MOROCCO: THE LAND OF SAND DUNES AND EASTERN CULTURE

MOROCCO: THE LAND OF SAND DUNES AND EASTERN CULTURE

MOROCCO HAS BECOMES THE NEW EUROPE FOR TRAVELERS. INSTAGRAM FILLED WITH BRIGHT PHOTOS FROM COLORFUL RIADS, TRIPS CAMELS, SUNSETS IN THE DESERT. TRAVEL-BLOGER SOFIA FILIPPOVA (@SONCHICC), HAVE DEPARTED FOR FOUR WEEKS TO MOROCCO, TOLD ABOUT THE LOCAL SOUVENIRS, LIFESTYLE AND COOL LOCATIONS TO VISIT IN AUTUMN.

Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen, Morocco

INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE

MOROCCO: THE LAND OF SAND DUNES AND EASTERN CULTURE

One of the funniest stories is related to my first trip in Morocco. I dreamed of a trip to Morocco for three years, for some reason I thought to myself that this should happen in October. And every autumn, I kept putting off the trip until I found out about the week festival of roses in the valley of El Kelaa M’Gouna. It traditionally takes place in April-May and is time to the harvest of the damask rose. Sure, as a travel blogger and part-time florist, having seen enough to the colorful pictures of the festival and pink plantations. I went to go to Morocco and contemplate a flower procession with your eyes and lens. But it prevented me from doing it. There are several important nuances to notice.

camel

First, the travel schedule contained only four free days for the trip, and to get to the valley extremely long and inconvenient due to the lack of suitable tickets for plane. Secondly, from the guide who accompanied my parents in Morocco a few weeks earlier. I learned that because of Ram, given the festival week has moved earlier than the dates indicated on all Russian-language Internet resources.

I ended up putting the idea aside trips to Morocco until next October, but after a week I there was an offer to go there together with the ministry on tourism of the country at the end of June. Due to the fact that this trip was for work, the client developed the route and the program. Accent their idea was a trip on SUVs across the country to the side the Sahara desert. This is quite unusual, whereas many of you take to go from Marrakech to Fez and then to the Blue City. Our route was more unique.

MOROCCO: THE LAND OF SAND DUNES AND EASTERN CULTURE

DEATH NUMBER: DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF!

What climate do you envision at the end of June in Africa? Morocco greeted us with extreme heat, especially on the territory the desert where most of our trip took place. Several days in a row, one member of the group was bleeding from the nose. And each day she drank water three times more than her daily requirement. By- this summer, as you know, is not the best time to travel. How go says: “Deadly number: don’t repeat it yourself!” Landscape- you changed almost every day before my eyes. And to his surprise, I learned that the desert in Morocco is not solid golden dunes. Sand dunes occupy only part of deserts are mostly just lifeless land. Erg Chebbi in Merzouga – this is the only erg of the Sahara Desert on the territory Morocco, and its size is only 22 by 5 square meters. meters.

ROUTE MARRAKECHSUGAR

We flew to Casablanca, then moved along the route. Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Boumalne Dades – Jbel Saghro – Merzouga – Zagora – Agadir and then completed the route at the starting point. These seven days were very rich, but you can’t look at this country differently. The team and I joke that we remember the trip most of all road. Who would have thought that Morocco is such a big country. And we we will spend eight hours on the road for five days in a row to reach your destination. In fact, the camel ride on bright orange sands Sahara and overnight in a real Berber campground left the most vivid impression.

Playing on drums at the campfire, Sahara
Playing on drums at the campfire, Sahara

You know whether the brightest starry sky can be observed in the desert? Where there are no extraneous light sources for the next few ten kilometers? It was magical. Marrakech with its riads and Majorelle gardens at the Villa Yves Saint Laurent is my old dream, which came true. That is to say, the gestalt is closed. The whole point is that without having traveled such a long way from Marrakech in jeeps, we would did not see the Sahara and that magical starry sky.

SPECIAL STATE

SPECIAL STATE

Morocco’s huge advantage is that entry into the country without visa! There are very few Russian tourists here. For me this is one key enjoyment in many countries. By comparing with neighboring Tunisia, where every second local resident already speaks Russian to you, it was very evident. It seemed to me that atmosphere and energy was before the moment when tourists began to come actively in Marocco. The flavor and distinctive traditions of local Berbers, who didn’t change their way of life, made me fall in love with the country. Morocco is unlike any other country in Africa, combining comfortable climate, beach holidays, surfing, rich excursions onnuyu program, Arabian exoticism, abundance of oriental markets, opportunities for ecotourism and thalassotherapy.

FIRST TIME IN MOROCCO

FIRST TIME IN MOROCCO

Have I mentioned long journeys? It is worth preparing for the fact that tourism as a direction has existed here not so long ago. But big part of the local population is absolutely open to travelers. Therefore, you should be friendly to their interest and attention so as not to provoke aggression.

But refuse, if you deliberately offer them services: bring luggage, find parking space can turn out to be pretty penny. Or finish talking Ask about the price right away, or refuse help. Don’t forget that Morocco is a Muslim country, outfits that are too revealing should rest at the all inclusive hotel. And dress in the city more modest. Even an extra smile addressed to a man will be perceived that’s like flirting. If suddenly the DPS tries to write you a penalty for crossing roads in the wrong place, agree and ask for a receipt (“Check, please!”) Should work without consequences. And of course, keep track of things as you would in any country. Especially it concerns night time in Marrakech and Fez.

LOCAL RESIDENTS

In spirit and disposition, the locals are real Arab people. They are very hospitable and they meet you with a decanter of traditional hot mint tea to quench your thirst during the heat. Most of them do not live well, but have not experienced on this score. They continue to do the same type of work day after day like their ancestors: selling fruit, engage in agriculture and their own pharmacy business, which is very popular there.

As elsewhere with a very hot climate, local residents are lazy and nocturnal. Even jokes exist about the fact that from lunch to dinner you will not meet anyone on the street. Because everyone is watching “Clone” at home on TV. Children go outside to play after nine in the evening, when the heat subsides. One of the favorite activities of Moroccans is a conversation over a cup of tea on different themes at home or in the middle of the street. Chatting and bargaining even among themselves they are much.

I have an interesting story about the Moroccans. Somehow once we spent an hour in one stall in market, choosing the color of the ottoman in your apartment. During this time, our friend tried everything. I tried to find a Turk for coffee as a gift for my husband. I ran from shop to shop, bargained and could not understand why it was so unreasonably expensive stands here. Withdrawing money from a local ATM, she paid a large sum and was really happy that she finally got what she wanted. In the evening at the table, when I told the guide about our shopping, he said that bringing a Turk from here is like Three rubles from Australia: This is not a local souvenir. Neither he nor me was not upset: the man was so pleased with his Turk.

LOCAL RESIDENTS

STEREOTYPES

I would like to dispel the most common stereotypes about Morocco. The most common is to travel alone. Wushkas in Morocco are very dangerous. Observing elementary rules safety and communication with the local population, no problem neither we, in the absence of escort, nor several of my girlfriends who came here did arise. Almost all traditions of Moroccans are associated with religion. Ramadan, as elsewhere, affects the image local life. At this time, life in Morocco seems to stop and, perhaps, I would not recommend coming here at this time.

Of course, this is also the traditional clothing of both men and women, which ideally helps to endure the heat and the desert itself. Not- probable traditional Moroccan cuisine – every Friday the family gathers for couscous to discuss the latest news. For us, the absence of instruments at a traditional table is unusual. And here they prefer to eat with their hands: it is considered that this is much cleaner. From Morocco, I brought many things for the interior with Mooccan designs that I adore. Leather ottomans, plates, tagines and carpet – all this will soon take pride of place in my interior. I also bought incredible tiles and tiles.

JUICY KITCHEN

JUICY KITCHEN

My impressions of the local cuisine can be described in several words you: everything was delicious, a lot of meat and the strangest salads that I saw. Moroccans have all salads that look like our eggplant caviar. But all this, of course, is very tasty to eat along with fresh flatbread. Among all the dishes, I would single out four main ones that you must try in Morocco: Tagine, a Moroccan roast, Shirazi salad and, of course, local gray wine. Due to the fact that the pain most of the route took place in a complete desert, we ate where, in principle, it was possible, and everywhere it was equally tasty.

One girl prepares food in small places, she also brings it you. But in Marrakech, be sure to go to the Dar Essalam restaurant. Every evening they organize a grand traditional dinner with folklore and belly dancing. The restaurant itself is extraordinarily beautiful in it, Alfred Hitchcock filmed scenes for his film “Man, who knew too much. ” Most of all in Moscow I miss tajino – the main part of each of our dinners. Delicate meat, stewed vegetables and couscous in different variations were cooked for us from cities. We were even going to make a top list of the best tazhinov Morocco, but could not decide.

Now if I’m bored- tea on Moroccan cuisine, I go to the “Tazhineriya” in Moscow, but this, certainly not comparable to the original cuisine. And also the sweetest and delicious watermelons happened to me in Morocco. They were cherry on top of the cake after every meal.

ENTERTAINMENT

ENTERTAINMENT

First of all, when you come to Morocco, you need move into the riad. I wrote a whole list on my instagram riads where is the best place to stay. Le Riad Yasmine, La Mamounia Marrakech, Be Marrakech, Riad Altair, La Sultana Marrakech are some of them. Riad is a traditional new Moroccan house and former palace with a beautiful interior courtyard, where most often there is a garden or pool. An unusual place for you can’t find an overnight stay, except perhaps in tents in the desert in Sahara Majestic Luxury Camp. Next, you should see Casablanca, because you are here arrive, but I would not stay here too long: there is still a lot of picturesque places.

Morocco is a true tourist paradise, there are absolutely any activities. Surfing in Atlantis, safari on jeeps and camels in the Sahara, shopping in the east bazaar, complete relaxation and massage in the hammam, fishing, tasting local wines, observation of monk seals, visit to the present a film studio in the middle of the desert, a master class on creating a carpet, carriage ride in Marrakech. It seems to me that these activities will be enough even for a few weeks in Morocco: there is all. I was very impressed by the hour-long trip to camels to our place of lodging, she carried me into a complete the feeling of a movie. It seemed that what was happening was not at all reality, but a dream. And nowhere before have I used a camel as a full-fledged vehicle – now I can already receive rights.

The Hammam Massage

I really enjoyed the massage. After a long journey this is what we needed, but the hammam was surprisingly shocking. Imagine something from the category of a hammam in Turkey with a whole ritual, but in fact it turned out to be a public bath, not at all a sim- typical, although it probably depends on the place. Among the lesser known, but no less interesting places, I single out Russian bazaar on the way to the Sahara is a traditional market, and completely not as touristy as in Fez and Marrakech.

Secret garden in the Medina – less popular than the Majorelle gardens, but also incredibly beautiful place with a patio and garden. Not everyone gets far into the desert. Previously, there were known the renowned Paris – Dakar rallies, these places were interesting to see, knowing some interesting facts about racing. Among the museums that worth a visit, I want to highlight the Yves Saint-Lois Conservatory Museum wound in Marrakech, Art Museum Center d’art Le Real Mogador in Essaouira, Oriental Museum in Marrakech, carpet fashion museum Boucharouite in Marrakech, Berber ecomuseum in the river valley Urika. Diverse geography of the country and long history of the earth reflected in the architecture of the country. Incredible ornaments, patterns from ceramic mosaics, pink city of Marrakech, stained glass windows, decorative frescoes – all in bright oriental colors.

MOROCCO AS A NEW TREND

MOROCCO AS A NEW TREND

Lately, many bloggers travel frequently to Morocco. And no matter how strange it may sound, Morocco is very- a personal country. Content for a year in advance can be filmed in only one riad, not to mention how unique it is in its various the landscape and architecture of the country. Most Instagram cities – Marrakech, Fez and Chefchaouen. And in whatever city you are turned out, the oriental bazaar is always the most atmospheric photogenic a place. Many travelers have traveled all over Europe along and across, and everyone wants to show something different on Instagram, less known. Now Morocco is really in trend, like Africa as a whole.

And not only among bloggers, but in all areas: fashion, cinema, design. When preparing for the trip, I always take several important things: a well-thought-out wardrobe, prepared daily route, power bank for phone, tripod with dis- remote control, GoPro camera with underwater case, an ordinary camera, several memory cards with pre-charged batteries and your own props. In order for your journey to be interesting and satisfying,

Of course, I recommend reading local bloggers to find unstable free, non-touristy locations. Celebrate places of interest in advance on a map that can be downloaded and used offline. Instead of popular viewpoints, look for beautiful bars and restaurants. wounds on the roof. Take a nice hat with you: it will save you from the sun and will decorate any photo.

Read More Interesting Blogs

Install Our Wildlife and Travel App

What are the Top 10 places to visit in MOROCCO?

GARDENS OF MAJORELLE IN MARRAKECH, MEDINA MARRAKESH, ERG SHEBBIE IN SUGAR, BLUE CITY CHEFSHAUEN, LEGZIRA BEACH, MEDINA OF FES, CASBA AIT BEN HADDU, HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS, UARZAZAT, BAKHIA PALACE