Morocco: Last 18 hours

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“Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced – even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it”       -John Keats

Oh, Chefchaouen.

Picturesque periwinkle perfection.

We drove into this amazing city as the sun was setting, which made for some great out-the-bus-window photos.

We dropped our backpacks off at the hotel and had two hours of free time, which we dedicated to spending the rest of our dirhams (Moroccan money).

It wasn’t too difficult when there was henna to be had and an enticing number of scarves, flip flops, jewelry, etc. to buy.

Best part of the Moroccan shopping experience, bargaining.  I didn’t purchase anything for over 10 dollars.

That night, I ate a farewell dinner with the group.

Chicken, almond, and prune tagine, which is a traditional Moroccan stew.  The sauce was so sweet, I would’ve licked the bowl had I not been in public.

As for dessert, orange slices sprinkled with cinnamon…why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?! Simply genius.

We made the most of our last day and awoke early to take a morning walk through the town.  Myself and my roommates were especially exhausted because we had been the only ones lucky enough to wake up to the twenty minute call to prayer at 4:45 a.m coming from the mosque right outside our window.  Muslims pray five times a day, one of which is at sunrise, and at these times someone sings from a mosque to alert people of the time.  We had heard the call to prayer in other towns earlier in the weekend,  but I had yet to experience it at the wee hours of the morning.

We embarked on our tour at 7 a.m. and weaved our way through the labyrinth-like streets

until we reached the end of the town

where a river played host to women doing laundry.

With the introduction of a mountain and a dirt path, our leisurely morning stroll turned into a hike, but if I turned my head to the right, I could see the view.

When we reached our destination, the group sat on the ledge catching our breath and taking it all in.

I loved how half the city was still dark, while the other half was light.  It made me think about how so many people are in the dark about other cultures/people and end up making assumptions based upon false information.  My trip to Morocco helped me move toward the light in my understanding of Islam, Arabs, Africans, and third world countries.  Nobody can ever take that away from me.

I continued taking pictures as we descended, but this one topped them all.  I happened to snap this shot of this beautiful little girl at precisely the right moment because one second later, she was in the shade and then in her house.

Breakfast was waiting for us at a restaurant when we got back into town.

Soon enough we were back at Tangier Airport

and then in the air looking at the coast of Spain out the window once again.

Besides these blog posts and three Facebook albums dedicated to the weekend, I decided to make a video slideshow.  As my Spanish host mom says, take a trip to Morocco in 6 Minutes.  But seriously, if you ever have the opportunity to visit Morocco, DO IT!  I learned more in a few days than I would’ve in a full semester class.  It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.

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