As I always say, it’s been a while… but hello! This past weekend I was so luck to have the opportunity to go to Morocco with a student travel company called We Love Spain. It was a three day all-inclusive trip that took us to Gibraltar, as well as 3 Moroccan cities and I can honestly say it’s the best trip I’ve done so far.
Our trip started with a day tour of Gibraltar, a UK territory located on the southern tip of Spain. The coolest part about this is that I can say I went to 3 countries in one day (Spain –> UK –> Morocco)! We made our first stop at Europa point where, on sunny days, you can see Morocco across the straight of Gibraltar. The second picture above shows the mountains if you squint a bit. The third picture is a view of the rock of Gibraltar, their main attraction.
After Europa point, we headed to St. Michael’s caves, a natural limestone cave carved into the mountain. They have installed lights recently and use the large part of the cave for shows.
Walking out of the caves, you are immediately exposed to the many monkey families that live in Gibraltar. Here are a few snaps I took.
This is my favorite series of pictures because you can see all of my reactions as the monkey behind me used my hair as a rope to swing himself to the ground from the fence.
After Gibraltar, we took a ferry across the straight and docked in Ceuta, a Spanish territory on the tip of Africa. From there, we boarded a bus and headed to the Moroccan border, and then to our hotel for the night in Tangier.
We woke up (too) early in the morning and, after breakfast, boarded our bus again for a panoramic tour of tangier, followed by a stop at a small market above the water. The second photo is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea.
Right after our market stop, we headed down to the beach to take a walk along the shoreline on camels! The experience was so cool and kind of terrifying at the same time because you’re a lot higher up than one may think.
After our camel ride we all boarded the bus for a 2.5 hour drive to Chefchaouen. Here is a “diplomatic picture” of me with our guide, as he called it. This man must have been well into his 80’s, but speaks at minimum 4 languages fluently, and is conversational in around a half dozen more. During our tour he taught us arabic words and explained to us how Morocco is a peaceful country, where the citizens know that all religions must live in peace for life to go on.
Chefchaouen is known as the Blue City because almost every building is painted blue. We found out that this is because the color blue apparently keeps mosquitoes away! As they say, you learn something new every day.
Here is a shot I took in a textile shop in Chefchaouen where all of their goods are made 100% by hand. I bought myself a nice wool blanket during this stop.
In our free time Caroline and I got Henna done by a nice woman on the street. She told us about her family, her baby, and taught us a little about the traditions of Henna.
Once our time in Chefchaouen ran out, we headed an hour back via bus to Tetuan. For dinner, we were treated to a show in a traditional Arabic palace, followed by a mock wedding so that we could see how weddings are held in Morocco- very different from those in the US, but always a party.
The following morning we headed out on a walking tour of the old city (or medina) in Tetuan. Here are pictures from the local bakery. All the people in Tetuan make their own bread at home, but because of electricity costs, they bring the dough to the bakery to be baked, and come back later to pick it up.
Our last stop was at a traditional Berber pharmacy, where I purchased far too many goods. We were given a talk about all of their products, followed by a sampling session, and finally an opportunity to make purchases. Everything in the pharmacy is herbal and natural, and relatively cheap too!
I must say that the Moroccans are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and I am dying to go back, maybe next time to the southern part of the country!