A weekend in Morocco can be just as magical as a lengthy stay. The aroma of fresh spices sifting through the air, meats sizzling over an open flame, detailed carpets being unraveled at the market place, snakes entranced by the high pitched pungi, a pot of mint tea and a camel trek through the desert sand all in just a few days. Many travelers, like Natalie Roberts of Minnesota, get to experience just a small taste of Moroccan culture.
While studying in Spain, Roberts had the opportunity to head south for the weekend and roam the ancient streets of Morocco. She boarded the plane as she clutched the Royal Air Moroc ticket in her hand. Going to Morocco had been a dream of hers since high school.
Roaming through Casablanca, Roberts said, “We walked to the roof and looked out upon the vibrant city. When we came back down, we shared a pot of mint tea. This would be the start of our three-day tea binge, consuming our weight in mint, green tealeaves, water, and sugar. Unfortunately we did not have long to stay in Casablanca and were welcomed with a constant mist, which later became veritable rainfall. ”
Travelers venturing around Europe or Northern Africa shouldn’t miss a day or two in Morocco or even just a cup of mint tea, but if you happen to pass through make sure not to miss Marrakech!
Roberts continued, “We spent what little time we had the next morning drinking tea, and visiting the tallest minaret in the world. Then we left Casablanca and headed to l’estacion du tren to make our way to Marrakech.”
With little time left Roberts immerged herself into the city and wondered through Marrkech’s maze like souks. She said, “That allowed us a day and a half to peruse the souks and try the local cuisine. Walking through the souks was like going to a North African themed renaissance festival and suddenly realizing it’s all real and the actors aren’t going back to the suburbs in the evening. There were leopard skins, rhinoceros horns, Gucci and Prada. ”
She couldn’t help but leave with her hands full of bargains. Roberts said, “Bartering in French was tricky and at the end of the day our purchases were extensive, including such items as a fake rolex, a teapot, necklaces, scarves, sandals and shirts. Having spent entirely to much, I woke the next day to meet Tamir, the camel I would ride. She led the pack and was nice enough to only drool on me once.”
As Roberts left for the plane she knew she would someday return to this place, and hopefully for much longer.