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.
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Day 10 & 11: All Day, Fes & The Ride to Chefchaouen
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 ambience 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.
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 the 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.
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.
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.
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 favourite 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 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;
Thanks for following this series. Here’s looking at you, kids!