Anyway, day one was pretty much spent taking a very long nap, as once again we spent the night before at the airport so that we could make our early flight. Our hostel was right in the heart of the city and was the cutest place that I have ever stayed, and the guys running it were super accommodating. We got free tea and cakes any time of the day, complimentary breakfast, and there were several upstairs terraces where you could relax and enjoy the sun (it was in the 70's and sunny the entire time we were there). We definitely took advantage of all of these things during our long weekend, because as business students/poor college kids we just had to get the bang for our buck.
We ended up waking up in the early evening and decided to head to the main square to explore a little and grab some dinner. On our way we may or may not have gotten scammed into getting some overpriced henna, but after haggling down the prices I can't complain about it, especially considering what a work of art it is. We then walked around the souks (which are markets for anyone who doesn't know) for a while, and I was completely mesmerized by everything around me. Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with all things boho-inspired, and Morocco was pretty much my spirit animal in this regard. There were several times that I considered buying an extra bag so that I could go crazy, but I managed to control myself, mostly.
On a different note I will add that all of the research in the world will not prepare you for the things that the men in Morocco yell at you, especially when you physically stand out from the rest of the population. At some point the cat-calls got so ridiculous that my friends and I decided to make a list of everything they said, so I thought I'd share some of my personal favorites:
- "Snow White"
- "Dark Chocolate"
- "Jessica Rabbit" (toward my "Ginger" friend, although this one is definitely a compliment)
- "Fish & Chips" (although it was almost always whispered seductively???)
- "You have beautiful eyes," followed by "I'm just looking" (like I was going to sell them to him???)
- "Oh, my heart" if we so much as looked in their direction
- "Nice t*ts"
- "Nice a**"
- "Nice b**bies"
- "Oh my gosh, beautiful " (about 100,000 times)
- My personal favorite, "I'm not a lucky man"
The next day we woke up early because we had scheduled some camel rides, which I will forever remember as the day as I rode a camel without dying, but only barely. I don't know why I thought that I would enjoy this, especially considering how afraid of heights I am. I touched on this in my Zurich post, but I basically can't stand on the top rung of a step stool without my knees shaking, and as it turns out, camels are pretty freaking tall.
Anyway, the day started out super exciting. as I was still in denial about the horror to come. We were greeted with glasses of tea and quickly done up with the cute little scarf things, which I will definitely be sporting in the future. The trouble started when I had to get on my camel, who, if I do say so myself, was a complete asshole. Even laying down the camels are super tall, and my little legs had a lot of trouble getting over the hump, and the camel ended up standing up while I was basically dangling off the side of it (although I'm sure the guide who had to push me up by my butt didn't mind).
The ride itself was two hours long with a break for tea and snacks at the half way point. In all honesty, I probably wouldn't have had such a bad experience if it had only been the first hour, because at that point I think the adrenaline was still running, although I was still tense and gripping the handle for dear life. One of the guides actually came around several times trying to get me to relax my feet, and after the third time of immediately tensing back up he stole my shoes. Yes, you read that right. He literally took the shoes off of my feet and made me ride the camel barefoot. It actually worked, but mostly because I was laughing so hard that I forgot about the sassy camel underneath me.
When we finally got to the break point and off of the camels I realized what a workout it is to ride them. I was sore in my calves, thighs, and abs, and on top of that there was a serious a chaffing situation going on. The break definitely didn't last long enough, and before I knew it we were back on the camels, although the second time around I managed to get completely on before it stood up (I like to think we bonded during our selfie time). By that point I was pretty much over the whole thing and couldn't have been more ready to be done. Everyone else, however, was loving it and the guides started messing with us a little bit more. Lets just say that they made the camels run, and I did not appreciate it. At all.
Eventually the rides did come to an end, at which time we headed back to the hostel for a break before going to shop around the souks some more. After doing some damage we stopped at a rooftop restaurant and had dinner while soaking up some sun, which was much more up my alley than the camel rides. We then continued exploring the main square nearby and had yet another traumatizing (for me) experience with some snakes. I knew in advance that snake-charming is a thing in Morocco, and I don't mind snakes when they're a safe distance away from me, but it turns out the men actually come up to you and put the snakes around your necks with no permission at all, and I'm not about that life. Really though, other than the camels and the snakes I loved Morocco.
The next day was our last full day in Morocco, and we spent it in the souks yet again, as I had waited to do my shopping until the last minute. I was actually pretty proud of myself for not going super crazy, as the Moroccan, brightly colored room decor was calling my name (walking away from all of the geodes was actually painful). I did end up getting a Moroccan wedding blanket at an amazing price, and I can't wait to get home and hang it up in my room. We also took pictures with monkeys, which were the sweetest things in the world. The one on my left in the picture above was so cuddly that I didn't want to give him back. To end the day we got dinner and headed back to the hostel where we enjoyed one last pot of tea and some hookah before going to bed.
That was about it for my Moroccan getaway, and I should add, my last trip and blog post of the semester. Its finals season here in Italy, and due to all of the traveling that I've done over the past fourteen weeks it is now cram time. On top of that I will be home in just two short weeks, so I really want to spend the rest of my time here enjoying Milan with my friends and not worrying about taking pictures for the blog. As much as I love sharing all of the adventures that I've been up to, I also want to keep some memories to myself.
Thanks for reading and I'll see many of you soon!