Marrakech

After I spent a night in the city of Casablanca, we got in a car and drove to Marrakech, which took about three and a half hours. I enjoyed Marrakech more than I enjoyed Casablanca because it was significantly smaller, cleaner, and there was more to do. The traffic, however, was a mess. There were motorcycles everywhere, horns could be heard 24/7, and I saw numerous individuals almost get into accidents or hit pedestrians. It was quite hectic.

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While making sure I didn’t get hit by a car, I spent time around the city, seeing mosques, and visiting huge street markets with thousands of vendors that had everything from fake Gucci shirts to silk carpets. I spent a lot of time trying local street foods along the way, which was incredibly cheap and very tasty.

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The following day, we ventured out into the Agafay desert, which is about an hour drive away from Marrakech. There, we spent time exploring a natural oasis and climbing rocky hills. We also took Camels out into the isolated desert for a few hours with the assistance of 2 guides who worked at a near by camp. I did not get a chance to go to the Sahara dessert during my time in Morocco, but the Agafay was still really beautiful

Overall, Morocco was a great experience. It was perhaps the biggest culture shock that i have ever personally experienced. It is a very intersting country with a lot of things to see. I only got to see two major cities, but I plan on returning and visiting Tangier and Fez. If you ever get the chance to travel to Morocco, do it.DSC01876.jpg

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Dinner in Casablanca

This past weekend I traveled to the country of Morocco in Northern Africa. It was one of the most intersting places I have ever been. I started my trip in the city of Casablanca, which is a huge city with 6,000,000 individuals that drives the economy of Morocco. We visited the Hassan II Mosque (which is seen in the featured photo of this post), which is the 3rd largest mosque in the entire world. It holds 25,000 people at once and is regularly used for large group prayers.DSC01699 (1).jpg

We only stayed in Casablanca for one night, but it was quite interesting. Our taxi driver, Hamid, spoke a very small amount of English, which created a firm language barrier due to the fact that we didn’t understand Arabic. On our way back to the hotel we were staying at, Hamid told us that we should go to his house for dinner with his family that night. We awkwardly laughed as we were unsure if he was joking since we had only known him for an hour or so. He told us that he would pick us up at 7:30 from our hotel to take us to dinner since we had made reservations at a local restaurant.

At 7:30, he picked us up and we told him where to take us. In his broken English, he seemed to understand us. However, we ended up in an unfamiliar alley where he parked the car. I asked awkwardly, “Hamid, where are we?” “My house” he answered.  My friend

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My family, friend Ryan, an Hamid (in orange)

and I looked at each other contemplating what to do, so we just followed him. Sure enough, we go upstairs and his wife had cooked up a classic Moroccan three course meal for us. The food was delicious, his home was beautiful, and he was incredibly hospitable. It was a very strange experience, but one that I will never forget.