Sunday, May 23, 2010
During Semana Santa, E, a friend of mine from KS, and I went to Morocco. Since it has been over a month since our trip and I'm not really up for putting the experience into words at the moment, I'll just paste excerpts from an email I sent to friends.
We first went to the coastal town of Essaouira. What an experience! Nobody knew where the street that our hostel was on was. We asked policemen, taxi drivers, tourist helpers (sorry, can't think of a better way to call them), and nobody knew. Eventually, someone thought he figured it out, marked the street on a map, and we gave the map to the taxi driver. Said taxi driver dropped us off in the middle of nowhere next to a beauty school because in the excellent directions that the hostel owner gave us, her hostel was right across from the beauty school, 5th house on the right. Well of course, it wasn't. And of course, no one spoke English. So I had to use my rusty French to get a little girl to take us to the nearest internet cafe. I don't know how the girl understood me, but she did. She took us there and we made contact with the lady. After much pressing on our part, we finally got her to agree to meet us so that she could take us to where she lived. When we finally met her, she was rude because apparently her meeting with us caused her to miss out on meeting her friends. Well, after about 5 or so minutes with talking to the woman, I canceled the reservations and E. and I went on our merry way to find housing. By this time, it was dark and we were a little worried since it was the day before Easter and we were looking for housing on such short notice.
We walked backed to the medina, the place where all the shops were, and passed by one hotel was located in a back alley. We considered checking it out for a minute or so, then decided to try our luck. We walked a little deeper into the medina and spotted another hotel. We entered, and asked the price of a room. 15 euros/person. Score! (or so I thought until speaking with a friend today who told me that she and 3 other friends paid 15E total for a room). So after all was settled, we went to our room and rested our weary heads. The next day was Easter. Instead of going to mass as I would have liked, we went to a roof terrace restaurant and had what I suppose is a typical Moroccan breakfast of mint tea, orange juice, and crepes.
And what more can I say about Essaouira? Not much. We souvenir shopped. We went to the beach. We ate fish. We rested. We walked around the town. We left to...
So in Marrakesh, our hostel was in the back of the medina. Prime location! Our room was pretty dark, but only because it was decorated in the stereotypical Middle Eastern decorating scheme--dark reds and pinks, curtains, and light bulb covers. Anyway, aside from that, our room was nice and cozy. I did have a pesky worry that I would find a snake in my bed, but that was only because I had seen so many running free in the medina.
Anyway, E. apparently went to undergrad with a kid from Morocco. So her friend, Wail, drove to Marrakesh from Rabat with 2 friends and his girlfriend and they showed us a different side to Morocco. First they took us to this huge pool which was like something right from Miami. There was a DJ, girls running around in skimpy outfits, drinks, etc. We chilled there for a bit and then they took us back to the medina to get changed for dinner. After dinner, they took us to a casino which was crazy. I wouldn't have imagined myself in one in Morocco, well ever to be honest, but it was not bad. We finished the night at this pretty cool club. It was expensive and shots (of Tequila) ended up costing 9E. The next day, they showed us a bit more of Morocco until they left in the afternoon. After that, E and I were on our own. We walked around the medina, then outside, then went to bed early because the next day was our flight to...