Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Morocco- A Whole New World


I guess it is a very, very old part of this world but it was like entering a whole new world for us!  From Barcelona, we took a three day trip to Morocco!  I wanted to go to Africa so I could visit my sixth continent! Michael wanted to go somewhere exotic. So Morocco was the place for both of us!  I was very worried about safety.  (I guess I have "The Man Who Knew Too Much" to thank for that fear.)  That meant that our planning was very specific and we read many reviews and suggestions.  Thankfully, I never once felt unsafe and it was an incredible country to visit and learn more about it's culture!  We also were never out of sight from a guide or driver which was nice because it made me feel secure and that meant we could just enjoy the journey instead of trying to figure out how to get from place to place.
Our first night, we landed late so we had a taxi take us to our hotel.  The taxi took us to the edge of a big block city where a guy from the hotel was there with a cart and took us through an amazing maze of shops and houses.  Then we got to a smallish, plain door that was our hotel.  Once you walked into the door you were in this beautiful, spacious courtyard.  Our room was gorgeous!  We wished we had been able to stay there longer because it was incredible!

Walking to our hotel.

Our two story room! Fireplace, living room and master bed were on the main floor.  Two twin beds were upstairs. And a beautiful wood carved bathroom was through the door in the picture!


That ceiling!

The doors to our room! ^




So many incredible details!

Early the next morning, we were picked up by our tour guide to the Sahara Desert! He picked us up and drove us the 7+ hours to the desert's edge.  We had a few stops along the way.  It's pretty incredible what a little bit of water will do to a landscape! 
 

Oasis!

Let's not forget our stop to feed the monkeys!

A few comforts from home ;) 


Where we stopped for lunch


It was pretty delicious!


On the edge of Sahara sand dunes!

After hours of driving, we were at the desert's edge and so we got in the car with this guide so that he could four wheel drive us to where the camels are.

He was so sweet and loved showing Laila the baby camel!


Here's where we were welcomed with some herbal tea (not my favorite taste but generous gesture!) We were given a room with AC to go to the bathroom, shower and relax until 7 PM when the sun was starting to set and we would take off on camels into the desert for the night! I was nervous to ride a camel for over an hour.  I get really bad allergies when I ride a horse so I was nervous that I would be an itchy eye, asthmatic mess all night.  Fortunately, I am not allergic to camels!  So despite a few saddle sore moments, I could have been on a camel all day!  Michael and Laila shared a camel.  Michael got on and the camel stood up.  Then they handed Laila to him.  I had Harrison in the ergo carrier and our kids were awesome on the rides!

It was so incredible seeing different caravan of camels set off into the desert creating breathtaking silhouettes like this!

Our little caravan with another couple from Europe!

Our home for the night! We dwelled in a tent in the Sahara Desert!



Once we got settled, our camel guide took Michael out for some sand surfing!

Then our guide made us some yummy dinner by candlelight! There was so much food!


Then it was time for bed.  Although I will say there was not much sleep because of how hot it was.  Laila woke up in the middle of the night saying "Guys! I'm trying to sleep but it's just so hot!" haha! Poor girl! It felt great outside.  Inside the tent not so much.  Haha!

The next morning, we woke up really early to ride our camels back to the room where we had cooled off the night before.  We met with another guide in the local town to show us their market day and teach us more about the local culture.


This was the goat and sheep auction.  We had missed the camel and cow auctions.  Those were earlier in the morning.  The next part was my favorite, our guide took us to the "parking lot."  People ride their donkeys to market and they park them in the parking lot.  Out super sweet guide let Laila ride on one.  She was thrilled!


We also got to see all the different spices that were for sale! So beautiful!  The market was so incredible to show their way of life.  There was still a blacksmith, a butcher,  and a coppler, etc!  It was a great experience.  I also love the rug I bought there too. :)

To finish off this post and this trip, I wanted to show my favorite picture we have from our whole time abroad.  It's also probably my favorite picture of all time.  This was going to the parking lot.  It wasn't long but I wanted to capture it so I quickly grabbed Michael's phone and snapped it.  Later, as we were looking through pics, I realized how this phone pic was way more powerful than I even intended.  I love how it shows two people from very different cultures and yet they are walking together hand in hand.  It just represented to me how we are truly all God's children and even though we all have different perspectives and beliefs, we can still be together in harmony.  I could go on and on about how I feel about it, but for now, I will leave it there!  


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