Morocco was one of those trips where you come back a little different. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened to me in Morocco. I can only describe it as some sort of spiritual leveling up. Upon arriving in Marrakech, I got an incredibly sick stomach which I was recovering from the entire time I was in Africa. While you would never know it from all the beautiful pictures, I was definitely struggling. Because my body was feeling extra sensitive, all my senses were heightened. The smells and noise from the Medina (central market) were incredibly potent and alive. I could feel the energy so strongly that I started uncontrollably crying outside the Koutoubia Mosque. I can’t really explain why. It’s as if I had been here before and it was helping me let go of something.
These are must do’s when planning your trip to Morocco. Here are some of the highlights from my trip:
Riding this camel in the Sahara Desert to a luxury camp site has to be one of the most amazing adventures of my life. The beautiful golden sand, blue sky and visible moon is a mental image I will never forget. I stayed one night in an epic desert camp. When we arrived to the camp, they served us hot mint tea, a delicious dinner with courses and each tent had a shower and toilet. Yes, it was cold at night but I warmed up pretty fast under the covers.
The souks (marketplaces) of Marrakech are the largest in Morocco. It is known to be one of the most exotic marketplaces in the world. The souks are a maze of exotic treasures. I don’t typically like shopping but they got me. I came back with a bunch of goodies!
The Ben Youssef Madrasa is one of the largest and most beautiful icons of Andalusian-Arabic architecture in Morocco. It is located in the medina of Marrakech. Now a museum, it once was the largest and most important Islamic college in Morocco. It was founded by Sultan Abou al Hasan during the fourteenth century.
Fez, the oldest imperial city of Morocco, definitely needs to be on your itinerary. I was feeling like a Moroccan Princess in her palace! I was so grateful to be hosted by Riad Mayfez Suites and Spa. Located in the heart of town, with incredible panoramic views, Riad Mayfez was the perfect place to explore whilst relaxing in luxury. A big thank you to Houda and her team for taking such good care of me. It really was another level of service!
While in Fez, a must see is the Chouara Tannery (a place where animal skins are tanned and made into leather). Believed to have been built in the 9th century the entire leather production process involves manual labor only and has retained methods unchanged since medieval times. The round stone vessels, which I find to be quite beautiful, are filled with dye to color and soften the hides. This ancient process puts Morocco on the map for creating some of the best leather products in the world.
In Marrakech, I was hosted by Riyad El Cadi. Located in the heart of the Medina, it’s a perfect Oasis. They have big artistic rooms with a beautiful courtyard and swimming pool. The rooftop is a great place to have breakfast and enjoy the views of Marrakech.
Upon arriving back home I felt myself walking a bit lighter and feeling more at ease in my skin. It seems as if Morocco broke me down physically and emotionally in order to help me let go of some inner pain I was carrying. This was one of the most painfully beautiful adventures I’ve ever been on and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will always be grateful for Morocco!