One of the places I have always wanted to visit is Morocco and some few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of exploring the beautiful country. On the 25th of September, I flew to Morocco via Air Maroc and I got to Casablanca 4 hours later. To my surprise, Casablanca was blazing hot, like Lagos hot. I didn’t feel like I had left Lagos.
I arrived Casablanca and met with my travel agent Nigeriatraveltoo & fellow travelers. The first place we visited was Morocco mall. This mall is the second largest shopping centre in Africa. One of the most amazing thing about the mall is its 1million liter aquarium that contains over 40 different species of fish. I actually saw a baby shark in that aquarium. I had the option of going scuba diving with professional instructor inside the aquarium, but I was too much of a chicken to actually do it.
After having lunch and exploring the mall, we went to Hassan II Mosque which is the largest mosque in Morocco and second largest in Africa. This mosque is huge and can comfortably accommodate 105,000 people. I hear the interior of the mosque is much more beautiful. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to go into the mosque as this is reserved for muslims coming in to pray.
Once we were done exploring Hassan II mosque, we started our journey to Tangier which took about 5 hours. One thing I noticed about this road trip was the speed at which the driver was driving – at 60km/h. This is the legal speed limit in Morocco and going above this means facing the law and getting fined. Every Moroccan driver we used stuck to this legal speed limit.
This trip to Morocco taught me how to be patient on the road compared to driving in Lagos which literally turns you to a mad and abusive person.
The drive to Tangier was long and we got to Mnar Castle (our hotel) at about 8: 30pm in the night.
On day 2, we went round Tangier. We had a guide who took us to the market square and told us a bit about the city. For instance, did you know that the fruit Tangerine is named after the city Tangier in Morocco?, I bet you didn’t know that. Also, did you know Games of Thrones and Inception by Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed in Tangier. This city holds a lot of history and one of the historical buildings we visited was Tangier American Legation which is the first American public property outside the United States.
Blue City, Caves of Hercules & Cap Spartel
The third day was Chefchaoen’s day. We visited the famous Blue City and it was the highlight of my visit to Morocco. Chefchaoen is a beautiful city with its streets and walls painted different shades of blue. It is believed that the city became this blue beauty when the Jews fled Europe, settled here and painted the walls the color of divinity in Judaism which is blue. They also believe the blue keeps the mosquitoes away.
Anyhoo, I totally loved walking through the streets of Chefchaoen, speaking with the very friendly locals, taking pictures and of course buying some Blue City fridge magnet.
Our next stop was the Caves of Hercules and Cap Spartel.
This is one of the biggest and most vibrant city in Morocco. The most surprising thing about Marrakech is that all the buildings are painted red. Banks, hotels, schools, residential houses, restaurants, shops, coffee stores, every single building in plain sight are painted the same shade of red. It’s so weird to me ?
I stayed at the Mogardo hotel, which is such a magnificent hotel. Thank you @Nigerianstraveltoo for picking this hotel. I went shopping, got dressed in their traditional attire, had some tagine and Morocco couscous – their local food which I liked it a bit? even though I was craving Nigerian food and some pepper while in Morocco.
Marrakech also reminded me of Lagos when a fellow traveller almost got scammed in the market. We were all having lunch at this outdoor restaurant in the market when two women approached our table. They said they do henna and when we asked how much it cost, they said we should pay whatever we have. They did the henna and announced that it cost 300 Dirham which is approximately 11,500 Naira. We opened our mouth in shock because we were thinking of paying just 50 Dirham. Lesson learned.
Then, I visited Jardin Majorelle, a beautiful garden owned by Yves Saint-Laurent. It used to belong to Jacques Majorelle and his wife until they divorced and put up the garden for sale.
Palace Bahia was another place I visited in Marrakech. According to Moroccan legend, this palace used to be one of the most magnificent palace of its time.
Finally, I went back to my hotel in a carriage and it was quite an experience.
I also visited the local market, got some Moroccan dresses, tea, spices, tangine and some black soaps.
Horse riding, spice shopping, camel riding, city tours, road trips, local meals in Morocco was an amazing & exciting experience.
For me, here are 10 reasons why I will probably go back to Morocco.
- Morocco is photography goals.
- Their mint tea is the best tea ever.
- Moroccan couscous and tagine ( their local food) is quite an experience.
- Nightlife is lit in Marrakech.
- There is free wifi everywhere ( this is probably not a big deal because a lot of countries have this, still, it is one of the appealing feature of Morocco)
- I visited 4 cities in Morocco but there are so many historic & beautiful towns to explore like Fes, Rabat, Ifrane, Merzouga (Sahara Desert) & Ouarzazate ( movies like Gladiator & The Mummy was filmed here).
- I need another opportunity to travel with @nigeriatraveltoo, this experience was so rounded and enjoyable and I am glad they took care of all my travel needs from the flight, accommodation, tour to visa processing.
- Service delivery in Morocco is 100%. Every waiter delivered my food with a smile, every receptionist I talked to was friendly & happy, traders in the local market were just too happy to have me in their shop.
- Each city I visited had its signature color – Marrakech is red, Chefchaoun is blue, all of Tangier is white and I want to see more.
- They have a king and that’s why it’s called the Kingdom of Morocco – so exciting.
I definitely want to visit Morocco again.