Many people who visit Morocco
(at least from Europe) only spend a few days in Marrakesh, which has been known as "Morocco City" since the 70s.
Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but it's always good to see more than one place of a country!
The countryside, and especially the mountains of Morocco, not only offer a different landscape, but also a different culture. Here, you won't find any of the prosperous restaurants, cafes and shops, but Berber people living very similar to the way they have lived for hundreds of yours, without much French or, for a fact, Arabic influence. Not to forget the breathtaking landscape!
If you have only one day to spare, you can still get a taste of it with a day trip to the Ourika Valley.
|rocking the kasbah!|
You can organize your tour in a variety of ways. The easiest is to walk into the tourist offices in the Medina and negotiate for your trip (a day trip should cost no more than $20), as we did. Our trip was beautiful, and even though it was to a certain extend predictable, there was no hard sell. You can also rent a taxi for the day, if you want to avoid getting „ferried off“ to the tourist traps. Plenty of people do a mixture, and some even hike or cycle.
|the all natural farm|
Our first destination was a supposedly „classic“ Berber house which was obviously the stop-off point for every tourist group in the area, but still worth seeing. We got free tea and some samples of local honey, although nobody pushed us to buy anything. The second stop was a „herb and argan oil“ farm that explained natural remedies, why argan oil is so precious and of course, offered overpriced handmade cosmetics and teas.
After that, however, the trip dramatically improved. We had lunch at a wonderful, cheap little restaurant by a river, where a lot of local families dined, too, and then hiked up to a waterfall. The hike wasn't too strenuous. Even though there were a lot of craftsmen lining the path up, their items showed real skill and was a world away from the stuff you can buy in the city souks. The best part of it, however, was the bright blue sky and views while climbing up!
Which do you tend to prefer when travelling, cities or countryside?
|real artwork - you could watch him create more of it|