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Travel: Morocco

scenery of trees and mountains in Morocco

Like New York, Africa was always one of those places I wanted to visit. If 10 year old me was handed a sheet of paper and told to write up a Bucket List, New York and Africa (which are worlds apart when compared together!) would be guaranteed to be there, right next to  Disneyland, and a few other embarrassing things I wont write down for the sake of my dignity. So when I feel bad about myself I should bear in mind at least my inner 10 year-old is satisfied. This is one of those occasions where I can write about somewhere I’ve been as opposed to ranting about how I want to go somewhere but realistically wont be able to afford to go for a good few years.

I do realise that it is a rather large and diverse continent, which truth be told, 10 year old me didn’t and envisioned it as somewhat like the savanna The Lion King paints it to be (I would kill to go on a safari though). I went to Tanger in Morocco last June, which is at the very north and a short journey from Spain. This was during a family holiday to Torremolinos. We were initially hesitant to go after some reviews on TripAdvisor implied that Tanger is all slums. There is a part of me that suspects that whoever wrote that drinks Fiji water.

A colourful alley in MoroccoWe had to get up at about 5am to get a bus  through the whole Costa del Sol, to pick up other tourists, to take us to a port where we would get a ferry to Tanger. We were the first stop and it was early so I can’t provide any humorous anecdotes about it, but I did spent it trying to catch glimpses of the sunrise between the passing apartment blocks. I did see sporadic moments of actual breathtaking beauty, I really  wanted to ask the bus driver to stop and take it in, even for a few minutes. The port was tiny and packed, and the ferry uneventful. Although again, the view was beautiful and being too obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean had to refrain from dropping references. We were picked up by a bus and given a driving tour of the city, stopped briefly for a photo opportunity with camels and back on to see more of Tanger. We departed the bus in the town and followed our guides who showed us various landmarks. Spectare was being filmed in Morcocco at the time so seeing a black van with “Cast & Crew” wrote on it drive though the middle of a snake charmers performance sure was something.

authentic Moroccan mint teaThe tour group was treated to lunch in a restaurant, with the liveliest band I have ever seen. I had feared that I wouldn’t like the food but it was divine. I’m not even sure what was in most of what I ate, but the starter was a soup which tasted mildly of cinnamon, we had beef skewers, and a main or couscous and chicken. I had couscous before but I have actually incorporated it as a regular part of my diet now because I fell in love. I could not get enough of the mint tea, which came in what was about the same size of a shot glass. I know it was just a leaf in a glass, but it was perfectly minty and sweet. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I actually want to plant mint leaves in my garden to attempt to recreate it but I don’t think it would be the same. By far the best tea I have ever drank, and I am no stranger to herbal teas.

Feeling refreshed after lunch, we got to see what most people were looking forward to the most: carpet shops. This is one of those things Morocco is known for so it was fascinating to see the people working there talk about how they’re made and show us various rugs with different patterns and weaving styles. I took home a yellow handmade scarf, it’s too delicate to wear everyday, but I absolutely love it.

Overall, Morocco was one of my favourite places to have visited.

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