Morocco- My Best Trip In My Life!!!
I am really delighted to tell everyone about one of my recent encounter with Morocco. As there is so much to tell, I find it difficult to tell you all but even then I shall try.
Every year we go in a group of 4 families (12 persons in total including adults and children) to a different place. We prefer to avoid the organised tours as these tours force to run from one place to the other without allowing you to really enjoy something. This year we selected Morocco. Though the first reason for choosing Morocco was that it seemed to be inexpensive but after the visit we are happy to say that we really fell in love with the place.
We reached Marrakech by air. The airport building was really impressive made of high roof with slots for the sun light to come in. The place was filled with life and seemed to be greeting us with open arms. The building was clear indication of the progress that is now happening to Morocco. It was perfect blend of old with new.
We took a taxi (a minivan as there was 12 of us) who dropped us in Marrakech for just 16 Euros. We selected a hotel that was in heart of the market of Jeema el-Fena, a busy place in both day and night. The market was very lively and was selling everything that one can need in their daily life.
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One advice to new comers, never fall prey to taking pictures of the locals in traditional attire of carrying snakes. Because you may love taking shots but then they will demand money. We also learnt it in a hard way. In our 2 days that we spent in Marrakech we visited many normal tourist spots mainly the souk, the Majorelle Gardens, the Saadian Tombs and also the Tower of Hasan II.
Before planning to go to the other more serious places in Morocco to get a real feel of the things it is advisable to hire a good tour guide as was done by us. Your hotels will help you to find one that is well conversant in your mother tongue. Our tour guide, who was incidentally the driver of our minivan, was named Hasan Jamal and had good command on English. He was very jovial and indeed the main reason for the fact that we has such wonderful time in Morocco.
We started from seeing the Kasbah Ait Benhaddou in Ouarzazate. We were told that many famous movies have been shot here. After this we went to Todra Gorges. We stayed here in the canvas tent and this was indeed the best night spent in Morocco. After this we covered Rissani, Erfoud, Zagora and Merzouga. The presence of Hasan made the visit to all these places a really memorable one as he explained everything in detail and always tried to ensure that we get the best of everything.
On advice of Hasan, we took the chance to visit a desert oasis on camels. There we spent the night in tents. There with no pollution of city light once could have counted each and every start of the Milky Way. A real peaceful place it was.
The sand dunes has some magic attached to them, it will not be a exaggeration to say that they have a soul of their own. That is what we experience when sitting on top of one we watched the sun set. This had a very calming and has a hypnotising effect. It made every one of us to think upon the reason to be here in the world. You may call it a magical moment of introspection. We really enjoyed seeing all the colours in nature changing and dancing around us with every passing moment. Once the night falls the sky got full of starts. None of had seen so many starts in night sky.
The magic of the place was further enhanced by the sound singing and dancing of the Berbers. The beating of their drums and the night fire was the experience that I have still not forgotten. Let me tell you I really rediscovered the lost romance in that very moment.
Riding the camels was also real fun, though a little tiring. But, a really good ride to try at least once in lifetime. One may also drive through the desert. But irrespective of the mode that you chose, always venture into the desert with a good guide else it is not very difficult to get lost among the sand dunes.
Let me also recount an incident when one of our friend got severe headache. Our tour guide advised us to use the traditional Berber means to curing such ailments. One old lady gave foot and head massage to our friend using some warm oil. To our surprise he became perfectly alright within hours after the treatment.
I would also like to explain a unique event that happened with is in Zagora. When we stopped at a place to take pictures two young boys came to sell their earthen wares. They wanted us to buy them. My wife asked them where they make them so they asked us to come with them. Our tour guide told that it is perfectly alright and if we wish we can go with them. Those boys took us to an old Moroccan village of artisans. Though let me say that this gave us insight into the abject poverty in which some sections of the Moroccan society is living in, but the best part is the collection of the earthenware these people had to sell, which really surprised us. All of us bought something or other for decorating our houses. The art work that we saw gave us real insight of the rich past of Morocco.
Hasan took us to see a rug factory. Morocco is very famous for the rugs made up of camel wool and these are exported all around the world. There we could see a vast variety of rugs under different stages of manufacture and with different colours. We took our lunch there in the factory canteen. We bought a small rug for our bedroom from the factory. The price was very reasonable compared to what we would have paid in our native town.
I shall close the article with special thanks to Hasan, who made us see the real Morocco. He did his best to make our stay really comfortable arranging clean drinking water, taking us to the best places to eat local food and always ensured that our families remained safe and comfortable. For his presence we never felt that we were among unknown people and a new place with no knowledge of the native language. Hasan, always ensured that he is around when we needed him and even then never interfering.
We all returned back with feeling that perhaps this trip to Morocco was one of the best trips we had. The insight in the feelings, and the values of a new land with different culture and society than ours was the real fun. My family and friends hereby join me in thanking all who have our trip so special. We look forward to come back to Morocco again someday.
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