Yesterday I arrived in MOROCCO!! It has been absolutely incredible and I have to keep pinching myself to make me believe that I truly amin AFRICA! My roommate and I signed up for the trip super last minute (the day before we were schedule to leave) so we did not have much time to prepare. Nonetheless, despite my serious lack of planning, it was still an amazing and relatively flawless excursion to Morocco. The program we did it through provides all travel, meals, and accommodations for about 200 euros. We left yesterday (Friday) at 1PM where we caught a bus to Sevilla to pick up the rest of the group traveling with us. In total, we had about ~45 students from all over Spain that had signed up for the trip. Most were American study abroad, but there were a few women just traveling on their own from the Philippines. It was a cohesive group and we were all joking and exchanging contact information in no time.
After the three hour bus ride to Sevilla, three hour bus ride to Tarifa, 2 hour ferry to Tangier, and one and a half hour bus ride to our hotel, we arrived a little after midnight, fatigued and starving. We had a very delicious dinner at the hotel, which might I add was extremely luxurious. After almost falling asleep in my appetizer soup and quickly eating the main course of couscous and chicken, I trudged up to my room and passed out around 1:30AM. I was up and ready for 8AM breakfast the following morning, a buffet in the restaurant of the hotel. We then drove about an hour to our city for the day, Chefchaouen, known as “The Blue City.” You can see from the photographs why it is rightly named. We took a one hour guided tour and then had a few hours of free time to explore the city and market. I set out with
an agenda: I knew I wanted to get a scarf, a tapestry, and a leather purse (all things Morocco is known for) and I had a lot of fun bargaining and haggling over prices with the shopkeepers. I ended up exploring on my own a bit and I was able to have full conversations with shop owners about pretty much anything, from what the heck the strange objects in their shop were to life in Morocco to the weather. Remarkably enough, they all asked if I was Mexican after exchanging only a few words. A few said they asked because I didn’t look American and that my Spanish was not quite fluent, but definitely not American either, so they were confused but they were pretty sure I was Mexican. I thought that was interesting!
After a full day in Chefchaouen, we returned to the hotel for a couple hours to ourselves before 8PM dinner. Between the appetizer and main course, they surprised us with a show put on by the hotel. They played music and danced for us and it was all very entertaining. Later that night we all got together on the sixth floor lounge for a social hour. It was nice, but I was crazy exhausted so I only stayed for about half an hour before retreating back to my room for a shower and to my cozy bed. We return to Spain tomorrow afternoon, but I had an amazing first day here and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!