choice. If you want to experience the country experience, look for a dar or a riad, or a rugged tent to stay in. If that’s not your scene, five-star hotels are plenty in number. If you’re travelling with people, a service apartment may be the ideal choice. If you need to keep the kids entertained while you’re out sight-seeing , then a resort option can be found quite easily. 
  6. People- the country is one of the most welcoming of Arab nations. It’s also stable and safe. You’ll be touched by the warmth and hospitality of the people there. It’s always good to follow safety precautions and etiquette no matter where you are, but Morocco is an inviting place that’s tolerant of guests and tourists. 
  7. Food- how can one come to this country and not sample the many types of food Morocco has to offer? You might already be familiar with the tagine and the couscous. But try others too. Along the coastline, you can savor sardines and other seafood. Meat is popular here, as are spices. Dishes are served with bread and sweets are a-plenty too. 

Moroccan people are very nice and warm people who get along well with travelers. You will not find it difficult to converse with people as most of them speak the English language. Women travelers will not find any difficulty while traveling in the major cities such as Casablanca but if you go to other parts of the country you will find that there are places where women are not allowed.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/marrakech-marketplace-morocco-4500910/

 

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