5:09 PM

Visiting Morocco has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to ride a camel, see the desert, explore maze-like medinas, and drink tea with Berbers.

As I stood overlooking the Sahara one morning, marveling at the rhythmic, undulating dunes of the desert, I realized that my dream had come true.

Marrakech was everything I thought it would be: a modern mix of Moroccan and international culture with the most diversity of delicious international food (check out PepeNero for Italian and Latitude for a Med-Moroccan mix) and beautiful architecture in the medina. Though Marrakech lacked the grit and edge of the rest of the country, it was the most eclectic city on the trip.

The chaotic pace exposed a city and people always on the go. The famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square is truly the mess everyone describes: tens of thousands of people at night eating, shopping, getting henna tattoos, listening to bands and storytellers, and watching magicians (and snake charmers during the day). It’s one of the most hectic but fascinating people-watching places in the country. It still blows my mind how big and full it was! (Contrast that to the underwhelming Saadian Tombs, which is an attraction I would skip — they are simple, the grounds are small, and overall, it was just bland.)

By the end of my 3 day there, I was a bit “couscoused out.” That said, I dove head first into eating as much of it as possible — I loved savoring the flavors, seeing the regional variety, and getting to really appreciate how long each dish took to prepare. Tagine (cooked with meat, dates, nuts, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron in a clay pot) was by far my favorite Moroccan dish. Also worth trying is the Berber omelet, which is egg, tomato, onion, and herbs, also cooked in a clay pot.

Morocco is an incredibly destination. At times, it was trying, stressful, chaotic, and overloaded my senses, but for all the stresses of travel, it was a country where I felt out of my element and like I was truly somewhere new and different. I loved that feeling and everything else about Morocco.


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