Top Reasons to Visit Morocco

royal palace morocco

Le Palais Royale du Maroc

Have you ever dreamed of bargaining in the markets of Marrakech? Riding a camel through the Saharan desert sands? Surfing along the Atlantic coast in Morocco? I am giving you all of the best reasons to get your ticket and come and visit Morocco. Read this post well because, as you will see, you MUST focus on the good things when you come to Morocco.

The top reasons to visit Morocco:

1. The People You Will Meet- The first time I came to Morocco, I came on a whim. That is how I travel if you haven’t noticed yet. I am in a country with time on my hands and a little money in my pocket. I hear someone talking about a place I haven’t visited yet, and I say “Let’s go!”. That’s how it was for Morocco. My friend and I came with Bean and had a great time in 2015. The Airbnb host we stayed with had such glowing commentary that we chose to lodge at Maison Zwina. I came back to Morocco because of her as well.

Francoise is a beautiful person inside and out. She raised five kids in France and always had the dream of living in Morocco. She came here over five years ago and started a bed and breakfast. Alone. No family to assist her. No friends in the neighborhood. In my eyes, her dream has flourished. Francoise is a super host on Airbnb. She deserves every star that she has. After spending so much time with her the past few weeks, we consider each other friends and family. Francoise has introduced me to some of her friends/ family as well. I am touched by her generosity and kindness to both myself and Bean.

Maison zwina

Daily visitor at Maison Zwina

While at Maison Zwina, we met Eli. Eli is a lady like no other I have ever met. In fact, I have read books about people like her. I thought to myself just recently that as much as I travel, I should meet someone like this in real life. Finally, I did! Eli is 150% independent woman…maybe 200%! She didn’t finish school because she didn’t see the point. She was a single mom traveling through remote regions of Africa at a time when single moms where rare in any country. She chose to take her son, then five, into a little village so that he would know first hand how other children lived.

Eli chose to volunteer most of her working life so that she would be able to do what she wanted. She is not someone who likes to be told what to do and when to do it. She lives in a small oasis town in southern Morocco and drives her car throughout the country. When she wants to stop, she does. She hikes through remote areas, not yet discovered by tourists and receives invitations to tea and dinner. If she is tired and not close to home, she will pull out her tent and sleep. Needless to say, I was in awe. “Are you ever afraid?”, I asked the question I am always asked. “No,” she answered. For most of her life, she has been the only pale face in the crowd, so being alone in the desert is not much of a challenge.

It was a pleasure to meet both of these women (and so many other kind people). They reminded me of my dear friend in Chicago who explored the world and shared her story with me. I look to them for inspiration. Just as I want to be an inspiration to my daughter, having older women as friends with whom to talk, encourages me to continue my journey.

2. The Food- I am fan of Morocco’s cheap produce. Little markets or small stores are everywhere. You can buy produce for not much money at all. I went down the street with Bean and we filled up four bags with produce…onions, tomatoes, oranges, bananas, carrots and an avocado. We got all of it for three dollars. I came back to the house and made freshly squeezed orange juice. The Moroccans will tell you their oranges are the best in the world. I agree. I normally won’t peel an orange because I don’t like juice dripping everywhere. Moroccan oranges will always be an exception. The dripping juice is worth it!

We don’t eat at home every day though. In the neighborhood, we can eat a great meal of kabobs, salad, french fries and rice for two dollars a plate. Movie night is always a joy when you can buy a good pizza for two dollars.
I enjoy eating couscous, tagines and drinking fresh squeezed orange juice. Having those options available on every corner made it a little difficult to choose. One day, we made our own couscous! It turned out well, but with a little more practice, it will be perfect.

Mountains of Grain

Snack time is the most important time of the day for Bean. We take our walks and head into a store, since the boulangeries are not the same here as in France. Bean is in awe of the snack aisle. For ten to thirty cents, she has an overwhelming selection of cookies and small cakes to choose from. I tell her to hurry up at least 20 times before she chooses a snack for the day. I often get a bottle of water, for 20 cents, instead of going to the juice aisle or we will be standing in front of the vast array of fruit juice for a long, long time.

3. The Scenery- Morocco is a beautiful country. I am sure I have said this before and will say it again. Coming from France where the sun had not yet begun to shine, Morocco warmed my spirit. France was a place of greens, blues, and the whiteness of the clouds. Morocco is red. Red, blue, green and white. It is an amazing mix of colors.
It excites the eye to see the richness of the colors.

Ourika Valley Morocco

Ourika Valley in Morocco

We have not traveled from the top to the bottom of the country, but what we have seen is varied. We have seen the countryside, the mountains, the ocean, and the desert. It doesn’t take long to travel from one landscape to the next. Cactus flowering outside my car window changes to barren landscape and then shortly to mountains with flowing rivers. The longer we stay in the car (or train), the more it changes.

There is so much more I could say about the beauty. I wish my pictures could show it more accurately. Suffice it to say, it is worth seeing!

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