I'm all about the beach. Anywhere by the coast is where I want to be, and that's why I loved this place so much. We only stopped here for lunch, and didn't really get to explore around it; but the sights and views were beautiful. It was a much more tourist-y area of Morocco and had a lot of common food chain restaurants and places that we are familiar with in America. It was definitely a perfect place to grab a bite to eat in the middle of our traveling day.
So I'm not gonna babble on and on about each city, but Spain and Fez were just my favorite places during the trip. Marrakech was pretty dope (dope means cool, Mom) and it was wayyyy more modernized than Fez. We had adventurous nights out in Marrakech and also went to a local shopping mall. We spent 2 days here, but they were definitely memorable ones. We walked through more Medinas, stayed in another gorgeous Riad, and visited an Herbist; because all of their remedies and herbs were natural. I also held two monkeys, rode a camel, ate some pizza that I was craving, and came in contact with at least 100+ cats/kittens. They were everywhere, and I wish I was joking. Dogs > Cats. There were kittens stuck in cobblestone on the roads, which was sad, but there were so many of them that it just seemed normal. If they were puppies I would have been in my glory.
Places to See in Fez
Saying I've been to different parts of Morocco is one of the coolest things I can say I've done in my life so far. I think Fez was the coolest place we visited. Coolest is different than favorite. It was the coolest because we never knew exactly what we were going to expect while we were there. Everything we saw, and everything we learned were things we had never seen or heard of before. It was an experience I'll remember for the rest of my life. From watching live chickens getting decapitated in front of my own eyes in the markets, holding monkeys in the city center, to being offered to try Camel Hump (yes, people in Morocco eat the humps of camels), it was the coolest city I've ever been to. Fez was way more traditional than the other parts of Morocco that we visited. This means that the women dressed extremely conservatively and covered up most of their bodies, and that using mules to transport goods was still a thing. People bought fresh produce in the Medinas, and bargain with each other for cheaper prices. It felt like I was brought back 300 years, and was just walking through all of it. It was absolutely indescribable.
1). Medina of Fez
The Medina of Fez was the most spectacular thing to experience while in the city. I highly, highly recommend getting a guided tour through the Medina by a native Moroccan through tourist and travel websites. They will show you around to the best shops in the Market and let you try the many flavors of Morocco with the cost included. There were shops for EVERYTHING. From poultry, beef, spices, shoes, lamps, clothing, produce (fruits & veggies), to even camel. While in the Medina, I tried a lot of new things. You have to be open to trying everything, even camel hump; because it's a part of the overall experience. You may not like everything but at least you can say you did it! I took a ton of pictures while walking through the Medina and wish I could relive this morning all of the time. The sights and smells were simply unforgettable, making it one of the most memorable days of my life.
2). STAY IN A RIAD
So, about how the nicest hotels we stayed at were in Morocco. They weren't even hotels, they are called Riads. Riads are traditional, Moroccan-styled homes that Europeans buy out and renovate for tourists to stay in. By doing this, tourists get the feel of staying in a Moroccan home. Every room is decorated differently, and is addressed with a Moroccan name. The meals are included with the cost, and are absolutely gourmet. We were served breakfast as if we were royalty. They made us tea on the daily, and cleaned our rooms every time we weren't there. And it wasn't just your average housekeeping clean. They would fold any clothes we had left out, hide our chargers and valuables for safety, and hang up our clothes in the closet. For only $120 a night. If you click "STAY IN A RIAD" above, it has the link to the exact Riad we stayed at, called Algila Fes. I wish there were riads everywhere, and I wish that I lived in one. That's all.
In the Moroccan culture, it is offensive to take pictures of people. I witnessed three incidents of classmates and other tourists getting lashed out at from Moroccan people who did not want their pictures taken. Even if you don't mean to take pictures of people, make sure you ask if you think there may be an issue.
2. DO IGNORE CAT-CALLERS
some do's & dont's you should know...
Okay, so my class was a class full of 21 girls and 1 guy. Traveling to Morocco was not like going to a separate part of Spain, it was a completely different culture with very religious and different views than we are used to. Arriving here was a total culture shock. First of all, it was incredible to me that we were in the continent of Africa, because how many 19-year old girls get to say they have been to Africa, and learned about the culture there? Not that many. It was an eye-opening and fulfilling experience. But before you ever go to Morocco, there are a few things you want to know first...
Even if you do cover up, some men will still cat-call at you. Ignore it. If you let them get to you, or encourage them, it could end up being dangerous or more than what you expected. When walking through Medinas (the traditional markets), ignore the men who whistle and call at you.
Although Morocco is a free country, just like America, their views of living are way more fixed and traditional than they are in America. Mostly all women wore the traditional clothing, which covers their entire bodies, and sometimes their faces except their eyes. Men will wear traditional dress too, but not always. Be sure to cover your shoulders and knees if you don't want catcalling while walking around the cities. It is not illegal to show your shoulders and knees, but by doing so you will draw extra attention to yourself. **Be sure to cover up when you're going to Mosques and religious venues.**
3. DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF PEOPLE WITHOUT PERMISSION
4. DO NOT DRINK THE TAP WATER, BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH IT, USE THE ICE OR DRINK FROZEN DRINKS
You would think that staying in Morocco for 5 days would be easy. That's not the case if you aren't smart and don't watch what you are doing. A lot of people on my trip ended up getting sick because they either drank frozen drinks (daiquiris, etc.), were brushing their teeth with the tap water, or were using ice. Drink bottled water only, and brush your teeth with bottled water as well. A lot of people also got sick from the different type of food that Morocco had to offer, so if you know that you have a weak stomach, prepare yourself and don't be too adventurous.
5. DO GET THE SHOTS RECOMMENDED FOR THE TRIP
If you don't get the two shots that are recommended for the trip, it could end up in serious consequences. Both shots take two weeks to get into your body and start working, so get them way ahead of time, Typhoid shot and Hepatitis A shot. Typhoid is a serious disease that could end up being fatal if not taken care of and can be caught by coming in contact with the wrong things in Morocco. You can get both of the shots at your local WALGREENS for a fairly reasonable price. Insurance covered Hep A, but not Typhoid. Do not just brush these off and say you will be fine, cause you NEVER KNOW! It's definitely not something you want to leave to chance!
6. DO ENJOY YOURSELF AND INDULGE IN THIS DIFFERENT CULTURE.
A lot of girls on my trip did not enjoy Morocco because of the "difference" it had between America. OBVIOUSLY?! We are in Africa, not New York City. Don't expect it to be like home, because it won't be. But if you have a positive outlook, make the most of every moment, and throttle into their culture ready to learn and experience something many people won't ever get to, then you will have an amazing time in Morocco.