Here we are for Part 2 of my Top 10 highlights from my trip to Morocco. If you missed Part 1 you can read it here.
Let’s skip the small talk and get right into the rest of the highlights from this amazing trip.
6. Cultural Artifacts– We visited an Artisanal and learned about Berber culture and artifacts. We saw old marriage contracts, wedding necklaces, swords, furniture and all types of carpets. We also visited two Ksbah’s built in the 11th and 17th centuries, in addition to visiting the Saaidan Tombs, and Koutoumbia Mosque.
Berber silk carpet
11th Century Ksbah
Old Jewish Synagogue
7. Le Pharmacie- I know you’re thinking, Janique why is a pharmacy one of your highlights, well it is because of all that I learned. We had a demonstration where about the benefits of natural spices, herbs, and essential oils like the combination of whole black cumin and mental crystals to help with congestion, rose oil for bags and lip balm, and orange lower oil to relieve stress. The spice souks that we visited didn’t tell us about any of the health benefits or properties of anything.
8. Marjorelle Jardin– The home of the late Yves Saint Laurent was definitely a site to see. The shades of blue throughout the garden with the contrast of the green cacti brought everything to life. It was so serene. The details on the walls and tiles showed a lot about Moroccan culture. It was a nice break from the hectic life of the square.
9. Scenery of the Atlas Mountains and Desert– We had to drive at least two hours to each of our excursions. The Atlas Mountains were beautiful. We had to drive through the mountains to get to the desert and as a New Yorker I’ve seen enough snow in my lifetime, but the snowcapped mountains were breathtaking. It was amazing to see the difference in scenery in the mountains going from snow, to plush greenery, to brick red clay and rocks. We also saw the date palm trees of Draa Valley. It is said that this valley has over 2 million palm trees. The site was just magnificent. We also spent a night in the Zagora desert. I could not capture the beauty of the stars that night. I was definitely in awe. The sunset and sunrise were spectacular. Although I almost missed the sunrise because of the hike up the sand dunes and me being out of shape, but I 16 minutes later, I made it.
Draa Valley 2 Million Palm Trees
10. FOOD– A traditional moroccan breakfast includes nothing but bread, honey, and marmalade. You can get eggs as well, but it was not what I was used to. We had all types of rolls, breads, crepes, and cakes. I was a little nervous because we know what carbs can do to a person! I need to find a moroccan bakery in Brooklyn because I should have gained at least 10 lbs with the amount of bread that I ate, but I didn’t. There food is all natural and does not contain the crap that they feed us here. Besides eating bread on top of bread, we had cous cous once, and tajine every other night. My favorite was from the riad and it was lamb with prunes. OMG. We ordered that for our meal on our last night because it was so good. We had tajine chicken, lamb, kefta (meatballs). Everywhere we went we had a three course meal. The appetizer was always a moroccan salad, or entree, and dessert was some type of fruit with crepes, yogurt, or as a fruit blend. I said to myself, back at home I rarely eat three courses because I’m always so full, but in Morocco this wasn’t the case. I never felt stuffed, even with all of the bread, and that was a good thing.
Fried Seafood in Essaouira
Lamb Tajine with Figs and Apricots
The Journey 2 Joy Reflection: Always find time to travel. When traveling you get to disconnect from your everyday life and enjoy new people, food, places, and more. It gives you a chance to reconnect with yourself, your loved ones, or God. It allows you to appreciate what you have and not to take anything for granted. Your travels do not have to be extravagant, find places in your city or state to visit if other places aren’t in your budget. Just take time to get away and learn something new.
What are some of the lessons learned during your travels?