Morocco: Beyond the Camels
Published in:
Tuesday, 02 April 2019
/ Morocco
Photos by: Argy Salvatore

Morocco may be full of tourists while trying hard to incorporate a kinda western-ish lifestyle but it’s very far from almost everything that could be considered western. It’s also one of the safest places you could go outside of the standard European destinations.

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Started from Agadir, a not so must-visit city on the south cause my Wizzair flight from Budapest was going there with 30 euros. Well, didn’t want to miss that. Yes, it wasn’t such an essential place to be, though you could get to see how normal Moroccan people live without any tourists interfering. Donkeys and horse carts along with cars and motorbikes on the streets, crazy way of driving of course, honking every damn second and me trying not to die crossing the street to get  a pain au chocolat for 1 dirham (0.10 euro).

Speaking of which, I’d like to tell you couple of stuff about the food there.

Having 2 euros in your pocket means a lot considering food. You could grab a shrimp sandwich, a diet coke and a cream cake and still have some coins to think about what you could eat next. You should avoid big foreign fast food chains, cause they don’t come with Moroccan prices, yet they’re probably even more expensive than in some European cities. Visiting big markets like meat or fish markets is the best and cheapest way to try everything at insanely low price. Though, for me it was a bit difficult, just because I don’t find it very appealing sitting down to eat at a place with real cow heads hanging next to my shoulder. Local-wise, I’d say seems kinda cool and normal.

Food in touristic places comes in a different price, but I guess you already know that.

Took the bus, went to Marrakech, then the train to reach Casablanca followed by Rabat. After that, having watched Only Lovers Left Alive I couldn’t let Tanger out of this plan. Then comes, Fes, and then back to Marrakech.

What can I say about commuting in Morocco.

Waiting the train to go from Casablanca to Rabat, was told that there had been a technical problem and the train would be late, only to find out that the train was derailed with 8 deaths and more than 80 injured.

Ah-mazing.

After I got in to the next train, a couple of hours later, I heard the window in the front breaking. There were some funny children outside on the fields throwing rocks at us.

Who wants me dead here, I was thinking to myself.  Probably, that’s something you should get used to if you’re thinking of staying there for many days.

Do I sound negative?

Strange, cause I absolutely loved Morocco.

Spent some days in Casablanca, which looks like Europe if you forget about some comforts you had back home. Feels more like a capital than the actual capital that is Rabat.

Now, heading to Tanger, with an amazing old city and a great view to Europe. Some poor camels on the beach and their owners trying to get money from you if you dare to look at their direction, which actually happened quite often to me.

Then comes Fes, whose center is basically a big old city resembling a labyrinth. If you get inside, it’s got to be really hard to come out, even having Google maps on during this time. Here, you need to be careful, especially at night. Some locals might try to sell you information about how you could exit this maze and not paying for this offer (they also accept euros), could get you in trouble.

And finally comes the desert.

A really long way to get there; passing from villages located on the foothills of Mount Atlas (highest point: 4,167 mt), houses made of mud and well-known cities like Ouarzazate, familiar from movie settings like “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Last temptation of Christ” or “Game of Thrones” to name a few.

After this long way, you get to walk on the Sahara desert with a cute camel waiting for you. Spending the night over there is definitely something you shouldn’t miss. Also, having a cigarette next to camel poop with the camel staring at me is something I will never forget. People living in the region near the desert are also so different from any typical Arab that lives in a big city in Morocco. Friendly, welcoming, speaking that weird Berber language they normally speak and waiting for your grateful tip after they offer you some essential information because your phone may not be working properly.

Morocco is the country of diversity.

From women sporting the most hardcore Islamic way of dressing, to women with a more European way of living. Extremely prosperous people working at big companies and poor people not being able to cover their basic needs like water or food, expensive cars and horse carts on the same street of the same city.

And most importantly, traditional, oftentimes regressive elements along with truly open-minded people.

Follow this curious guy and the cats of his life at @argysalvatore