Chefchaouen

Magical Morocco Travel Diaries: Here’s Looking at You, Kid!

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It’s the final week in Morocco! So far, the country has exceeded my expectations and travelling with Mark has been awesome! Just to recap, we started off with a train ride from Casablanca to Marrakech, where we spent our first 3 nights. Then we rented a car and drove to Fes through Aït Benhaddou, Todgha Gorges, Merzouga and Midelt.

Day 10 & 11: All Day, Fes & The Ride to Chefchaouen

Bou Inania Medersa

It rained for most of the time we were in Fes. But that didn’t stop us from seeing the city. Actually, the rain wasn’t even an issue. The major challenge was leaving the riad. It had such a beautiful ambiance and our room was gorgeous. We spent the day getting lost in the medina and the souks. I preferred the souks here to the ones in Marrakech but obviously, Marrakech has a lot more going on.

We also visited the very beautiful Merdersa Bou Inania. Having missed out on seeing a similar Merdersa in Marrakech, I was very delighted to see this one.

…’a beauty beyond reckoning’

As the rain poured harder, we found a nice restaurant to have lunch in. The meal was generally tasty but the pastilla, man, this was so good, it needed its own photo shoot!

After lunch, we decided to walk around the medina some more before going back to riad. We came across some kids playing football and asked them for directions to the Grand Mosque. They told us it was closed for the day but gave us directions to where we could get a view of the mosque and the entire medina. We left them to their game but it wasn’t long until we noticed one of them had followed us.

Fes

He told us we were going the wrong way and offered to lead us to the balcony for the view. The view was so-so (I didn’t even see the mosque) but we passed by a rug store which was beautiful. And when it was time to go, yep, you guessed it. He asked Mark for money. I have never seen anyone transform so fast!

He went from this happy, smiling kid who wanted to become a doctor and hated girls to this mean looking adult trapped in a child’s body. I think Mark handed him 10DH (about a dollar) before he stopped following us around.

Fes Medina

The next day, we took a bus to Chefchaouen. We missed out on the scenery because we got motion sickness pills and slept throughout the ride. I remember Mark asking the pharmacist if they were non-drowsy and she saying ‘no’ but those things knocked us out!

Day 12: Picture Perfect in Chefchaouen

Ah, Chefchaouen! The final major part of our trip. Mark was very excited to be here. Finally, he could get those ‘slay pictures’ he always wanted for the ‘gram!

I was ONLY here to walk around, hike mountains and …. err.. enjoy the scenery? Yep, that’s what I was here to do.

Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil

We spent 2 nights in the city, which I think was just enough time to see and do everything we wanted to do. We hiked to the Spanish Mosque, walked around the medina, visited a Kasbah, ate more Tajine and drank more mint tea. And then, we took a bus to Tangier and a taxi to Asilah.

Day 13 & 14: Asilah

By the time we got to Asilah, all we wanted to do was eat, sleep and repeat! And this was pretty much what we did. On arrival, we checked into our hotel, settled in for a bit then went to the beach to watch the sunset. I think Mark’s favorite room was the one in Fes but the one in Asilah was mine.

We watched the sunrise at the beach the next day too. Walked through a very dull medina, had more tajine, had more mint tea and just enjoyed being in the city, while considering whether or not to stay one more night.

Many online forums I read said to skip Casablanca. ‘It’s not worth visiting, not even for an overnight stay’. We contemplated on going to Casablanca the same day we were to fly out. Even though I wanted, so badly, to stay in Asilah, I just couldn’t help worrying about what would happen if things went wrong.

I’m used to services breaking down so I kept thinking ‘What if the trains don’t work or they get delayed?’ Then we’d miss our flights and I have read that Royal Air Maroc isn’t the best airline you want to miss a flight on. Anyway, we booked to stay in an Airbnb apartment and left for Casablanca via train the next morning.

Day 15 & 16: Asilah to Casablanca, Casablanca & Flight Back Home 🙁

Nothing went wrong. The train didn’t breakdown. It showed up on time, we got first class tickets and were the only ones in our berth the entire ride. Our Airbnb apartment was pretty cool too. It had a view of the Hassan II Mosque and our host was quite nice. Dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant that evening was also very good.

The next morning, we took a walk along the corniche, stopping briefly at the impressive Hassan II Mosque. On our way back, it began to rain. A couple who had come to have a picnic saw us walking back and gave us a ride in their car. They took us right to our next stop, Rick’s Cafe, where we had lunch before heading to the train station and the airport later on.

I’m so glad we got to spend some time in Casablanca. We had a good time here. While I agree that other cities have more interesting things to do in them, I think Casablanca is worth an overnight stay.

And so, like our trip, this series has come to an end. You can catch up with the first three posts by clicking on the links below;

The Beginning…

Marrakech

Sand & Snow!

Thanks for following this series. Here’s looking at you, kids!

Photo Credit: Mark Huelsenbeck

35 Comments

  1. Caught up with the trip in one sitting. Whew. What a trip. You guys had such a good time. We need a cost breakdown please!

  2. Yay I’m finally caught up on the series! Thanks for sharing in full detail. I find it hard to summarize a long trip in 1 or 2 posts so I love that you broke it down so you could share in more detail. We all went to Morocco together!

    Shout out to Mark for the great pics, I’m now reassessing my travel buddies by their photography skills 😉

    • Are they really your friends if they can’t take great pictures of you?! Haha. Thanks for following, Dee

  3. Amarachi ooo! This series and the pictures are too tempting. I wanna travel like you when I grow up ! #dazall!
    Mark is the real MVP I must say.
    Keep updating us, we love your travel stories 😊😍😍

  4. With my hand under my jaw, I smiled all through as I read. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Everything was perfect.

    By the way, that your white dress in the desert concept is ‘bae’ raised to power 10…lol.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed reading it 🙂 thanks for your comments and I’m looking forward to hearing about your own trip too.

      PS: Mark is going to be both amused and confused by this comment, haha!

  5. This was such a delightful read Amarachi. You clearly had a lot of fun and I’m happy you shared it with us. Nice post….xxxx

    http://www.sunlightdreamer.com

  6. Sigh,

    I had this warm fuzzy feeling when you wrote ‘here’s looking at you kid’.

    Think I’m off to watch the movie again.

    That aside this was such a great trip and I enjoyed the series.

    I’m glad nothing went wrong. Does this mean you’ll stop having negative thoughts now? lol
    Great post and pictures, well done!!

    p.s one thing I think I’ve learnt from Morocco is getting directions aint free, even from adorable little kids. What a shame?

    • Lol, as Nigerians, we’re naturally wired to think that some things would not work out as planned. I’m always happy to be proved wrong anyway! But yes, no more negative thoughts 🙂

      The incident with the kid was quite disappointing, no lie. Usually, the adults get frustrated, probably throw an insult your way and leave you alone but the kids (we encountered) were worse.

  7. I have a trip planned to Morocco this year, and I can’t wait! Great photos.

  8. I enjoyed reading every post in the series – thanks for sharing your experience! Tipping my hat off to Mark especially for developing an interesting itinerary. Kudos to you as well for finding a way to spend some time in Casablanca – the photo in front of the mosque is great! The only thing missing is really your usual cost breakdown… But I look forward to seeing it reappear in future posts this year… right? 😉 || http://www.lorikemi.com

    • Haha, Thanks LK.. I decided not to do a cost breakdown for this trip. It wasn’t necessarily a budget holiday and my breakdowns are usually focused on that.

  9. So interesting reading through the Morocco diaries. I’ve always wanted to visit, fingers crossed. Mark really did a good job with taking your photos and planning the trip with you. Such beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I truly enjoyed reading your Morocco series…I lived it through your eyes and stories.
    Morocco, I’m def visiting you and exploring you soon *smiles*

  11. Every post on this series was a delight to read.
    Mehn the colours!! Why so pretty!
    Thank you for showing me Morocco!

  12. LOVED the Morocco series. You have captured it in such detail. Felt like I was there with you. And exploring for 16 days is so cool! Shout out to Mark as well for the stunning photos! He is travel buddy goals.

    http://www.theufuoma.com

  13. LMAO at Amarachi this post will end without MOROCCO: Cost breakdown.
    Madam do quick, thanks and God bless you!! Meanwhile #Maam2018 or #Amamark2018.

    • Lool! You put the title too, haha. Well… how do I say this? There will be no cost breakdown post for this trip.. but don’t fret, the internet is awash with enough info to make this analysis and I’m here to help too 🙂

      Maam?! Lol

  14. I’ve been missing in action and just read your series. Really interesting…Now I’m thinking of packing my bags for Morocco.
    I wonder why people always say to skip Casablanca! I know for sure I would love to explore and have my own opinion of the place.

    • Welcome to the party, Fola. I agree with having your own opinion of a place. Maybe you’d like it, maybe you wouldn’t. But at least you’d know for sure.

    • Welcome back to earth! Amarachi surely murdered Morocco, showing us how photos should be done. Photos are extremely stunning too!

  15. I lived through Morocco through your posts with too many helpful tips. I can’t wait to visit Morocco.
    Casablanca looks like a very nice place. Different people with different view of a place. It’s great you listened to your intuition.

    • So glad you enjoyed following the series. I hope you get to visit soon and write about your experience too.. RE Casablanca: I agree. I enjoyed our stay there, others might not. At the end of the day, you just need to do you.

I love to hear from you!