Morocco, one of the few countries that I and my travel buddies, as Indonesian, do not need visa to visit 😀 It promises awesome deserts, ancient cities (they are called “medina”), cool masjids, ancient schools (madrasa), and many moree. Well, Morocco really keeps it promises! Here are five things that highlights our trip!
1. Europe no more
Marrakech is the first city that we visit. At the moment we left Marrakech Menara airport, we already feel its huge differences to Europe feeling. No more gothic buildings, no more European-style orderliness. It is more like our country, Indonesia. The traffic, the people, the dynamics, the atmosphere!
2. Marrakech is a must
Yes it is! We visit four cities: Marrakech, Casablanca, Fez and Tangier, and among four of them, Marrakech is the best. The airport is very close to city center. Jemaa el Fnaa is very happening square at the day and at night. There are several tourist attractions within Jemaa el Fnaa such as El Badi Palace, Bahia Palace, and Koutoubia Mosque.
From Marrakech, you can book several excursion to other cities nearby Marrakech such as Zagora for desert, Essaouira for beach & seafood, Ouarzazate and Kasbah Aït Benhaddou for famous filming location.
3. Don’t miss the desert
Among several excursion options from Marrakech, we pick “the most economical” desert excursion via Zagora. Well, none of us have gone to desert before and we are hyper-excited at that time. The excursion starts very early in the morning, around 7 AM. Since it is the economical package (a.k.a the cheapest), we go to Zagora desert by van together with six to seven other tourists. Along the way, we stop at several cool places to take some photos. One of the places that we stop is like Grand Canyon, it is cool rocky hills (? don’t know the exact word :P, but no worry, I’ll post the pic below). Along the way, we also stop near Kasbah Ait Benhaddou (picture in previous section) but unfortunately due to limited time, we do not have enough time to explore the Kasbah.
Once we reach the start of the desert, we continue our journey by riding camel! We have around 1-hour camel ride to the desert camp where we will have dinner together and spend a night at the desert! Unfortunately, my camera has no battery left, so I could not take decent picture of the desert : (. Next day in the morning, we return back to Marrakech and reach Marrakech in the early evening.
4. Get lost in ancient medina
Another cool thing in Morocco is ancient medina, and among four cities that we visit, Fes medina is the best among all of them. Here you can find traditional market which divided into several sections such as perfume section, meat section, textile section, handy-craft section etc. You can find donkey as common transportation mode in the market (Yes, its donkey!!). There are several ancient madrasas (ancient schools), and the oldest is Al-Qarawiyyin university. There is also tannery (place to color animal skin) where you can see the process of coloring animal skin.
5. Sail along strait of Gibraltar
To conclude our journey, we set sail from continent of Africa to Europe! From Fez, we continue our journey to Tangier using train and stay there one night. And the ferry is not as simple as we expect, we need to go to the new port (Tangier MED, around one hour bus trip from Tangier city center) to board the ship. So the trip actually is something like this:
- Tangier to Tangier MED via free shuttle bus. The shuttle bus stop is near the main bus station, its somewhere in the round-about (valid on Dec 2011). Operate every half-hour, but it always very crowded.
- Tangier MED to Algeciras via ferry
- Then from Algeciras we continue our journey to Malaga by bus since we already reserve our accommodation in Malaga.
Well.. stay tune for other travel post.. or geeky post! Comments are welcomed! 😀