Five days to explore a country full of contrasts, mysterious hidden places and unique flavours. Reaching from beaches over endless deserts to snow-capped mountains in only one day. Impressive ruins, mud houses and infinite streets, behind which enchanting places are hidden, made us speechless for a while. We got the chance to discover several of these wonderful and various locations in Morocco – an overwhelming country impressing all your senses.
Salam alaikum! Right from the beginning the royal city of Marrakech brought our minds into another sphere. During twilight we drive through the narrow streets outside the inner city of Medina, passing traditionally dressed Moroccans who were just having dinner at one of countless street food stands. We were welcomed by thousands of lights, traditional live music, strong herbal tea and moroccan food. All of that created a wonderful composition of new impressions. We arrived. Welcome to the Orient.
On our way to the Atlas mountains, we passed by secluded villages, a clay-coloured stream and every once in a while there were tiny restaurants and food stalls selling crafts made out of clay or colourful morrocan style lamps. We stopped by the side of the road. Taking a look down to the valley our attention got caught by the amazingly rich green colour of the landscape being divided by a river. Taking a look upwards, there were traditional farm houses, birds circled above them and clouds slightly embraced the mountains peak. That image took definitely our breaths away.
Our journey went further through a rocky desert. We did not only try the traditional way of moving forward by riding camels but also explored abandoned ruins with quad bikes. After watching the sunset in front of our tents, the indescribable beautiful composition of candlelight and thousands of stars combined with the calming silence of the desert made us fall asleep after a long day.
In contrast to the calmness of the desert and the busy city life of Marrakech our journey went on to Essaouira, a charming fishing village. On our way we passed endless argan plantations, which constitute a huge economical factor for the usually really dry and infertile north of the country. We stayed at one of the countless Riads, waking up with a spectacular view over the whole city. The cold Atlantic breeze rushed through our hair, seagulls screamed and the sun rose up behind rooftops of colourful houses, while muezzins were calling for the first prayer of the day – the city slowly woke up.
As we came back to Marrakech, we went to the central market place. There were entertaining snake whisperers sitting on their little carpets, people were dancing to loud traditional Moroccan music and there was an incredible amount of various food stands. But again: the true mystery of this place was hidden. The so-called Souk was the outside of the market place. Consisting of more than 8000 little stalls, people sold spices, clothes, shoes, lamps, pottery and silverware. All over the place there were craftsmen of any kind who created artwork within the smallest spaces. Sparkling lights, a crazy medley background noises and extraordinary odours enchanted the place.
As a perfect ending of this sensual journey, we had the opportunity to enjoy the amazing view from a birds eye perspective flying with a hot air balloon. I travel to escape from my everyday life. Even after five days of travelling through the amazing country of Morroco, there are still a lot of secrets to be discovered.
Taken all the sensual impressions and colourful contrasts together, we experienced something inspiring that we never had before.
Thanks to the team of iTravel, who organized this trip for us and a big thank you to my crew for those incredible days.
Photo credit: Simon Fessler and Marko Roth