Published: February 22nd 2009February 22nd 2009
July 2008. Morocco is an amazing country and I hope to return back soon. I would say Morocco is kind of country when you experience it you can hate it or you love it.
In Marrakech we were staying with family of my friend Simo for a few days and we learned quite some from them. I will never forget their hospitality and kindness. It was a bit strange to know they all sleep in living room and we were staying in guest house with our own big bed. But it is all a part of their hospitality. Guest is truly treated like a king. The communication was a bit harder as the only English speakers were Simo's sister and Simo which was absent very often for his work. His mother only spoke Arabic and the brother only French and Arabic. But we managed it all and in the end it was hard to say goodbye.
The interesting facts are that in Morocco man lives with his family until they get married - no matter what age. Family is very important in their culture and they are all very connected. Simo spoke about his family as a very modern one,
his brother was also married with a french woman. We were watching the wedding tape sometimes. I must say it was really nice combination of Moroccan traditional wedding and the western style. They were very proud but they also couldnt hold laughing to the french lack of rythem. It is obvious Morocco is in Africa and the rythem is inside them. We also tried to dance belly dancing. The whole family danced from the mother to little Hannah (daughter of Simo's sister) which was only 2 years all.
Another fact which I think is important to write is the importance of women. Some people imagine islamic woman as a husbands slave. Far away from true. Woman has an important role in family and so in society. In Simo's family mother was high respected and the relations were very caring. Simo was cooking almost every time he was at home. Generaly the ones who judge islam i advice them to get more knowledge first.
Last few days we were staying in a hotel Chellah as the husband of Simo's sister came back and it was kind of crowdy. The mother welcomed us to visit any time, and they would make
us a tajin - delicious food that we liked so much.
Chellah is nice hotel in Medina, so in the center of old town and i would recommend it to anyone who is not searching for 5 star hotel. It includes clean rooms and shower. We only payed 50 DH - about 5€ on night per person and the stuff was good.
While being in Morocco we also took 3 days trip to Sahara and a day trip to Ourika.
On our way to Ourika waterfalls we hired a taxi. Seems people have some deals between eachother as taxi was making many stopps sometimes just to see something, but usually somewhere where people were selling something. Everything went fine till we came to Ourika and some guy came to taxi. He knew the taxi driver and he told us simply to follow him to Ourika. Then he charged us for guiding us and he wanted to charge more for going higher. We said no but stil it ruined any wish to see more of waterfalls. I knew about touts and I avoided many of them in Marrakech but this time we falled for it big time. After awhile you
learn how to act with people. It is actually very simple when you know what to expect.
A trip to Sahara leaded us trough very pictersque Atlas. We made several stops - Legorge de Toudgha, Ourzazat and some other smaller towns. We were shown the irrigation system and on a way back we had a tea with Berber family which lives from making carpets. In Sahara we had a night with natives singing, eating and chatting. The leader spoke increnible number of languages - more than our president!:) But that is actually very common in Morocco. Most of them speak Arabic and French, Berbers (the people who lived there before Arabs) also speak Berber language. Very often you find people speaking English, also Spanish, Japanese and they know many phrases in lots of languages (even in Slovene!). It is very logical when you think they live from tourists.
One more meeting to mention. Was a bit risky act but well, we only live once. We met Anas and his friend when coming back from unsuccesful beer shopping. So it happens that in Marrakech you can only buy alcoholic drinks in Supermarket - and not in any supermarket as we
discovered after a taxi left us infront of the wrong one. So while walking home we met these guys. They were as usual Moroccans asking tourist ''where are you from? Germany, UK, Poland..?'' and we were too tired even to avoid them but I thought in the end we'll just go our own way. Couse of Kristina - this time I am thankful she convinced me - we joined them for a drink in cool bar near Djama el Efna. It seemed as Marrakech musicians and hashishars spot. Everyone played something (even the Aboriginal instrument) and it was amazing to hear all the impro sounds. Between that Anas jumped to a black market to buy us some beer (I dont recommend it to go there on your own) and after that he invited us to his home. He seemed harmless but again if there wasnt Kristina I dont think I'd go. In the end it was a great evening, chilling with his roomates and listnening reggae rythems. It could end different but this time we were highly rewarded for giving some trust into people.
Ok that would be all for now from my first trip to Morocco. It is
very diverse and beautiful country. I can stil hear the sounds of Djama el Efna, imagine my walk trough Soukhs, the smells of food.. I even miss locals who annoy tourists. Still I have too many more things to visit and discover there and I hope to return as soon as possible.
There are more photos below