The exotic gateway to Africa a melting pot of cultures, sights and sounds. Whereby mountains, desert and coast are populated by Berbers and nomads, and its ancient medina lanes lead to souqs and riads.
I was about to spend the next two weeks living of the back of a truck doing a circle of the country.
Rabat, a gem of a city , the Medina has an authentic feel to it some good shops and fascinating architecture. The relatively calm and cosmopolitan atmosphere means that it is easy to discover the city’s monuments and hidden corners at your own pace. Exploring and absorbing the kasbah, with its narrow alleys, art galleries and magnificent ocean views.
Volubilis dates largely from the 2nd and 3rd century’s AD and is the site of the largest and best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. However excavations have revealed that the site was originally settled by Carthaginian traders even earlier. At its peak, it is estimated that the city housed up to 20,000 people.
Fez is where old meets new, locals cashing in on tourists who love the old while they move to the new city. Old Fez and its Medina is an assault on the senses, a warren of narrow lanes and covered bazaars fit to bursting with aromatic food stands, craft workshops, mosques and an endless parade of people .
The trick is to dive straight in , minding the donkeys which still remain the most common form of transport and defiantly have right of way .Seemingly blind alleys lead to squares with exquisite fountains, filled with the rhythmic hammer- music of copper beaters.
Getting lost in Fez is all part of the experience.
Aït Benhaddou is one of the most exotic and best-preserved kasbahs in the entire Atlas region. In recent years its population has dwindled, but it is now under Unesco protection.It has been a stage for many TV and film productions.
The beauty of the Sahara is mind-blowing , you soon forget the pain of the long hot and bumping journey to reach it.
Riding in to the dunes gives a new meaning to saddle sores however a night under the starlit sky listening to desert tales is unforgettable and surprisingly cold.
Marrakesh is a maze of covered market stalls and distractions. If you did have a destination, you’d only be waylaid by snake charmers, careening donkey carts, trendy silver leather poufs and ancient Berber cures for everything from relationships to rent. Throw away the map and dive in head first, some time later you will emerge exhilarated and triumphant some hours later, carpet in tow.
A million miles away from the city heat are the Cascades d’Ouzoud.The Oued Ouzoud drops 110m into the canyon of Oued el-Abid in three-tiered waterfalls covered by a rainbow mist .
Hassan II Mosque is the brainchild and crowning achievement of King Hassan II.It was built to commemorate the former king’s 60th birthday and opened in 1993 and is the worlds third largest mosque.The Hassan II mosque is one of the very few Islamic religious buildings open to non-Muslims.
Although most Moroccans, particularly those from Casablanca, are very proud of their modern monument others believe this vast sum might have been better spent. In particular, resentment lingers among the slum dwellers who were evicted without compensation from the area around the mosque. It is quiet shocking to see this building rubbing shoulders with the slums.