Morocco legitimately gave me some of the best memories of my youth. It was my first visit to an African country which a friend and I visited for our graduation holiday
- Go during ramadan: First of all, it was sooooo cheap. Like ridiculously cheap. We were able to get a bed and breakfast deal in a 4* hotel for 5 nights (including flights) for £150 in June (you may not be able to find something as cheap as this again since Low cost holidays went bust… But still)… Although not as many things may be going on because of the ramadan period, you are able to see more of the authentic Moroccan life because you are seeing the country during a religious season. Going into the old town of Marakesh (Medina), you were able to hear prayers once the sun began to set and everything closes down for people to break their fast. That’s when it fully hits you that just as everything tends to stop for Easter and Christmas at home, this was the total norm for people in Marakesh. On our last evening, we went into the town to get henna done and do some last minute shopping in the souks (markets). We bumped into a guy who we had seen the day before in Essouk (a coastal town) but didn’t actually talk to lol, but we remembered each other. He took us to his shop to chat and found out that this was his summer job in which he had to raise money for books at uni. He was so warm and accommodating that by the time the sun went down he asked us to stay and break fast with him. So we all sat in his shop drinking morrocan tea, fresh orange juice (it will make orange juice in Britain taste like shit), dates, and other bits of food. Although we had just met, it was honestly like spending time with an old friend, and it warmed our hearts in the way he so freely shared the little he had with us. But the best part is that we have him on Facebook so we can turn up together on our next trip out lol
- Visit Essouk: The weather was hot in Marrakech, As in the average day was 41 degrees celsius (106 fahrenheit for you Americans). I was sweating in places I didn’t know I could sweat. So on the hottest day (44 degrees), we decided to go to Essouk which is one of the coastal towns of Morocco in order to escape the humidity of the city. That was the day in which we met the most fascinating people. Two HOT guys with dreadlocks who lived in a northern town but were in Essouk to work for the summer, a man from Senegal who created art with real butterfly wings to sell, and a man who tried to sell us tickets for an excursion but ended up taking us down some back streets to a small dainty restaurant owned by an elderly man. The restaurant was completely empty but the hospitality was amazing. (As I said earlier), the orange juice was the HD version of our, the meat was well seasoned and the portions were plentiful. Lesson: talk to strangers who are locals. In doing so, we got information on the best weed cakes (being sold along the sea front), a ridiculously cheap camel ride, and the most amazing food.
- Travelling while black: If you are black then they will love you and call you their brother/sister. We were constantly asked about the countries we are from and told that we could find good moroccan husbands if we wanted. We bumped into a group of asian girls from London while we were out there who spoke on the amount of discounts they were able to get from residents too. So… Advice: whatever shop you go into, or if you are trying to get henna, bargain as much as you can.
- The typical touristy things you have to do: Aragon oil is one of the country’s greatest exports because of its array of uses. However the most common use is as a cosmetic. It can be used on your face, hair, and body with guaranteed benefits (have a look at this link for more info). Additionally, you need to find your way to a spa and try out a ____ which is kind of like a turkish bath in that they put you into a hot room, wash you down, then put you onto a big marble table and scrub you until you are nice and smoooooth. Lastly, I’d say to go and get some henna done and take cool instagram photos.
- Architecture: make sure you have your smart phone fully charged, and your portable charger with yo when you go out on historical tours because the architecture if amazing. Everything down to the slabs on the pavement were eloquently detailed, bright, and rich. You will get the best instagram photos and historical stories while walking around Marrakesh. Honestly, it makes London look very grey and corporate. I honestly believe that living in an environment such as the colourful streets of Morocco adds to one’s mental health, simply because everything was so beautiful.