October 1, 2017
After a long drive, we arrived in Marrakech, definitely not a small city. We booked to stay at La Source Du Desert and upon checkin discovered that we were the only people staying there for the two nights we were there. Lucky us, we had the entire Riad to ourselves including the rooftop pool.
October 3, 2017
Sad to say that we didn't really take any photos in Essaouira. We did meet some incredible people who hosted us at Ryad Watier. Essaouira is a small beach side city that has a feel unlike any of the other cities in Morocco that we visited. We found it much more relaxing and less vendors in your face and people trying to sell you things. Upon arrival we met Jean-Gabriel and Hayat who run the riad. JG is a very talkative guy from France and extremely friendly. From the moment we met him we felt like we had known him for quite some time. Hayat basically runs the riad and she was also very helpful and friendly. We shared stories throughout our stay with both of them and definitely wished our stay was longer.
September 30, 2017
To split up the next drive, we stopped in Ouarzazate and stayed at Le Berbere Palace and splurged a little for a relaxing night in a modern hotel. The following day we hopped in another car for the long trek to Marrakech by way of Ksar Aït Ben Haddou. A ksar is defined as a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, which is a traditional Saharan city. Aït Ben Haddou is located in the southern foothills of the Atlas mountains and is a Unesco World Heritage site that represents the architecture of southern Morocco. Much of the ksar is authentic to its original form except for a set of towers along the river that were constructed for the filming of the movie Lawrence of Arabia.
September 27, 2017
Today was a looooong drive from Fes to the Sahara just outside of the city of Merzouga. A friend of a friend runs the Sahara Garden. Brahim coordinated everything for us and welcomed us upon our arrival with open arms. Truly an amazing human being. We were welcomed with dinner and singing and dancing around a bonfire.
September 25, 2017
In Chefchaoen we met two Americans who happened to also be traveling to Fes the following day so we split a private car to save some money. Coincidentally we also ended up having reservations at the same riad, Dar Bensouda. Located fairly deep inside the medina, we were quite thankful that the riad sent someone to meet our car and walk us to the front door. Fes is said to have one of the most complex medinas in Morocco and I can tell you first hand that this is definitely the case. We decided to try to wander around ourselves at first which only led to us feeling quite lost. We were told that this is actually the purpose of the medinas so that if foreigners were to invade that they would become lost in the labyrinth of the medina.
September 24, 2017
Our second stop in Morocco was the blue city of Chefchaoen. A small city located up on a hill, wandering thru the medina surrounded by so many shades of blue was quite a different experience from Tangier. We stayed at Casa Perleta, a small bed and breakfast recommended by our friend. It was perfectly located within the upper hill area of the medina. The blue hues of the walls of Chefchaoen are believed to have originated when the Jews came while escaping Hilter in the 1930s. The blue is said to serve as a reminder to lead a spiritual life while symbolizing the sky and heaven.
September 22, 2017
After an incredible wedding in Santorini, Greece, we stopped over in Paris and caught a flight to Morocco. Over the next two weeks we would travel by car across much of the country. First stop, Tangier. We chose Morocco b/c it was different from any other country we have visited thus far. A friend of a friend used to live in Morocco and provided us with an awesome itinerary for us to follow even including restaurants and accommodations. Tangier was a nice introduction to Morocco allowing us to ease ourselves into the country.