• Kate

Road trip in Morocco

Don't know why it took me so long to visit this country. I remember I started dreaming about it in High School and only went there at the end of 2018.

It was November and I expected the weather to still be warm and it kind of was in some places but we also experienced a lot of rain and snow, that last one was close to the mountains.



This is how our trip went:

Day 1

We landed in Rabat around 8 pm. Went straight to the rental car company and got a little Toyota. We drove to our Riad in Rabat which was so pretty and with an Ocean view.



Day 2

In the morning after breakfast, we started our journey to Chefchauen where we spent only one hour. Chefchauen is known for the houses painted in different shades of blue and because it was raining when we got there, we couldn't quite enjoy the walk.

Our stop for a couple of nights was Fes. We had another Riad booked, this one was even prettier than the first.

The drive was so scary and crazy. People just do whatever they want, they never use indicators or if they finally manage to put it on, it stays on forever, so you never know when they want to turn. Another thing are roundabouts, we've seen people cutting short and instead of going all the way round to the right, they took a left and drove against the current.

There is also a lot of donkeys and mules and motorbikes and pedestrians, no one is scared of getting hit by a car.



Day 3

We’ve done a lot of sightseeing. Walked to the Blue Gate and some man insisted on showing us the Médina, he didn't want much money and we thought it will be a good idea to speak to a local person. It was a very good decision. He showed us a lot of hidden streets and cute shops, the only thing I didn't enjoy was when he took us to a restaurant and it turned out to be destined for tourists, instead of locals, and obviously quite expensive.

We went to the place where the leather is dyed, there is a rooftop from where you can see the men working on the leather as well as the view of the city.

They dye it there and let it dry outside so it stinks everywhere around it.

Got back to our Riad after 6 pm and just chilled there, we needed some rest after walking for most of the day.



Day 4

We woke up at 8 am, had breakfast, and left for the Desert. Most Airbnb's have breakfast included and it's usually quite nice. 7 hours of driving and we experienced probably every weather possible and seen the most spectacular views.

We had fog, rain, snow, and unfortunately no sun until we got closer to Sahara.

Driving through Atlas mountains was breathtaking, the mountain range changes every hour or so, we've seen tall mountains with a lot of snow, mountains with red ground and green trees (super cute contrast), and treeless mountains. We were even lucky enough to see a beautiful lake and a Canyon.

Getting closer to the Desert I couldn't believe what I was seeing, at first I thought it must be some strange yellow mountains but then I realized this is it, this is sandy Sahara.

The car was parked at the Riad and we switched to camels with some more people who were already there waiting for us. I wasn't sure what to think about riding camels and it felt strange at first but then I got used to it. I know that some people don't treat animals well and hit them but in this village, it seemed like they were respected, they gave them plenty of food and I haven't seen anyone hitting them with anything.

That night we had a lovely dinner at our camp in the middle of the desert and then there was a bonfire and lots of dancing and singing.



Day 5

We didn't sleep very well as our neighbors were snoring all night long and making some other strange noises.

We had breakfast at the camp and then went back to the Riad on camels. We made friends with two girls from Slovenia and we decided to go on a Jeep tour together.

Muhammad, the owner, took us to the village of people from Sudan where they danced, played some traditional music, and gave us very sweet mint tea (which is standard for Morocco). Then he took us to see Black Sahara a part of Sahara where people used to extract minerals. Next, we went to have lunch with the nomads, Berbers. In the middle of nowhere, they cooked for us their version of pizza which was probably the best food I had during this trip. These people live in tents all year round, cook on the ground and whenever they feel like it's their time to go, they just pack and leave. It seems unbelievable that someone can live like this but they seemed happy, they live simple lives without chasing money and fame.

Later on, we showered in the Riad and went back to our camp.

We knew one night in the desert won't be enough that's why stayed for another.

We walked up the dune to see the sunset which was amazing, walking up dunes can be quite hard, they don't seem that tall but once you stand on them you can see pretty far away. The highest dune is the whole of Sahara Desert is 1,980 meters tall above sea level, that's from the Algerian side but still, it's impressive.



Day 6

I woke up to see the sunrise, climbed up the same dune as the day before but this time I got really tired. The sunrise was great but I still preferred the sunset from the previous night.

We went to the Riad in the morning to have breakfast and shower. Again on camels so I could say goodbye to the little boy who helped me get through the sand.

After breakfast we started driving towards Ouarzazate with the Slovenian girls we met at the camp, they were heading that direction so we gave them a lift.

We got off the way a bit to see the Gorges and Dades. It's a gorge in which the river flows, you can walk by and enjoy tall Atlas Mountains.

We got to the city at 6 pm. We were originally meant to stay in Marrakesh tonight but it would be a very long drive so we decided to change our plan.

We had dinner and went to bed.



Day 7

We woke up to have breakfast with the girls and started our journey towards Marrakesh.

We had amazing views again on the way because the road was through the Atlas Mountains, this time quite high in the mountains. So much snow over there!

But as soon as we got to Marrakesh some problems started. People were again being stupid and walking in the middle of the street, GPS showed us the wrong way. It was very stressful and then finding our Riad was a nightmare. We got there in the end and had some diner at Zeitoun cafe which was nice. In the evening we walked to The main Square. Jemaa el-Fna is a marketplace but mainly known for snake charmers, I wasn't lucky to see them.

We walked a bit then it started raining so we decided to go back to the hotel.

Personally, I didn't enjoy Marrakesh, after those two peaceful days in the desert, this place seemed like hell, it was chaos all around us, I was scared someone will rob us or punch us.

I carried a camera with me as always but I was terrified to take photos of people.



Day 8

We went to Yves Saint Lauren Gardens and the museum. That was very exotic and nice. There is also a photography exhibition with portraits of Moroccan people.

After the museums, we started driving to Casablanca but we didn’t stop because there wasn't much time left so we just headed to the airport in Rabat.


It was a very intense 8 days but I can say I've seen most of Morocco. Views were the main attractions and driving through the countryside was very relaxing for me as a passenger, only the cities were horrible. Marrakesh disappointed me completely, I was so excited to see it and once we finally got there, I wanted to leave straight away.

If I was ever to go back to that country I would visit the desert again, it was one of the best experiences in my life.

The mountains were stunning, from every side, it almost felt like we were driving through different countries.

Oh and we've seen monkeys once and wild camels!



POLISH VERSION

POLSKA WERSJA

(przepraszam za brak polskich znakow)


Nie wiem, dlaczego wizyta w tym kraju zajela mi tyle czasu. Pamietam, ze zaczelam o tym wyjezdzie marzyc w liceum i pojechalam tam dopiero pod koniec 2018 roku.

Byl listopad i spodziewalam sie, ze pogoda bedzie nadal przyjemna i troche tak bylo w niektorych miejscach, ale doswiadczylismy tez duzo deszczu i sniegu, troche blizej gor.


Oto jak przebiegla ta podroz:

Dzien 1

W Rabacie wyladowalismy okolo 20:00. Poszedlismy prosto do wypozyczalni samochodow i wzielismy mala Toyote. Pojechalismy do naszego Riadu w Rabacie, który byl bardzo ladny i mial widok na ocean.

Dzien 2

Rankiem po sniadaniu wyruszylismy w podroz do Chefchauen, gdzie spedzilismy tylko godzine. Chefchauen jest znany z domow pomalowanych na rozne odcienie niebieskiego, a poniewaz dojechalismy na miejsce jak padal deszcz, nie moglismy cieszyc sie za bardzo spacerem.

Naszym przystankiem na kilka nocy bylo Fes. Mielismy zarezerwowany kolejny Riad, ten byl jeszcze ladniejszy niz ten pierwszy.

Jazda byla straszna i szalona. Ludzie po prostu robia, co chca, nigdy nie uzywaja kierunkowskazow a jak juz w koncu uda im sie wrzucic, to zostaje on wlaczony na bardzo dlugo, wiec nigdy nie wiadomo, kiedy chca skrecic. Inna rzecza sa ronda, widzielismy ludzi skracajacych sobie droge i zamiast jechac cala droge dookola ronda w prawo, skrecali w lewo i jechali pod prad.

Jest tez duzo oslow, mulow, motocykli i pieszych, nikt nie boi sie byc potracony przez samochód.

Dzien 3

Sporo zwiedzalismy. Podszlismy do Blekitnej Bramy i jakis mezczyzna nalegal na pokazanie nam Mediny, nie chcial duzo pieniedzy i pomyslelismy, ze dobrym pomyslem bedzie rozmowa z kims lokalnym. To byla bardzo dobra decyzja. Pokazal nam wiele ukrytych ulic i uroczych sklepow, jedyne co mi sie nie podobalo to kiedy zabral nas do restauracji i okazalo sie, ze jest one przeznaczona dla turystow a nie dla miejscowych i oczywiscie dosc drogo tam bylo.

Udalismy sie do miejsca, w którym farbuje sie skore, jest taras na dachu, z którego widac mezczyzn pracujacych przy skórze oraz miasto z gory.

Skora jest tam farbowana pozostawiana do wyschniecia na zewnatrz, tak ze smierdzi wszedzie wokol.

Wrocilismy do naszego Riadu po 18:00 i po prostu tam chillowalismy, potrzebowalismy odpoczynku po prawie calodniowym spacerze.

Dzien 4

Wstalismy o 8 rano, zjedlismy sniadanie i wyruszylismy na pustynie. Wiekszosc Airbnb ma sniadanie wliczone w cene i zazwyczaj jest calkiem przyzwoite. 7 godzin jazdy i przezylismy chyba kazda mozliwa pogode i zobaczylismy najbardziej spektakularne widoki.

Mielismy mgle, deszcz, snieg i niestety zero slonca, dopoki nie zblizylismy sie do Sahary.

Jazda przez gory Atlas zapierala dech w piersiach, pasmo gorskie zmienialo sie co godzine, widzielismy wysokie gory z duza iloscia sniegu, gory z czerwona ziemia i zielonymi drzewami (super ladny kontrast) oraz bezdrzewne gory. Mielismy nawet szczescie, ze zobaczylismy piekne jezioro i kanion.

Zblizajac sie do pustyni nie moglam uwierzyc w to, co widze, poczatkowo myslalam, ze to jakies dziwne zolte gory, ale potem zdalam sobie sprawe, ze to jest to, to ta piaskowa Sahara.

Samochod zostal zaparkowany przy Riadzie i przesiedlismy sie na wielblady z kilkoma innymi osobami, ktore juz na nas czekaly. Nie bylam pewna, co myslec o jezdzie na wielbladach i na poczatku bylo to dziwne, ale potem przyzwyczailam sie do tego. Wiem, ze niektorzy ludzie nie traktuja dobrze zwierzat i bija je, ale w tej wiosce wydawalo sie, ze byle one szanowane, dawali im duzo jedzenia i nie widzialam, zeby ktokolwiek je uderzal.

Tej nocy zjedlismy cudowna kolacje w naszym obozie na srodku pustyni, a potem bylo ognisko i duzo tancow i spiewow.

5 dzien

Nie spalismy zbyt dobrze, poniewaz nasi sasiedzi chrapali przez cala noc i wydawali inne dziwne dzwieki.

Zjedlismy sniadanie w obozie, a nastepnie wrocilismy do Riadu na wielbladach. Poznalismy dwie sympatyczne dziewczyny ze Slowenii i postanowilismy wybrac sie razem na wycieczke jeepem.

Wlasciciel Muhammad zabral nas do wioski ludzi z Sudanu, ktorzy tanczyli dla nas, puszczali tradycyjna muzyke i czestowali nas bardzo slodka herbata mietowa (standardowa w Maroku). Nastepnie zabral nas do Czarnej Sahary, czesci Sahary, gdzie ludzie wydobywali kiedys mineraly. Nastepnie poszlismy na lunch z nomadami, Berberami. W szczerym polu przygotowali dla nas swoja wersje pizzy, ktora byla prawdopodobnie najlepszym jedzeniem, jakie jadlam podczas tej podrozy. Ci ludzie mieszkaja w namiotach przez caly rok, gotuja na ziemi, a kiedy tylko czuja, ze nadszedl ich czas, po prostu pakuja sie i wyruszaja w dalsza podroz. Wydaje sie niewiarygodne, ze ktos moze tak zyc, ale wydawali sie nam szczesliwi, prowadza proste zycie, nie goniac za pieniedzmi i slawa.

Pozniej wzielismy prysznic w Riadzie i wrocilismy do naszego obozu.

Wiedzielismy, ze jedna noc na pustyni nie wystarczy, dlatego zostalismy na kolejna.

Weszlimy na wydme, zeby zobaczyc zachod slonca, ktory byl powalajacy, chodzenie po wydmach moze byc dosc trudne, nie wydaja sie tak wysokie, ale kiedy na nich staniesz, mozesz zobaczyc dosc daleko. Najwyzsza wydma na calej Saharze ma 1980 m n.p.m., to jest od strony algierskiej, bardzo imponujace.

6 dzien

Obudzilam sie, aby zobaczyc wschod slonca, wspielam sie na te sama wydme co poprzedniego dnia, ale tym razem naprawde sie zmeczylam. Wschod slonca byl wspanialy, ale ale i tak lepszy byl zachod z poprzedniej nocy.

Pojechalismy do Riadu rano na sniadanie i prysznic. Znowu na wielbladach, zebym mogla sie pozegnac z tym malym kolesiem, ktory pomogl mi przejsc przez te piaski.

Po sniadaniu ruszylismy w kierunku Ouarzazate z poznanymi w obozie Slowenkami, jechaly w tamtym kierunku, wiec je podwiezlismy.

Zjechalismy troche z trasy, zeby zobaczyc Gorges and Dades. Jest to wawoz w ktorym plynie rzeka, gdzie mozna sie przejsc pomiedzy wysokimi gorami Atlas.

Do miasta dotarlismy o 18:00. Wstepnie mielismy byc tej nocy w Marakeszu, ale to bylaby bardzo dluga podroz, wiec zdecydowalismy sie zmienic nasz plan.

Zjedlismy kolacje i poszlismy spac.

Dzien 7

Obudzilismy sie na sniadanie z dziewczynami i wyruszylismy w podroz do Marakeszu.

Po drodze znow mielismy niesamowite widoki, bo droga wiodla przez gory Atlas, tym razem dosc wysoko w gorach. Bylo tam badzo duzo sniegu!

Ale gdy tylko dotarlismy do Marakeszu, zaczely sie problemy. Ludzie znowu byli glupi i chodzili srodkiem ulicy, GPS wskazal nam niewlasciwa droge. Wszystko to bylo bardzo stresujace, a znalezienie naszego Riadu bylo koszmarem. Dotarlismy tam w koncu i zjedlismy kolacje w kawiarni Zeitoun, bylo tam bardzo przyjemnie. Wieczorem poszlismy na Rynek Glowny. Jemaa el-Fna to targowisko, ale znane glownie z zaklinaczy wezy, nie mialam szczescia ich zobaczyc.

Pochodzilismy troche, a potem zaczelo padac, wiec postanowilismy wrocic do hotelu.

Osobiscie nie podobal mi sie Marrakesz, po tych dwoch spokojnych dniach na pustyni to miejsce wydawalo sie pieklem, wokol nas panowal chaos, balam sie, ze zaraz ktos nas okradnie lub pobije.

Jak zawsze nosilam ze soba aparat, ale bylam przerazony fotografowaniem ludzi.

Dzien 8

Poszlismy do Yves Saint Lauren Gardens i muzeum. To bylo bardzo egzotyczne i fajne. Jest tez tam wystawa fotografii z portretami ludzi z Maroko.

Po muzeach wyruszylismy do Casablanki, ale nie zatrzymalismy sie, poniewaz zostalo niewiele czasu, wiec po prostu udalismy sie na lotnisko w Rabacie.


To bylo bardzo intensywne 8 dni, ale moge powiedziec, ze widzialam wiekszosc Maroko. Widoki byly glowna atrakcja, a jazda przez wsie byla dla mnie jako pasazera bardzo relaksujaca, tylko miasta byly okropne. Marrakesz kompletnie mnie rozczarowal, bylam bardzo podekscytowana, zeby to miejsce zobaczyc ale kiedy w koncu tam dotarlismy, chcialam od razu uciekac.

Gdybym kiedykolwiek miala wrocic do tego kraju, znowu odwiedzilabym pustynie, to bylo jedno z najlepszych doswiadczen w moim zyciu.

Gory byly oszalamiajace, z kazdej strony, czulam sie, jakbysmy jechali przez rozne kraje.

Aha, i widzielismy raz malpy i dzikie wielblady!



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