My Moroccan Experience

Happy New Year Daizies!

I’m back in the States now and its 2017! But  I can’t forget to blog about my final trip of 2016. After I completed finals, it was a celebratory experience to get away and finally go to Africa! I spent 3 days (Dec 17th-20th) in one of Morocco’s biggest cities, Marrakesh.

I arrived to Marrakesh by plane from Milan. It was the longest plane ride of the trips I had and it definitely felt like it. After arriving, I had to wait in the long passport control line for about 25 minutes. It was dark outside by the time I was actually in the car on the way to the airbnb but I could already tell I was in a completely different place. I loved how the architecture was different but flowed with the culture. The traffic was crazy and walking to cross the street was even more intense.

After settling down, we went for a stroll in the Jemaa el-Fna square. The center of the food area was vibrant and chaotic at the same time. There were promoters attempting to be charming and literally pulling us to their restaurants at times. First meal was an assortment of chicken kebabs, rice, sauce, bread, and potatoes. I already liked this trip because this dinner came out to be $4!

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Yummy and price-friendly dinner

The next day, I went on my first guided tour. It was great to not have to do any planning for once and just be guided through what was needed to see. The tour was through the Atlas Mountains! I woke up bright and early for an eventful day. The weather in Marrakesh was a lot colder than I expected, with some sunshine during the day and then really cold at night. I prepared accordingly by wearing layers because the mountains actually had a significant amount of snow. Our tour guide picked my friend and I up from the airbnb, and we drove about half an hour out of Marrakesh for a short tour of an argan oil cooperative. Argan oil is the most lucrative oil of Marrakesh and is native to the lands. It can be used to treat dry hair, skin, and even used for cooking.

Driving into Atlas Mountains was like slowly driving into a different season. I finally saw snow in 2016 and it was in Africa! It was about an hour hike up and around the mountains with a Moroccan lunch to conclude the trek. The last part of the tour was the camel ride! I was so excited to ride a camel. It was scary at first because the camels were literally roaring when the people were trying to get them to sit down. But once on, it was so fun. My camel’s name was Ayesha and we were quite the team!

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Rolling with my girl Ayesha!

 

My last full day in Marrakesh I saw Palais Bahia, Tomheaux Saadiens, and Jardin Majorelle. Sightseeing prices were great and ranged from about $1-$3. The Jardin Majorelle was especially unique because everything was blue with a hint of bold patterns.

I am so glad I was able to go to Marrakesh before coming back home. I realized once again that the world is so big and there’s still so much I’m excited to see. 2017 traveling, I’m ready for ya!

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Meeting the Olympians – Athens, Greece

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I have always been a huge fan of Greek mythology movies ever since I could remember. On my 16th birthday, I had a movie outing to see Immortals. And gyros were my first favorite non-American dish. I was so excited to go to the root of all the things I loved about Greece and Greek culture for a couple of days.

First night there, I learned that gyros are called several different names at the restaurants, soulvaki, being the most common. I sure wasn’t let down by the Gyros in Athens seeing as how I ate gyros and fries for every meal from Friday till Sunday. I just couldn’t get enough!

I stayed in a very central location which was walking distance from all of the attractions. The Monastiraki flea ma was market was a vibrant area with the lowest souvenir prices I’ve seen in Europe. Cute and authentic pieces for such low prices.

The most notable attraction was the Acropolis. I was in  awe to look at structures that have been on this earth for thousands of years. I was standing in the midst of the settings of all the iconic Greek mythology films I was amazed by. Not to mention, the Mediterranean sunshine was an amazing dose of vitamin D.

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The Acropolis Museum was actually one of my favorite museums I visited. Their collection was what made it most interesting. In an area of such historical sites, there’s this modern futuristic museum holding all of the most exciting artifacts. I could stay in museums for hours just reading every single description and watching the short films. I like to put myself in the shoes of the people in each historical period.

It was a brief, yet fun-filled weekend trip. My craving for gyros have only magnified ten times more!