My rendezvous with mystical Morocco

Packing my bags, getting on a flight, sitting for hours in a cramped up space: while all this might sound horrendous to scores of people, for me it is therapeutic. I absolutely love the thrills of waiting for the D-day of my trip to unknown horizons. New cultures, people, food, food and food..hahha…I totally live for this. Morocco was one such adventure for me.

When we decided on Morocco, it was based on a budget vacation. The price was good and we had never been there. Sure we knew where Morocco was, and the food was amazing…. but besides that there were no expectations.

D-day did arrive and here we were going to Morocco. After the long flight ride from California to New York and New York to Casablanca, here I was spell bound from the second I landed in Morocco. We were welcomed by our tour guide Ibrahim and 12 other people with whom we were going to spend the next 14 days of our lives. We had young, old, fashion designers and people who were so well traveled that suddenly I was a novice in traveling. I had never met more people who had traveled to India than on this trip. For the first time in my life, I was among people who yearned to travel as much as I did. The interesting stories, the breakfasts and dinners, the bus rides, the endless laughters- each of those moments will be relived a million times. We were a family for 14 days, and we shared everything together.

As our bus ride took us through the streets of Casablanca to Rabat, I was hooked by the gorgeousness of the place and people.

Rabat, the capital of Morocco was like every other big city in the world. Absolutely stunning, this place was filled with history among jeans clad young people ‘hanging out’ at 8 pm. Rabat to me was a culmination of old meets new, a perfect cozy start to tourists like me.

From Rabat, we made our way to the old Imperial city of Fez. How do I describe Fez beyond the old imperial city with its magnificent palaces and forts? The air smelled of spices, the aura of artisans making pottery, crafts and carpets welcomes the shopaholics to the city known for its arts and crafts.  We enjoyed a day of shopping for carpets, spices for your every problem including snoring (So ladies if you have a snoring husband- Fez is your snore stopping destination!), and magnificent pottery. For the art lover in me, Fez was divine.

Our journey to Ouarzazate was another highlight of our trip. We saw Morocco’s own Grand Canyon. While they called it little, it was no little Canyon. Standing there amidst the tranquility of mother earth was both overwhelming and enchanting. We saw courageous rock climbers, and people enjoying the stream of water amidst nowhere.

ImageOurzazate our new stop was the desert city at the gates of the Sahara. My first time at a desert and I realized how overwhelming it could be. We woke up real early to get to the desert by 5 am to see the sunrise on the dunes. Being an avid hiker, I figured it would be real easy. Little did I know Mother Nature was right there to tame the cockiness in me. Fatigued and tired, I felt like I scaled the Mount Everest as I reached the top of the dune escorted by my own Moroccan prince.  Tranquility set in as I sat on top of the dune waiting for the rising sun. The horizon was orange and red, and the most beautiful sight I had ever seen in my life. The camels were hanging out as we were watching the beautiful sunrise- a Kodak moment captured in the canvas of memories forever! Ourzazate, you will always be my first desert love.

IMG_8834If all this wasn’t highlight already, we were going to the magnificent Marrakesh. Marrakesh reminded me of my home, India. The Jaama El Fna Square with the snake charmers, food, belly dancers, monkeys doing tricks- as I walked down Marrakesh, I was walking down my childhood lanes as I relived India again. While tourists marveled at the tricks, I was reliving a part of my past again. Thank you Marrakesh for making me nostalgic. As I sat on the highest floor of the café’s, the hustle and bustle of the square brought back memories of my life in India where a simple evening at a square like this was an event.  I know I am rambling about the square, but that’s where I spent every evening in Marrakesh! Besides the square, Marrakesh had beautiful Palaces, Gardens, and amazing architecture.

Essaouira, a beautiful beach town near Marrakesh was an absolute delight. Calm, pristine and blue- it was almost like the sky washed down to the earth in the form of the beach. Argan oil, the magical oil for your hair made by women owned and operated company was our next stop. We clearly went overboard shopping all things Argan. Who doesn’t want beautiful hair after all!! I am sure men would have bought some if it would have cured baldness!

Our next and final stop was Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco. Modern architecture adorned the streets of Casablanca. The magnificent Hassan II Mosque rested in the lap of Casablanca was the most serene point of our trip.  At Casablanca, we as a group had our last farewell dinner where we spent our last few precious moments before adieu.SONY DSC

Morocco, a mystic place that made me hers from the second I landed there. The people welcomed me because they loved Shahrukh Khan, an Indian actor. Suddenly, I was popular because I came from the land of Shahrukh Khan. I will forever be indebted to you Morocco for the nostalgic feelings you evoked in me. Thank you for welcoming me with your hospitality and showing me how simple moments in life are the most precious ones.

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    • Aswathy
    • September 9th, 2013

    Wow… I could visualize every bit… Thank u for the beautiful visual ride. Always loved your writing… Keep it going baby… 🙂

    • Rashmi Menon
    • September 10th, 2013

    Baby love u …. Magical!,,,

  1. beautiful photos and writing!

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