A couple of weeks ago I went on a trip to Morocco with Black Travel Movement. This trip was different for me because I usually travel alone and on this trip there were 50 other people which to me seemed like a lot 😐. But Morocco has been on my list for a long time and since I had a good time on the last BTM trip to Cuba I took the chance. Morocco is a beautiful country known for its blue and white themes, picturesque architecture and magnificent doors and locks and the tasty mint tea. Despite being an introvert and sometimes feeling overwhelmed I made an effort to engage with those around me instead of going off on my own and I made some great connections. The tour company Moroccan Curators run by Laila Lamb and her wonderful coordinators Sophia, Mai, Imad, and Karim was great; they were with us almost 24 hours a day to make sure that our needs were met no matter how trivial. Kudos to all of them for their patience and flexibility.
We visited 3 different cities: Casablanca, Marrakech and Essaouira. In Casablanca we visited the Hassan II Mosque with its beautifully designed architecture and got a great lesson on the history and culture of the mosque. The first night we ate at the Zayna Restaurant Marocain where the food was buffet style and offered something for everyone and I enjoyed the local performers. The last night we ate at Rick’s Cafe which was a spot for some scenes in the movie Casablanca – I never saw the movie 😛 but the food and drinks were very delicious.
After this trip, I am left infatuated with Morocco in the way you feel when you are dating a new guy and you find that you have a connection. I just can’t stop thinking about what a good time I had in Morocco🤗. Morocco is on my mind!!!! like Georgia for Ray Charles (corny I know 😛 but I couldn’t resist).
I absolutely loved the fishing town Essaouira 😍, it was my favorite place in Morocco with its magnificent doors, the small but picturesque alleys, the ocean just across the street and beautiful sunsets. This little town had so much to explore, warm beautiful people, lots of small stores in the marketplace, an array of beautiful colors and smells because after all it is a fishing market, spas and a variety of restaurants. Jimi Hendrix frequented this area so there is a cafe named for him. The tour guide of our walking tour gave us the history and culture of the city and patiently allowed some of us to stop and shop. In an attempt to step outside of my comfort zone I drove an ATV for the first time, I was scared but I completed the ride and I didn’t crash – mission accomplished!!!
I really enjoyed staying at Le Médina Essaouira Thalassa sea & spa -MGallery by Sofitel, it is a small but well decorated boutique hotel with balconies overlooking the beautiful pool area and a beautiful lobby area. The welcome by the performers at the Beach and Friends restaurant was lively, entertaining and spectacular. These dancers continued to perform throughout the evening for upwards of an hour, they were full of energy and creativity. The next day I had the most amazing hammam🤗🤗 spa experience at the Azur Spa. I definitely plan to do this again because when I left the spa I was floating. A hammam is a treatment where you are naked except for paper thong so if you’re uncomfortable with being nude around others this may not be for you. It’s a communal steam room where they wet your body by throwing buckets of water over you, rub you down with Moroccan black soap and you sit for about 15 minutes before they wash you off. You are then taken to an individual room where you lay on a tile table and they wet and scrub your entire body with an exfoliating glove and wash you off again. Afterwards I decided to get a massage to top off my experience and I have to say it was all so very lovely😍😍.
Our days in Marrakech were busy and filled with visits to the Marjorelle garden, Berber and Yves Saint Laurent museums, the Bahia Palace and the medina marketplace. At the Marjorelle garden where the Berber museum is located there were beautiful landscapes with vibrant blue and gold scenery which provided a plethora of opportunities to take lots of beautiful pictures of me in my BTM Dope life t-shirt😍😍. The Berber Museum though small was an impressive display of clothing, artifacts, history and beautiful jewelry created by the Berber people. There were no pictures allowed in the Yves Saint Laurent museum but it was a glamorous display of his ensembles, and showcased his stylistic genius and jewelry. The Bahia Palace had the most beautiful mosaic floors and walls and patterned ceilings, it was an opportunity to learn the history of palace and provided great scenery for more photos. The medina marketplace is not for the faint of heart, unlike the marketplace in Essaouira it is much bigger, crowded, a bit chaotic, has narrow alleyways, aggressive merchants and motorcycles are constantly barreling down the alleys threatening to run you over. But it was an interesting outing for those who haven’t been to huge marketplaces before, I simply loved the variety of colors of the spices, dish ware, clothing and interesting signs.
A small group of us ventured out to the Ourika Valley the next day to see where and how the Berber aboriginal people live. We were allowed to tour a typical home and learn about the grinding process. Lunch was tasty outside by a lake but it required us to cross a dangling bridge (yikes😛) this was not my favorite part. We then chose to climb the Atlas mountains to see the Ourika valley waterfall up close. It was cool up there and it was a constant climb to the top, sometimes across rocks and the lake that took at least an hour. I was sore at the end of the day but it was a great experience to get out into the community. Check me out wearing my GrassROOTS Community Foundation #BlackGirlsLead t-shirt with our tour guide and a local merchant.
BTM decided to do one night in a luxury camp where we would go glamping in the Afgay desert. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was not sure I would enjoy it because it was so cold when we got up there and we were sleeping in tents not cabins 😛. It’s considered glamping because there were beds and electricity and bathrooms in each tent. I have to admit the scenery was very beautiful and the camp grounds were filled with goats, horses, sheep which appealed to most people. There were additional activities offered like camel rides, more ATV rides, horse back riding and a sunrise air ballon ride. Although I had on two shirts, my hat, my blazer and my scarf and I was still too cold😭. The food was mediocre, the bathroom situation was basic so I was not a happy camper 😛. Let’s be clear I will not do glamping again… that shit did not live up to my bougie standards but most of the group seemed to enjoy the experience. Thankfully it was only one night and the next day it was warmer weather🤗 but it also came with people experiencing mild to severe stomach issues so we made our way back to Marrakech early. In hindsight I could have spent another night at the hotel in Essaouira instead of glamping and been very happy (shrug).
All in all Morocco was a variety of new and different experiences, pleasant surprises and so many wonderful times. I absolutely loved the country and plan to return to explore more of it in the future 🤗🤗🤗 because it has left an impression on me.
Visit Morocco it is so worth the experience and you too may become infatuated