Thursday, May 25, 2017


It's a public holiday here today. Mario is off on a plane to Kiev and I'm here with the second coffee of the day determined to put some life back into this blog.

Late February, my first adventure on the African continent. Travel partner - one of my best girlfriends, the first real girlfriend I made here in Munich.  We haven't been on a big adventure together since our Scandinavia trip at the end of 2014, so I would say a vacation together was long overdue!

A direct flight from Munich to Marrakech was just about four hours. Although there are a plethora of taxis at the airport, we chose to have someone from our Riad pick us up, as we were arriving at night and had absolutely no idea about anything in Marrakech.

Riads, traditional Moroccan houses with a courtyard in the middle, are THE place to stay in Morocco. They come in all varieties of designs, price, and comfort levels. We stayed at places with a price tag around 30 euros per person per night for a double room with breakfast included and were very pleased with the quality of accommodation for that price.

Beautiful view from our room

Rooftop garden
After enjoying our Moroccan breakfast we went to the train station to buy our tickets to make the long journey up to Chefchaouen. Doing that trip all in one day isn't for the faint of heart - it will take at least 10.5 hours. In the north the train lines end and it is necessary to take a bus.  A massive tour bus, that is, with us two being the only passengers to Chefchaouen. It felt rather ridiculous and just a tad creepy, especially when we realized how delayed our arrival in Chefchaouen and that we had no cell phone service out in middle of nowhere Morocco to inform our Riad pick-up.  Then, completely out of the blue, our moroccan bus driver began speaking to us in fluent German! It turns out that he had been living and working in Germany about 20 years ago. ''Don't worry,'' he assured us, ''I got a German driver's liscence while I was living there, so you can be sure that I'm a safe driver.'' This wonderful human being then made it his own personal responsibility to make sure that we made it safe and sound to our Riad in Chefchaouen, making a handful of phone calls and insisting that we wait inside the bus until the taxi arrived. The world is truly full of such wonderful people!

Near the train station, Marrakech

Chefchaouen was hands down the highlight of our trip. The beautiful blue houses and relative calm were much needed before we prepared to take on Fes later in the week. We let ourselves get lost among the colorful houses and enjoyed fresh mint tea on Chefchaouen's small central square.We got our first henna of the trip, which left me feeling like a Moroccan princess.

Main square - Chefchaouen

Views over Chefchaouen

Henna art

Our new matching scarves
Fes' charm lies in its massive, winding medina and traditional handicrafts. Yet after a hectic day within the city walls, a sunset view from the ruins up on the hill as the last prayer calls ring out was exactly what we needed.

Tannery and leather dyeing

Spice shop

Ruins over Fes

Ruins over Fes

The journey back to Marrakech from Fes was an awful lot for one day, but we got on the road early and were rewarded in Marrakech with our nicest riad yet! We went out into the city until sunset and then returned to our riad, where Kayli got a manicure and I had massage, before relaxing by the fire with a pot of mint tea.
More henna in Marrakech
Last morning in Morocco
While in Morocco I never felt anything but safe. It's an extremely tourist-friendly country and there is something there for every type of traveler. We were neither in the desert nor on the seaside, but I suppose that just means that another trip to Morocco will be necessary in the future!