Before heading to Morocco I was a little unsure of what to expect. I had already been to Jordan and Egypt and braced myself for the inevitable harassment that being a woman in the Middle East brings. But it didn’t come. Morocco has so much French influence that it’s actually quite civilised but somehow still manages to retain all its culture. You can walk down the street in peace here; something I’ve learned now not to take for granted.
If you’re looking to shop or simply soak in something different then you can waste hours wandering through the medina in Marrakech. The first day I got here I was in awe. It’s just like the souks in Sex and the City 2, and it was exactly how I had pictured the Middle East before leaving home. It was what was missing when I travelled to Jordan and Egypt. Wandering around the streets of the medina and getting lost is part of the fun and it never got old.
Casablanca was actually a little disappointing. It’s a big city and doesn’t really have a lot to offer. The Hassan II Mosque though was definitely worth the visit. Built in 1993 it has the classic Islamic Architecture that is so beautiful, and as long as you’re clothing is respectful you don’t have to cover up to enter. You get a guided tour around the mosque which lasts for about half an hour and even takes you down to the Turkish baths that were built but have never been used. The whole building is massive and truly impressive, and being located right on the sea makes for some great photos.
Ahh… Fes. Back to the culture. The medina in Fes makes the one in Marrakech look like a pin prick. It’s a good idea to get a guide to take you through the medina. It’s so big you could end up getting lost for days. It’s also the best place to check out one of Morocco’s famous tanneries. My only advice… Take the mint!!! It’s not some guy trying to hand you something he will then insist you buy, he actually works for the place and is trying to save you from the nasty smell all that animal skin creates.
This town is right on the edge of the Sahara Desert, and no trip to Morocco is complete without a trip to the Sahara! Jump on one of the many camels available and head off into the desert. It can get quite windy and the sand can ruin your camera so if you have a case for it, now’s a great time to dig it out.
Todra Gorge was stunning and if you’re feeling a little adventurous you can go rock climbing, go for a trek, or go horse riding.