Morocco-Trip 2014 – Day 4

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pin-it-Ait-Benhaddou 2014


 

We got up early at the Hotel where we stayed for the night. As the dinner wasn’t really good, my cousin, his wife, and the befriended couple had a hard night with a lot of stomach-ache and feeling miserable. Although we all had the same for dinner (they only had 2 dishes on their menu, kefta an cheese omelettes), I haven’t had such problems… So I was playing with some stray dogs on the parking lot of the hotel and fed them some meat, as they were only skin and bones… It took me quite a while to gain their trust, but in the end, they couldn’t get enough cuddles… 😀 Seeing all those homeless and malnourished animals in the streets was one thing that I will never get used to… I’m really an animal-lover, no matter whether cats, dogs, foxes, birds…. just any animal is dear to me.

After having fed the dogs, we boarded our cars and drove away from the hotel, in the direction of Ouarzazate. We stopped after half an hour of driving in order to have breakfast at Üse’s and Silä’s Camper somewhere in free nature. It was the perfect harmony… A goat herder passed along with about 50 goats, a lot of very young goats included… It was really cute to see them. 🙂

We drove off, and I really enjoyed the sights passing by my window… just before we entered the city of Ouarzazate, we were stopped by the Royal Police… He asked my cousin, why the girl on the backseat isn’t wearing her safety belt… As my cousin is not really a master of the French language, I opened my window and told & showed the guy, that I was wearing my safety belt. He claimed that I just put it on when he stopped me… Well… I guess he didn’t expect me to speak up to him… But I find it so annoying when people want to tell me that I was a liar… I love the French language, and I was always good at speaking it as well… So we had quite an argument.. Then he asked me whether we were French… I denied… He wanted to know where we were from, then… I told them that we were coming from Switzerland, the German part of Switzerland, to be more precisely, and all of the sudden he let us go… I don’t really know what he wanted from us, and I also don’t really understand why he called me a liar, but well… I was quite happy to leave that unfriendly officer behind on the street… -.-

When we arrived in Ouarzazate, we went to a hotel that my cousin already knew from his last Morocco-Trip. The Hotel is called “Auberge Le Carrefour”. It’s owned by a Moroccan couple. The wife’s name is Fatima, and she’s just the most humble, caring and lovely young Lady I’ve met during the whole Morocco-Trip. She was really happy to see my cousin again, and she seemed very pleased to meet his wife and me, too. She’s also a fabulous cook – you can really feel how much love she puts into every dish she’s serving her guests. I had the best couscous of my entire life… 🙂

But, before we were having dinner, we wanted to do some sightseeing. So we went to “Ksa Ait Benhaddou”, a beautiful fortress, which was also featured as setting of various films, e.g. The Mummy (1999) and Gladiator (2000). Although there were a lot of tourists inside this fortress, I really enjoyed strolling through a city so different to everything I’ve ever seen in my entire life. 🙂 But again, I want to let the images do the talking for me. 🙂


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Morocco-Trip 2014 – Day 2

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My cousin enjoying the scenery on the atlantic coast somewhere between Essaouira and Taghazout.

On our second day in Morocco, we had a lovely breakfast at “Riad Chakir Mogador” and then drove along the atlantic coast towards Taghazout, where we wanted to meet friends of my cousin. The scenery along the coast was just impressively beautiful… I could have stop and stared every 100 meters… 😀 Luckily I wasn’t the driver, otherwise we would still be down there 😀

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Just me in front of the huge waves of the Atlantic Ocean…

After having found my cousin’s friends “Silä” and “Üse”, we left our luggage in their caravan, as we weren’t sure whether we wanted to stay on the camping for the night or proceed to Agadir and find a hotel there… Then we all boarded our car and drove down the hill towards the beautiful beach… After having marveled at numerous surfers, we decided to do some rather touristic stuff… 😀

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First time ever: Camel Riding with my cousins wife, whereas he himself preferred stay a bit lower, namely on a horse 😀

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The Camel’s name was Hasan, the “guide” was called Mustafa. I guess these are the most common names in Morocco, as it seemed to me, that almost everyone was called Hasan, Mustafa or Murat… 🙂

It was fun, even if we just rode for a few hundred meters forth and back on the beach and not a trip into the Atlas or even the desert, haha 😀

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Me and “Salam”. 🙂

After having seen the horse-riding-skills of my cousin, I had to prove that not all Swiss people are such bad horsemen as he was – he somehow sat on that horse like a sac of potatoes… no moving along with the horse’s movement… 😀 But I managed to restore our good reputation, at least according to Murat, the owner of the horse… 😛

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Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean… *_*

After we had a Snack at a tiny little restaurant in the middle of several surfer-shops and booths, we went back to the campground “Terre D’Ocean” and decided to stay in a kind of ridge tent for the night. We stored our luggage and then went back to our friend’s caravan for a glass of wine and orange juice. My cousin and I went for orange juice because we wanted to do a little sunset-quad-tour together on our friend’s quad.

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Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean (view from our friend’s caravan)

It was the first time for me to sit on a squat – my cousin is really into motorbikes and quads etc., and we did an awesome tour to Italy last year in spring on his Triumph Tiger T400 –  which was quite awesome – but this is still a very different feeling, as we were driving rather on a path than on a real street with our quad…  The scenery was super-awesome – but I was too busy holding on to my cousin and quite afraid of falling of the seat because of the bumpy trail we drove along, so I couldn’t take any pictures… 😦

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Our Campsite during sunset…

After the Quad-ride we went to a lovely restaurant down the camping hill, in the village. It’s called “Cafe Restaurant West Coast”. The service was really friendly and awesome, and the food was delicious! 🙂 We had Tagine with veggies and also chicken, and the couscous was tasty, too. 🙂

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Our ridge tent on the campground “Terre d’Ocean”.

Then we went to sleep in our ridge tent. As you can see, there are little holes above the entrance door – the night was freezing cold, even inside… But well, the sound of the waves and the wind of the Atlantic Ocean compensated for the cold night in my sleeping bag.

Tomorrow we’ll drive towards Agadir and try to get on the Atlas… I’m very excited to tell you everything about it… 🙂

Morocco Trip February 2014 – Day 1

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On our way from Marrakech to Essaouira with my Cousin and his wife

On Saturday evening I took the train to Berne in Order to sleep at my cousins place, as we had to get up and drive to the Geneva airport at 2 a.m. I really am a morning grouch, so I didn’t talk a lot, just moved myself into my cousins car stared out of the window. When we drove on to the feeder road, my cousin suddenly hit the brakes – a stupid deer just crossed the street without paying any attention to the traffic… We didn’t crash, but as my cousin wanted to accelerate again, we didn’t manage to get on more than 80km/h…

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Me in front of Essaouira

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Fishermen & Harbor – Atmosphere in Essaouira

So we drove off the freeway and stopped on a parking lot… My cousin couldn’t find out what was wrong with the engine, and so we decided to call his son for help… His son arrived 20 minutes later with two of his friends, put our luggage into the back of his car, changed the keys with his dad, so we could get to the airport with his car, whereas he promised to wait for the roadside assistance…

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Ships at the Harbor of Essaouira

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A ruin on Essaouira’s Small Island

We made it to the airport not a moment too soon. we ran from baggage drop-off to the security check right into the plane.. That was close! But at least it was a calm flight from Geneva to Marrakech, so I could get some sleep until we arrived.

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Some more of the lovely harbor-atmosphere… I love this blue color everywhere…

At the Marrakech airport we picked up our Europcar-rental, a Dacia Duster, and started our journey to Essaouira, a lovely city in the West of Morocco on the atlantic coast. I loved the harbor-atmosphere there, with the fishermen selling their products and the cats sleeping in the sun while the pigeons flew around to get some fish.

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We spent the night at the “Riad Chakir Mogador” (13. Rue Malek Ben Morhal, Avenue Istiqlal, Essaouira; web: www.riadchakir.com ), a lovely place to sleep, and we paid 50€ for the three of us, one room with a double and two single beds, including breakfast (pancakes, bread, baguette, freshly pressed orange juice, café au lait and for me even a chocolate milk… 😀 ) The personal was very nice, so it’s definitively worth the money I guess… 😀

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One of the funny things in Essaouira was, that I had the impression that it is easier to get some space-cakes there than cash… One of those flying space-cake-mongers followed my cousin about 2 hours trying to sell some special cookies to him, while I was trying desperately to get some cash out of a cash dispenser… But as the sky was cloudy, the machines weren’t able to contact their satellites (at least that was what people told us), and my “request was aborted”, as the machine’s screens said… Well, hard luck for me, hopefully I’ll find a working cash machine on our next stop in Taghazout… 😀