The Magnificent Morocco: Journeying To A Magical Land of Contrasts

Have you ever visited a mysterious and beautiful country with a lot of sites and things for ancient time’s discovery? I got one in my holidays in the middle of the year and that experience begins from here:

What I loved great about Morocco was that it was a land-living place of juxtaposition. A truly enchanted place with definitive thought, no doubt, but a study in differences every step of the way.

First of all, Marrakech is an ancient city, nearly the color of red clay, and the great and high Atlas Mountains can be seen in the distance, closer to this beautiful city. Having just left Canada, the beautiful land of cold ice and snow, for an enjoyable 10-day tour of antique Morocco, I was directly run into by the appealing orange trees through the ancient city. Among the arid, red clay cityscape, attractive lush greenery with spheres of orange lined the paths, roads and busy driveways.

My first day, a well-informed tour guide took me to the great market Djamaa el Fna, the ancient city square, and heart of the antique Medina. It is a vast stretch of market arcades, street vendors, cafeterias and snake charmers, all attractively enclosed by rose-colored old block buildings of the ancient Medina, with appearances into the convoluted Souks that wander for miles in all four ways of the square.

Having voyaged through the Middle East, I predicted Morocco to have a comparable flavor to other Arab countries I had been to. I was uninformed that much of North Africa including the magnificent Morocco had never been a portion of the Ottoman Territory.  In the red city Marrakech and throughout Morocco, the construction, ethos and tasty cuisine are distinctly North African.  For example, the mosques did not have cupolas; most were angular structures with minarets shaped like tall rectangles rather than round turrets.  Arabs were in detail comparative newcomers to this great region – the original people of Morocco are the ancient Berber.

Although the Western clothing is very prevalent and worn by men and women, the old-style dress seen thru the country was the djellaba, a Berber-influenced extended dress with full covers, a sharp hood attached, and typically a zipper down the front.  This clothing was worn by both genders.  The material was usually a dark brown or dark blue deeply twilled cotton or wool.

That first fresh morning, as my guide took me through the orange-red passageways of the medina, I saw many women out and about their great day. Some carried Western-style clothing, while others either carried the djellaba or, long clothes and overcoats with hijabs characteristically worn by cultural Muslim women.

The city was still awakening up. A woman outfitted in a long, orange overcoat and a gloomy headdress to cover her hair was hiking toward me in one of the thin paved streets in the old city.  She was looking conventional ahead but as we passed each other, she looked in my direction and said the welcoming words of the morning, “Bonne Journee,” “Good morning” in French.

And thus started my love matter with the French language. Of course, Arabic could be perceived throughout the country.  But my primary morning in the red city Marrakech, the young woman retold me that Morocco had once been a French society – or, more precisely, a French “colony.”  All of the street symbols are in French, Arabic, and English, and the public schools still use the French curriculum.  Most Moroccans speak both French and Arabic, and it was not uncommon to walk into a workshop or restaurant and be served in French, or the language of your prime.

In Canada, French is one of our authorized languages. Although I am neither multi-lingual nor fluent in even in French, I grew up the hearing distance in French around me, and educated basic core French in a straightforward way and high school.  The French I perceived in Morocco, though, was separate and nothing at all like the Canadian-accented French I was used to.  It was attractive, musical, almost like music to my ears — predominantly in a part of the world where I did not imagine to hear it (out of my own unawareness, of course).

The rest of the journey I was met with alike dissimilarities and astonishments. These all added some additional to the charming quality of this amazing land.  The red dry clay of ancient Marrakech gave way to the glittering white fortifications of Casablanca (which accurately means “white house” in the language of Spanish).  Later, the ancient city of ancient times is Fez appeared to me as buildings weighted against each other like a wedding cake iced in buttercream. These were set in contradiction of infrequent bursts of red and gold of the containers of colored dyes in the covering region.

From the sunlit, glittering and contented climate of these early cities, envisage my amazement when I establish myself in the middle of a snowfall while crossing the ice-capped high Atlas Mountains. The snow was so bad that one of the roads closed its way.  Yet 24 hours later, I was inactive on a camel, trekking through the excellent sands of the Western Sahara Desert to an instant desert camp called “Chez Brahim.”  The French inspiration, confidently!

Throughout my time in Morocco, I was enjoyably met with many chances to practice my hitherto long-dormant French language services, with shop landlords, onlookers (outsiders always said “bonne journey” or “bonjour” as they passed one another) and cab drivers. Menus in restaurants were in French and Arabic.  I recollect discontinuing in a small town called El-Rashidieh.  I meandered up to a window stall boulangerie and well-ordered a tasty pastry.

I had gone through Morocco with a new enthusiasm for the French language, and since then, I have taken numerous French-language lessons, even itinerant to Montreal, Switzerland for a one-week concentrated development course in Morocco holidays.

I could not leave Morocco, however, without taking an additional piece of the philosophy home with me. Mint tea, or the à la Menthe, is specific to North Africa and was obliged all day, universally. Moroccan mint tea is a green tea decanted over fresh mint leaves and burdened with sugar to make it more tasteful.  The aroma was alcoholic.  It is helped in tall glasses, and as it is decanted, the pot is elevated away from the glass so that foams form as the fluid lands.  I am not a tea drinker at all, but to me, this drink was merely the best mixture I ever had – stimulating first thing in the fresh morning, or after a long, feet-aching day of exploration.  It was additional unique Moroccan custom, as coffee is more predominant in most Arab-speaking beliefs due to the Ottoman inspiration.

The sights and sounds of Morocco still live on in my memory while I was able to explore the Morocco Holidays 2017. Dehydrated red clay, orange flowers and bougainvillea; the sun beating creamy white fortresses, and snow-capped high Atlas Mountains; the Arabic call to prayer perceived between French proverbs and idioms; ice and snow gathering with camels dancing in Saharan beautiful dunes and sands….so many juxtapositions, so much magic! Au revoir, I said to this good-looking land as I flew away. Until we visit again the Great morocco!

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