Camels, Sahara, Berbers OH MY!!! Morocco Series Part 3

IMG_8553

To say “Todo, we are not in Kansas anymore” is a complete understatement of 2015 when talking about the desert (wait not just any desert the Sahara). Recently, I spoke about Chefchauoen and it is still my favorite city. However, my favorite experience would have to be the desert. Which most Spanish people would say here in Spain, ” es una pasada” (literally means it’s passed but translated as this is “awesome” ) .Most have been to Morocco will agree  that it’s a place where they have mastered the art of  encapsulating time.

IMG_8403

I am the first one

However, getting to this place easily resembles the journey the Three Wiseman took to give Jesus his gifts on January 6th.  We left Fez at the break of dawn from our fun-filled day before.  It was 6 hours to be exact with several stops and a bite of Moroccan style Mille-Feuille pronounced [mil fœj] it means in French a thousand layers of sweet diabetic goodness.

Then, Ta-Da there it was the entrance to the desert.  Quickly, I realized that my derrière and I  were relieved to get off the bus, but there is a sense of calmness that comes over you. Once we stepped out of our tour bus ,which I have coined the time machine, you would think I would smell camel dung.  Instead, I was surprised with an overwhelming scent of camomile, men with long colorful robes, and turban’s.  Before I knew it, I had a Berber wrap my head with a scarf to create a turban.  I know what you are thinking you put on the turban  for the photo-op or the Facebook profile picture.  I would answer to the cynics, ” When in Morocco” and really when will I ever get the opportunity to wear a turban. The truth is that the turban does have a purpose as Youssef, my berber guide through the desert stated, “Covering your head protects you from the sun and the longer part in the back is to pull it across your face when it gets windy and the sand does not hit your face.” (I am working on a post with Youssef alone… Alyshah will be pleased JAJAJ inside joke)

IMG_8340

The Berber guy who wrapped my head earlier said, ” You the leader…” I remember thinking not even in the desert do things change.  I quickly got reminded of Alexi, my childhood best friend.  She would tend to agree that I am not really a follower and remember thinking about her request for me to bring her some sand.  Then my loud mind suddenly becomes quiet and it sounds cheesy… Yes I  know, but it is a religious experience.  When you get to the top of the sand dune you feel a moment of stillness and silence.  Something I usually always try to strive for in my yoga class however, I always manage to fall asleep. Yet you know time is passing only because you are seeing the process of the sunset and the second miracle across from the sun you see the moon.  I feel that it is one of the most beautiful empirical moments of my life.  #bucketlistexperience112 check…

Click here to watch breathtaking views of the desert.

Chefchaouen… Chefchaouen… Why are you so Blue!

 

Chefchaouen… my first recollection of this city was about two years ago when I was in my cubical randomly searching through pinterest.  I would take a 10 minute break so I would not go cookoo  for coco puffs after answering phones and dealing with some disingenuous people.  I remember when I typed in the search box “Morocco” an image of this city appeared.  I remember thinking  ” I will be there someday”. Well this day finally came, it was last Saturday.  My second stop in Morocco did not mentally prepare my brain for how blissfully beautiful  this quaint city would be.  The ocean shades of blue, narrow minaret arch ways, intricately placed tile, without the children taking  notice of the splendor  they live in.

No one would know that this place was attack several times in its lifetime.  First, the Portuguese, then the Bereberes (rebellious tribe AKA Man of the Desert),  and the Spanish.  Due to these attempted conquest of this blue paradise city remained closed to all foreigners especially Christians from the 17th century until 1920 when the Spanish occupied the city.   So I do find it ironic that the place I would step foot in Morocco during Semana Santa (Holy Week) would be this one.
Chefchaouen is not just memorable because it was the first city we explored or the fact that I got proposed to for the first time (I will explain more later), but more importantly is where I got my first taste of Moroccan Food.  Most of all, my friends will tell you that I base my love for a place on how much I love their food.  After all, it is one of the life’s greatest pleasures to enjoy food.  After the food … discovering tiny alley ways,  and friendly locals. I would probably have to say it is one of the most photogenic cities I have ever seen.
I never thought this tiny alley way city colored in blue would leave a mark on my memory the way it has.  I know it’s a bit premature to say, however this  Moroccan City, was my favorite city. My Iphone and Sony camera have been blessed to have the honor to snap moments in this city.
I strayed away from the group to buy a traditional dress.  The shop owner asked,  “You are not from here, right?”  … “Yes, I’m not”  … He responded with ”  Welcome  to Morocco” .  This act reminds me of the reason why I travel because it is a constant reminder of how many good, kind people there are in the world and how I occupy such a small place in it.
P.S. Ouarzazate and the Sahara next
3,257 KM travelled,Three Marriage propsals,Third Continent visited(and Counting), officially got my first Girl Crush…  Morocco Series 1

3,257 KM travelled,Three Marriage propsals,Third Continent visited(and Counting), officially got my first Girl Crush… Morocco Series 1

When I decided to finally go to my third continent I knew it as going to be different, but I did not expect it to leave such an impact the way it has.   I booked this trip mainly because … Continue reading