When you have memories, you will always feel alive. Thank you Morocco!
It is a right time to make new life decision or at least for the next year. Since I got a new running shoes I will have to run miles and miles before I can say I can`t do it or anything similar!
New Croatian Trekking calendar is out and it is time for all you trekkers to plan your visit to Croatia. Explore, enjoy and meet new people. It is all about fun, and yes maybe you will be our next winner. Check out the list of the trekking events and for any questions just contact the organizer.
My plan for the next year is impressive. I plan to attend running school in Zagreb, maybe prepare my self for the autumn half-marathon but mostly for the trekking. I hope to get in shape for the year 2014 🙂 and stay fit and healthy.
Thinking of the new events I have just remembered my trek in Morocco around Cascades d`Ouzoud. We walked almost all day through the mountains, canyon and forests. We stopped for lunch in the Mexican village (I still don`t get it why it is called like this since only Berbers live there!) I caught the cold that day because I got wet from the rain, we climbed the slippery rocks in order to get to some small cave, to see the wild monkey… But the most important thing was that no one got hurt!
In Morocco I had three trekking experience (Chefchaouen, Cascades d`Ouzoud and near Setti Fatma plus if you count camel trek in the desert). I still miss climb to Toubkal and hopefully I will get back to Morocco just to climb Jebel Toubkal at 4167 m! I leave you some photos from my trekking experience.
All that white snow and grey street of Zagreb make me hate winter. I miss sunny days, I miss Moroccan “Inshallah” meaning “what ever happens, happens”. (Literally it means “it`s God`s will”). I miss days with no stress, no hurry and no worry.
I feel serene just looking at this picture and remembering that early morning while the streets were quite and calm. Well, that kind of days are yet to come – again…
For my friends that read only my text in English I decided to write a special story. Although you can see the picture you still can`t understand the whole beauty of this travel.
Well, to make it short. I have planed this trip for two months, although Morocco was on my mind for the past two years. It was my boyfriend who said “we are going!”. We found a great agency in Slovenia that makes adventure trips around the world, and Morocco had a great price so we didn`t want to go entirely alone. Friend of ours that we met on our trip to Cuba joined us. This really could be a story about tree Croatians that met Slovenians in Morocco – international bonding you can say.
Fez, old medina
Our plan for Morocco was for 13 days – going to Fez, renting a car and then making a country trip of 2100 km and ending up it in Marrakesh. It looks damn hard and it was, but I have never taken my smile of the face 🙂
This is the route that we made on our trip:
Although at first it seemed like I was going to have language barrier (because I don`t speak Slovenian) it turned out to be a good thing because I can now say that I could be learning my 5-6 language! And we all had a good laugh hearing my version of Slovenian. Anyway, first two days we stayed in Fez seeing all the important sights: old medina, famous tanneries, entrance to the king`s palce, Mellah – the jew`s quarter, old medresas, bazaars/souks, as well a meeting a Moroccan cuisine that on the end disappointed all.
Moroccan Cuisine and practical advises
Although they really have a vast number of fruits and vegetables the only thing they will serve you is tagine (with or without meat), couscous (with or without meat), brochettes (different kinds of meat on the stick), kefte (meat balls), Moroccan pancakes (very good and cheap!) and Moroccan pastry that was so hard to find (in restaurants they usually served fruit).
In general, food is not expensive – breakfast is around 2-3 euros, lunch 4-6 euros, water (1,5 l) 6-8 Dh (less than euro), Coke and tea 5-15 Dh, and alcohol if you can find it – beer about 4-6 euros. You can`t find alcohol in Morocco except in the big supermarkets like in Fez, Marrakesh or other bigger cities. Kif (marijuana) is popular in the north parts in Chefchaouen where it is cultivated in the Rif mountains, although it is illegal you will see that the most of the people you meet use it.
Water is better to buy than to drink and it is recommended that you have same tablets that will make you better if you get diarrhea or other digestive problems.
What did we see on our trip?
1. Fez – vibrant city best known by tanneries in old medina.
Royal Palace, Dar el-Makhzen
2. Volubilis – old Roman city best preserved in whole Morocco. It has very nice mosaics as well as good preserved hammams, villas, arches…
3. Moulay Idriss – The town was founded by Mohammed`s grandson Moulay Idriss who came to this part of Africa and founded the dynasty Idrissid. His tomb has the central part of the town. Not long time ago non-muslim tourist were forbidden to sleep over in the town.
4. Chefchaouen – the blue city. From Chefchaouen people go for trekking, exploring the Rif mountains (and marijuana fields). N
5. Merzouga and desert – we went for a camel trek to Erg Chebbi and slept over in Berber tents. With had a party around fire with Berbers untill late.
6. Skoura – sleeping in Kasbah. It is also called Oasis of 1000 palms.
8. Ait Ben Haddou – impressive old Kasbah used in many films. There are only 6 families living in the Kasbah and we slept by one. The town has no electricity and it is under UNESCO protections. Must see!
9. Geo park M`Goun – beautiful natural bridge and tons of birds faeces. But very nice natural wonder!
10. Cascades d`Ouzoud – it is a real tourist retreat, not only for trekking but to relax and maybe swim under the waterfalls. There are number of restaurants as well as Berber camp just beneath the cascades.
11. Ourika Valley – it is a touristic area for the local people mostly from Marrakesh that come here to enjoy nature or to go trekking. The road goes all the way to Setti Fatma and after that only 4W jeep, quads or donkey are useful. To the last village in the high Atlas you would need about 8 hours (walk).
It seems that we only stopped and look at the sights but we had so much more fun even through the long rides over the Atlas. During our trip we slept in hotels and hostels (called “dar” – it means house in arabic), kasbahs, with one family in traditional house and couple of nights in Berber tents. Price ranges from 7-20 euros per person per night and in some places you get dinner and breakfast.
What else? Well if you have questions about Morocco or my experience I`ll be glad to help.
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