MOROCCO


The land of mint tea, leather bags, argan oil and Amlou... 



Back in September 2017 I was backpacking with Wero and Eve to Morocco. From Düsseldorf we took our flight to Agadir. It was the first time I landed on the African continent and so I quickly adjusted to the Morroccan heat. I changed my leather shoes against three Euros canvas shoes. Nevertheless, I was very excited to discover this country and to travel with both girls. Getting new impressions of a different culture and observing people speaking and interacting with each other can be very interesting. From the airport we took a cab to get to Tamraght where we joined our first hostel. It was a nice Mediterranean place to start the journey.

 
Together with other hostel backpackers we did a trip to Paradise Valley. A big orange van brought us to the mountains. Our Moroccan travel guide tuned up the radio and through the open window the salty air punched against my face. When we arrived, I was impressed by the landscape. I’ve never visited such a place in my life before and it was as picturesque as insiders have told us about. Habitants over there seemed calm and I saw people washing their carpets at the river. We spent that day walking into the heart of the valley and took a swim in the turkis water.
 

In the midst of a strong deserted area we were close to the North atlantic ocean, a good occasion for surfing. I really liked our first accommodation. It’s rooftop had a cosy lounge and at night you see millions of stars upon you. The staff consisted of young people who offered a great dinner with all guests. I couldn’t have been happier to taste new dishes and to fall in love with the Moroccan food culture. It’s spicy, hot and aromatic. 
   
After three nights in Tamraght we headed towards a small fisher village called Sidi Kaouki. The village was a huge surprise. It was very small and within five minutes we reached our second accommodation. There was only one path. On one side the hostels, restaurants and surf shops, on the other side the abandoned beach area. It was fun to see animals strolling everywhere. Donkeys, horses, goats, ducks such as cats and dogs. The less tourism is going on at one place the more you can appreciate where you are. At that day I saw the sunset heavily in orange, pink and violett. Three stray dogs were following us at our evening walk. Wero and Eve were happy in that moment and by watching the dogs hunting themselves in a playful way, I remembered what freedom actually tastes like.
 

Essaouira. A city that was dipped in various pastel liquids and where you always find colors on objects as blue as the sky. It was adorable. They have a great harbor. Hundred of seagulls flew around the harbor’s tower and mostly men worked outside on that hot day. Huge unfinished boats were built under construction and many tourists took pictures around. For only one night we stayed at the Atlantic Hostel. It was huge and the chef who calls himself Couscous was the most open-minded and warm-hearted guy I’ve met in the house. I remember it making my day perfect when he brought me a good mix of fruit salad, smiling in front of me, while I was writing a log into my travel book.
 

Generally, I had the impression that the locals were very giving once they let you into their circle and as hard as it was convincing them first not just being an ignorant tourist, I really appreciated it when they shared their own story with you. I noticed many business people tried to get money from you, which made it difficult to trust them from the beginning. But it was a challenge to deal with and I kept my head cool. Especially as a foreign woman it is not easy to walk on streets without being cat-called by somebody. I guess if you are an insecure person and can’t speak directly uncensored, it will be a difficult travel. But it’s important to respect their laws and standards. On the other hand I was deeply keen to understand their culture and in some ways it helps to reflect their country. By seeing the rough houses, the hectic markets, broken things that have been repaired or were still in use, it gives me first hand impressions of the circumstances Morocco is in, in contrast to the high-tech society and growing industry in Germany. It made me aware of the things I actually have at home and reluctant to materialism.
 

My last station was the capital Marrakech. I wish I could have travelled towards other cities in the North. Many travelers were swooning over Chefchaouen which was obviously that most popular target. But It’s not that heart-breaking. Who knows when I will be going back to Morocco. Marrakech was a huge chaos, but had a strong vibrant energy. Going through the shadowed souks where sunlight cuts into the bast fibre and food is getting fried, I felt an excitement to observe everything. At night the centre of Jemaa El-Fna drew in thousands of people who are getting together at the huge plaza. Big human circles have been built to set up artistic performances. Hundreds of food stands offered fresh bbq and as I’ve been told cut sheepsheads were a traditional dish. It was like a festival and I charmingly fell in love with those many lamps, illuminating everything in cold or warm colours. It was magical. But my last day made me not eating anything spicy. Having the worst stomach ache since a very long time I felt sick at the last night before I went back to Germany. In the early morning, suddenly, I was able to get up, to get a cab to the airport and take a flight via Barcelona to Berlin. Traveling can be exhausting sometimes, but it’s the journey of the unknown I highly admire.

 

BEN WUYTS

Berlin, February 2017

Seeing as I sometimes feature people on my blog, music is part of said featuring as well.
Last month I met Ben and took some portraits. He is an English Singer-songwriter, recently living in Berlin. His music contains blues, soul and indie. He will soon release a new single, recorded at the UFO Sounds Studios. I think this short interview with him will give you a clear introduction.

Hey Ben, where are you from?  

I am from Colchester, a town about 1 hours drive East of London. Famous from the Romans and Blur... and that's it! Haha.

When did you start making music? 

I started with music after asking for a guitar for my 13th birthday. I had no idea how to play the thing and gradually taught myself how to play. I didn't start singing seriously until years later
I got to Berlin quite spontaneously. After visiting and falling in love with the city in 2009, I spontaneously moved for what should have been a 6 month trip before going back to the UK, but I found it very hard to leave and here we are over 6 years later.

What does music mean to you? 

What music means to me is a hard question to answer. As a listener, it means everything. The joy of unlocking the lyrics of a new song from your favourite artist, trying to work out what they are trying to tell you is something I love to do. It's an overused phrase, but without music, life would be nowhere near as interesting. It is something natural for people to create, and I think music is one of the most beautiful ways people can do this. As a musician, music obviously means my life, what I have chosen to dedicate my time to and for that reason alone I am very passionate about it.







WERONIKA KLEINHENZ


September 2016

We both live in the district of Wedding and sometimes a few places can be very charming. Among the chaos of this city there are quite corners that radiate beauty and authenticity. I wanted to take a picture of her, because she became a close friend of mine since I'm living in Berlin. She is a passionated photographer who loves turquoise and gems. This is what life makes valuable: It's about the people you meet in life.




BUDAPEST

August 2016


Why Budapest? After last year's trip to Italy I felt like I needed a break from traveling somewhere. I could have gone to all kinds of cities in Europe, but there was no huge sensation of inspiration in me. When I travel, I want to be there for a good reason. I think I was too busy with my everyday life and tried to slowly adjust in Berlin, where I'm living and studying now. I needed time to settle down and figure out my role in this city.

In the middle of August I had already done a short visit to Paris. I wasn't alone at this time. My good friend Weronika accompanied me. It's always a gift to have someone next to you whom you can trust and rely on. However, Budapest turned out to be a destination due to George Ezra's song and additionally I had once bought a small book about Budapest from the flea market. It contains many beautiful black and white analog pictures from the year 1961. So I had the idea to compare them once I would finally be in Budapest. It's only a simple thing , but to me it was an attractive idea and I had a strong desire to go there. Two days before my flight took off, I booked my ticket and accommodation. I tend to make spontaneous decisions when I'm focused on something. It's exciting if your thoughts become reality. Traveling sets me free and I love being on my own.

When I arrived in Budapest, summer temperatures welcomed me as well as people who helped me  find the right way. The first days there was a lot of walking through the sides of Buda and Pest. I liked the old trams, the enormous buildings and the deep historical background. Especially the jewish memorial was impressive. I met some locals and had a talk about their situation in the city. On my travels I'm far more interested in the stories of people and how they became who they are now. I kept my memories in my book and felt a sense of gratitude to have the opportunity to get these experiences. As always I came back with a few favorite photographs.