Updated: Aug 18
Never before have I had the opportunity to travel to the east. Only once in Istanbul 25 years ago. I have always chosen Europe for my off-the-wall excursions. Kostis and I decided to travel to Morocco. It would also be our first trip abroad together in our three or so years. We were both tired of the Old Continent. After so many trips there, we were longing for something drastically different. Morocco seemed like an attractive idea to us. It's an Arab-spoken country of 37,000,000 inhabitants, washed to the north by the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, bordered on the southwest by the Sahara desert. It is a country with great diversity in landscapes and climates. The temperature in the north is very similar to Greece. The land is green, full of olives, vines, citrus fruits, and many other crops. The Atlas mountains, punctuated by Berber villages, runs half the country like a colossal backbone. In the middle of the Atlas Mountains in an alpine landscape with cedars, firs, and...monkeys, we found ourselves in a small Northern European-style town, Ifrane, with chalets and a ski resort! As we moved to the south, the temperature rose, and the air felt drier.
In the medieval city of Essaouira, I saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. The ocean is different from the Aegean sea. The waves move towards the land with a slow majesty. We headed by jeep for the Sahara desert two days later from the southeastern city of Erfoud, near the Algerian border, at 6 pm. The desert's texture, color, and curves resemble a female body. The closer we got, the harder it was to believe that those pink mountain masses growing ahead of us were dunes. With our small caravan, we arrived at the top of a hill after half an hour, where we enjoyed a unique sunset. I cannot describe the calm and peace I sensed over there.
One needs to experience it to understand it. At the same time, I felt a great sympathy (along with a bit of guilt) that we tormented those fantastic in every way quadrupeds. What else will remain deeply impressed in my memory from that trip? The bright colors of the spices, copperware, ceramics, textiles, and vegetable dyes in the mazy market of Fez, the Jemaa el-Fnaa square and the gardens of Mazorel in Marrakech, the endless fishing boats of Essaouira, the Kasbah Taourirt in Ouarzazate, the fossils of Erfoud, the indigo medina of Chefchaouen, the Mediterranean old city of Tangier, the massive Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the immaculate capital of Rabat, the oasis of Dades, the ancient and earthen city of Ait-Ben-Haddou and above all the people of Morocco themselves. Polite, straightforward, honest, and decent people.
Would I revisit Morocco? I think yes. Even though our trip lasted 12 days, I'd love to return to some places we visited in a hurry.
I want to share some of the images I collected on our trip, inviting you to include Morocco in your travel plan.