Visiting Morocco has been been on my bucket list for quite a while now with my main goal to ride camels in the Sahara Desert which I can now tick off my list.
I spent 10 days with TravelTalk on their Exotic Morocco tour which was my first time traveling solo and I was so lucky to be we such a great group of people and out of 25 there was one Scottish lady, and couldn't believe the other 24 of us were Aussie's and Kiwi's all living in London! What were the odds?
The first day of traveling we went through some of the Atlas Mountains from it's lowest point to it's highest and these Atlas Mountains cover most of Morocco. We eventually got to our jeeps and were on our way to camp sight in the Sahara Desert where we went through some incredible Sand Dunes...full of golden colours. We were able to see one of the most amazing sunsets I have seen over those golden Sand Dunes, with a sense of appreciation for the world we live in to see such beauty. That night we had dinner in our "restaurant", had a campfire where you can so many stars and they are so bright! I lived on an island and never saw stars this bright or plentiful...it was beautiful.
The next day we rode those camels I dreamed of, for over an hour in the Sahara Desert which to be honest gets a little uncomfortable in places I hadn't thought I would be sore in. But as I was on my camel going through the desert I thought I am so grateful to be able to travel explore places only some dream of. I was a little nervous being that high up so I must admit I did not take any photos as to keep holding onto my camel.
The next eight days were colourful, exotic and a place I will not forget and plan on visiting again!
Here a few highlights and places I loved most from what Morocco has to offer...
There are plenty of Oases in Morocco where you can see this lushes green vegetation where people live. To see an oasis in the middle of the desert is such a stunning contrast, we also had lunch in the middle of an oasis full of fresh food and of course couscous!
The Royal Palace of Fez ( Dar el Makhzen):
This is one of the front doors to this huge Palace and the tiles are STUNNING! This is the Palace where the current King will stay when he comes to visit. When we were there were men cleaning the brass with lemon juice (as we found out) and when we asked how often they cleaned the front gates, we were told it's when the King is coming to Fez. I thought that was pretty cool and when we were in the Medina they have pictures of the King and his family in most shops.
The Medina in Fez:
Before entering the Medina we were able to take a photo of what the Medina looks like and it's MASSIVE! It's filled with tight streets and so many turns, it easy to get lost. Our guide told us that children growing up in the Medina get taught the the section that they live in (the Medina's have many sections with different names) so that when they get lost someone will know where to take them home, as they it's such a community and everyone knows each other.
Inside the Medina:
Walking through the many tight streets of the Medina.
Inside Al Quaraouiyine:
This is one of the oldest universities in the world and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only men can study here and students from around travel to study here.
We had a demonstration of how they made handmade scarfs made from different forms of silk (I brought one made form cactus silk), they had woven bags, rugs and curtains. It was beautiful and rich full of colours and lovely salesmen who were so charming and friendly.
Another demonstration this time of how they make their ceramics, which is all handmade and these people are so talented it's unbelievable. They make vases, tagine cooking pots, cut all the tiles for the mosaics and one particular man who does the designs for the mosaic which are all done from memory! My personal favourite were these cute teapots, the designs on them are all done by hand! Aren't they so cute?
It was hard to take a photo of all the fresh fruits, dates and sweets and this is just a small store. Walking around the Souks there is so much fresh food of all types.
These ruins belong to a construction that was ceased after the death of Sultan Yacob Al-Mansourhi. It was to be one of the worlds largest Mosques at a time when Rabat was the capital of Morocco, the capital now being Fez.
Inside this beautiful building, which is directly opposite Hassan Tower, lays the tomb of the Moroccan King and his two sons. The building is beautiful from the inside of the mosaics to the outside which is white with pillars and guards who have a stunning uniform I must say.
This Mosque is the 13th largest in the world and largest in Morocco AND located in Casablanca! It's opposite the beach that is the Atlantic Ocean (Morocco has to coast lines one of the Atlantic Ocean and one of the Mediterranean ocean), it has a green roof as Mosques do in Morocco to represent Islam. It has a hammam on the lower level that has never been used. It's so peaceful and moving inside, the archictecture and colour are stunning you feel rude taking photos. Tickets are 120 Dirhims to enter and defiantly worth it.
The time of day when the sun sets in the Sahara Desert.
We were at the highest point of the Atlas Mountains and there was snow! As you land into Marrakech airport you could see this mountains with tops of them covered in snow and it was, I couldn't believe it.