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.


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