Mysterious Morocco

 

Over a year ago I was faced with the question, “If you could travel anywhere where would you go?” Without hesitating I answered, “Morocco.” In my mind, Morocco seemed mysterious. Truly I didn't know too much about it, but photos of the intricate patterned architecture, bustling markets and the endless miles of open nothingness called me. So, when I heard that ISA offered a 6 day trip to Morocco my heart skipped a beat

 
 

Morocco day 1: March 23, 2018

I could feel that I was in a place different to anywhere else I’d been before. In Fez, other camera clicking, hat-wearing tourists roam the streets, but they aren’t documenting monuments like one would in Paris or Rome. This type of tourist feels different. I walk through the labyrinth- that is the Medina of Fez- with open eyes that notice how the people of Fez go about their day- where the locals live, how they make an income and how they dress. Each narrow passageway unveils more colorful mosaics and intricate passageways. Light filters through buildings sometimes revealing people in prayer and other times people entranced in their craft. I am in a constant state of awe, and I have yet to enter the most mysterious part of the country, the Sahara Desert. 

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The Desert

The sun was just beginning its descent into the horizon when we stopped on the outskirts of a desert city.  Rushing out of the bus we thew our bags into the back of 4x4 car and piled in with our driver, a local man named Mohammed. Mohammed grew up in this town then moved to Fez to study English and literature, he is like the mayor in that everyone knows him and likes him. Not only was this guy a badass by starting this business but he was a crazy driver.  Mohammed turned the dial to the right and Africa by shakira blared out the speaker. 

We rolled the windows down and to feel the rush of wind as our 4x4 bolted through the desert. Good vibes full of laughter singing and the thrill of speeding through a new landscape as the sunset painted the sky filled the car. It was bliss. The song must have repeated itself 4 times, but none of us noticed /cared until we stopped at an overlook to watch in awe as the sun rapidly disappeared into the landscape. It was such a beautiful moment. Before it got too dark, we continued the journey into the vast desert to our campsite to the tune of Moroccan music.

As our 4x4 whipped through the dunes and I stuck my head out of the window embracing the wind whipping my hair in all different directions. Secluded, surrounded by 360 degrees of sand mountains lay our camp- a cute community of tents constructed of fabric and a big white tent for eating and dancing. 

 
Julia Mattis