When I think and look back on my trip to Morocco, I sometimes think that I dreamed it. It seemed like I made it up in my mind because I wanted it so badly. If it wasn’t for the pictures that I took, I would wonder if it was real. But it was real. Right now, sitting on my couch while having a glass of wine, the memories of Morocco seems too far away. I question the point of telling my story when it happened over three months ago…but great stories and adventures should be told so here goes…
My first day waking up in Rabat was sunny. I went outside to my terrace to soak in the morning sun when Safia joined me. As she was used to the view, I, instead, was mesmerized by the palm trees, a welcome change of scenery from the still-cold Chicago weather I left behind. Besides, I woke up in a new country and a new continent! As we shared the morning sun and its warmth, we would share more by spending the day together.
She took me to visit the Kasbah de Oudaias, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pretty blue walls would look amazing in pictures, I thought, especially because it was a very sunny morning. After meandering and taking in the sights, a woman came up to us and started to draw a henna tattoo on Safia’s hand. They chatted about I don’t know what, and when I was asked if I would like one, a quick one (not a full-blown work of art), I jumped at the chance. The woman was so quick and agile with her work that I was surprised. I had my first henna tattoo! The gel-like ink would dry and flake off, and I would be left with an amber-like color of flowers and such on my right pinky and part of my hand. I felt like such a little girl at how happy this made me!
Then I went to the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. This gorgeous piece of architecture, all white except for the green roof, housed the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons. There were guards at each entrance, all wearing red, which, again, delighted my senses because of the contrast of color amongst the all-white architecture. After enough pictures and tour of the grounds it was time for me to be picked up by Safia. I loved the fact that although we were new friends, she was comfortable enough to do what she wanted with her time while never, ever neglecting my needs. She wanted to work out, and because I’m absolutely fine on my own, she did what she wanted while I was left to do what I love most…to wander, discover, and take ridiculous amount of pictures. When she picked me up it was time for my first Moroccan lunch.
A beautiful salad of beets, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, little tiny cucumbers, along with a type of grain with corn started our meal. Then there was a whole fish topped with lemon slices, and along the plate were potatoes, tomatoes, and many herbs. Of course, everything was delicious. I started to notice the servants in the house. Safia’s family had at least four, and every meal was carefully presented and cleared away by them. I felt like royalty, and I still couldn’t believe I was in Morocco. We finished with an offering of a plate of fruit. Finally, we moved to the patio to have the traditional Moroccan tea and cookies. The presentation was gorgeous with the colorful tea cups, the silver tea pot, and the pretty cookies atop the lace-covered round table. Little tiny plates had a pretty linen embroidered napkin on top. I really was in heaven!
That evening we went to the Medina of Rabat. I was loving all the abundance of leather goods, and the prices were cheap compared to what I’m used to in the States. I was ecstatic when I ended up buying a pouf! For some reason I have always wanted a pouf. The abundance of them (along with the gorgeous workmanship with plenty of eye-popping colors) made me smile from ear to ear. The one I ended up buying had the color turquoise on it as it reminded me of Turkey, the country that started my wanderlust. But I also ended up buying a sort of foot stool. The piece was all hand-made wood with carvings on it, and the beautiful orange-colored leather cushion sat on top. As it so happens when I am traveling and shopping in the markets, I got carried away. It was my very first day of shopping in Morocco and I was shopping like it was my very last day. I would find a way, any way, to carry my souvenirs back home.
After having a delicious dinner made of very thin noodles topped with toasted almonds and dates, I must have been exhausted for I don’t remember a thing afterwards. I was certain, however, that the very next day would be just as amazing…