Anchors Aweigh: More food, fun in Morocco
In about an hour the ship will be departing from our first port in Africa. I wasn’t sure what to expect of Casablanca, Morocco. It surprised me how much it resembled major cities in Europe and home.
Soon after arriving, a group of friends and I hopped a train to Marrakech. By the time we arrived to the Old Medina, it was night and the square was packed with people.
Many stands were set up with kabobs and souvenirs to pull in the tourists. We made our way to the Riad, a beautiful mansion tucked down an ally.
The next morning we discovered Marrakesh was a series of confusing and twisting ally ways. We went to the Souks, which resembled a flea market, and bargained. A student from Marrakesh joined our ship in Lisbon and gave talks until we reached Casablanca. Luckily we made friends and she took us shopping, and then invited us into her home for couscous, a Friday tradition in Morocco. We finished the meal with Moroccan Mint Tea and pastries.
The next morning I joined my roommate and her parents on a trip to Essaouira. On the way we stopped at a tree, with goats standing all over it. Usually this happens naturally and the goats feed on the nuts, however these goats were put up there for tourists.
Next we stopped at a Argan Oil Cooperative, and learned how it’s made. Finally we reached the fishing town and walked through the markets, a wood factoryw and finished with a lunch of fresh seafood.
It was really nice having a tour guide and learning about the country, rather than wandering as I had on other ports.
On my final day I signed up with Semester at Sea to visit an orphanage. Surprisingly, it was extremely nice and paid for by the government.
The tour guide mentioned taxes were very high in Morocco which has helped reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.
The children were amazing and loved playing with us for the day. For the first time we have a long stretch at sea, and will arrive in Ghana in eight days.