Taghazout Morocco

The Joys of Morocco


he joy of travelling to a country not seen before was tangible during our recent travels to Morocco. Not sure what I expected, but the genuine love the locals have for their country was a delightful surprise.

We travelled to the northern part of the African continent at the start of the summer. Marrakesh, although not a relaxing city, is definitely a city to visit. You can just enjoy the souks (markets) and all the action that takes place in and around the Jemaa El-Fnaa square. This is a large public square and market in the heart of Marrakesh, which for generations has been a meeting place. These days you can experience the traditional culture while strolling around. Also venture up to one of the upstairs restaurants or bars that look out over the square to have a bird’s-eye view of everything below.

Haggle at the souks

The souks will definitely tempt you to buy something. But remember to haggle.  I’m pretty bad with that, but my hubby is excellent. Be like my hubby when you haggle. He doesn’t allow his feelings to creep in, he sees it as a transaction, pure and simple. He says his price and walks away if not accepted. They will counter it and eventually you’ll come to an agreement. I eventually decided to convert my intended buying price to euros and that was then the amount I was willing to spend. A set price definitely helps! But, be sharp because there will always be scammers.

Tour operators

Atlas MountainsInteresting were the many tour operators who take tourists to see all the attractions. I’ve never had the feeling in another country that these touristic tours are so plentiful. But then we’ve mostly done the hop-on/hop-off bus tours and not many others.

It was remarkable that many of the tourists we met (indeed on one of these bus tours) indicated they went on all different kind of tours and one guy had his whole week planned – day by day on another bus tour. This is a great alternative if you don’t have a car to reach these places. But many of these tourists had not yet seen the local attractions in Marrakesh, like the Badi palace, the Saadian tombs or indeed the Bahia palace. Maybe this is just another way to get to know the country? And for many locals tourism is after all their job.

Supermarkets and getting there

Whenever we travel to a foreign country, we like to book an apartment or a place with a kitchen in order to do our own cooking.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t also do take-aways or have a meal in a restaurant every now and then. But it is usually cheaper to make our own food and foreign supermarkets or food markets are just so interesting. In Morocco we did the same, we found a few supermarkets to buy food from. Some were really tiny, but we just had to make do and improvise with what we could get.

Eventually we found a bigger supermarket. To get there was a bit of an ordeal because we had to cross a few very busy roads. And when I say busy, I mean intensely busy. The traffic doesn’t seem to stop. Even standing at the zebra crossing. It is almost impossible to just walk over. The cars don’t stop. Maybe a sympathetic driver who could see we’re foreigners did, but even the scooters didn’t pay any heed to a zebra crossing! We quickly realised the best way is to attached yourself to a local. That way you get over the road safely. Otherwise run.

The bread especially was delicious. When we left Marrakesh for Agadir, we had to do the find-a-supermarket-episode again and after a few days we found a tiny supermarket close to our apartment who sold the most delicious flatbread. What luck.

And …

I would definitely want to go back to this northern African country. We still need to take that trip into the desert and maybe a full day of hiking in the Atlas mountains.

In my next blog I’ll tell you a bit more about the different historical places we explored.

Village in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco



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