December 2011, my boyfriend and I went to Morocco where we stayed in a typical small hotel with no hot water. The necessary change of atmosphere made us enjoy ourselves with lots of sunshine, beautiful nature, mint tea, and couscous.
When you dream of Africa, you immediately think of the southern countries on the continent with its indigenous people, elephants, lions, and giraffes. But my first travel experience to Africa was to Morocco. Wanting to get away from our daily busy lives at the end of last year, me and my boyfriend booked a last-minute trip to Marrakesh.
The first days in Marrakesh, we explored the old city with its historical buildings, the souk, Jewish cemetery, and several museums. Whenever the dust gets you thirsty (and this happens very fast), you can escape to one of the cafes with a roof terrace and enjoy the view over a hot plate of couscous. Maison de la Photographie is a must-see for all you Lomographers, it has a nice café with the highest roof terrace in the city.
A visit to the Jardin Majorelle is another good activity when you want to get out of the dust and crowd of the old city. This botanical garden is designed by the French artist Majorelle, after whom the typical blue color used in the garden was later named. It is a tranquil place with many exotic flowers, plants, and some turtles.
During our stay, we took two trips to the desert. We hiked through the mystical Atlas mountains and visited some desolate villages, where we met very kind people to drink fresh mint tea with, and petted some camels. We started to feel like being in some 1001 nights movie. This was completed with a visit to Ouarzazate, the location of the Atlas movie studios where they actually filmed Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven, Babel, etc.
This trip showed us a different side of Africa, a mystical country where mint tea is their answer to our beer, and where they know how to cook with fresh herbs, also very vegetarian friendly! I especially loved taking pictures here with a redscale film in my Diana, because of the bright sun and sand colored buildings. You should try it too, and decide for yourself whether Morocco could be in your dream of Africa.