There was a small heatwave going through Morocco while we there, and on the very last day of our trip the temperatures reached as high as 44 degrees Celcius (111 Fahrenheit). The heat was so blazzing hot that day that just a few minutes out in the sun was unbearable. Nevertheless, it was a rather good timing for us, because we had decided to take a day trip to the coastal city of Essaouira. This city is tied with Chefchaouen as my favourite part of my trip. And we literarily spent no more than 6 hours there since it was a day trip. But the ocean was reason enough to visit. Not to mention the fact that the temperature was much cooler with the ocean breeze.
Since we spent so little time there, we really didn’t aim to see much. Yet we still managed to see some great views by walking along the port and it’s stone walls. It’s such a relaxing city that we couldn’t help but want to lay back and lounge on the beach. And despite the much cooler temperatures, I still went ahead and swam in the ocean. It was a bit chilly, but felt really good. Besides, I’m trying to make up for all the swimming I couldn’t do in Santorini.
When I travelled to Europe, I absolutely wanted to go to Santorini because of it’s beautiful blue architecture. However, because of an unfortunate boat ride our stay in Santorini was cut in half. We were only able to spend a day and I felt like we hadn’t even scratched the surface of everything that we could have seen. I didn’t even get to swim at any of it’s beaches!
When were planning our trip to Morocco though, Lena told of the of it’s very own blue city: Chefchaouen. Considered Africa’s Santorini, we were really excited to get to immerse in our favourite colour. But we almost couldn’t make it because of the long travel distance to get there. It was our first destination on our trip to Morocco and after a 7 hour plane ride, an hour train ride, an 8 hour bus ride, and an fairly interesting yet probably unsafe 2 hour cab ride (the vehicle is meant to hold 4 passengers yet we fit 7), we finally made it to Chefchaouen.
The next day, we had a full day ahead of us to enjoy this small vibrant city, and thankfully those 18+ hours of travel in any means of transportation possible, was totally worth it. It was a perfect day of plain old exploration. The main attraction of Chefchaouen is their blue architecture, which is abundant in the medina where we were staying, so we basically spent the day walking around all of the alley ways and little streets, getting lost, finding our way, taking a wrong turn, and miraculously ending back where we started.
At the end of the day, we walked up a hill to a small church surrounded by green pastures and kids playing soccer next to sheep. The top of the hill overlooked the whole city and we ended our one day stop in Chefchaouen with a sunset behind the mountains. Lena was a bit disappointed the sky didn’t turn pink. I was just glad I survived the heat.
The day we arrived in Marrakesh, we booked a 3 day tour with our hostel. This tour would allow me to fulfill my main reason for visiting morocco. I would be able to see the sahara desert and cross it off my bucket list! As well as riding a camel, everyone wants to ride a camel. Funny thing is that the whole time I was convinced what were rode into the sahara desert were dromedaries and not camels since they had one hump instead of two. I wasn’t wrong but I wasn’t right either. They’re both camels. Well, you learn something new everyday right? All I know for sure is that they are adorable, at least I think so. Even though they poo like no tomorrow.
The part of the sahara that we ended up visiting was in Merzouga, a good 12 hour bus ride away from Marrakesh. It was rather brutal on the way back, but we made many stops on the way there. We saw beautiful mountain views, visited an oasis, as well as the Ait Benhaddou Ksar, one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones. I was slightly disappointed since there were no dragons.
The sahara was really the highlight though. We trekked into the desert on the back of camels far enough so that all we could see were sand dunes. We even braved the high winds and sled down one of them on a snowboard like a toboggan. Possibly one of the best decisions I made during the whole trip. Once we settled down at our campsite, the sun had set, and we were laying outside under the moon, it really felt unbelievable that I was spending the night in the sahara desert and as cheesy as it sounds, you can’t help but feel small and be amazed at the situation. Then I had to pee, and it was time for bed.