Spring break is the perfect time to get away from it all for a while. Away from your daily routine, away from your office, away from the colleagues you see every single day… Or maybe not the latter! Years ago, when I was still working on my PhD, we decided to take a spring break together. And when one of my colleagues suggested we could go explore his home country, we all ran home to pack our bags and headed of to Morocco!
Visiting new countries is always very exciting. I’m usually one of those people who are well prepared before taking off, but not so this time. Since we had our very own personal guide travelling with us, he would be the one deciding where he would take us and what places we would go visit. And he did a perfect job, as every single day of the entire trip held a new surprise.
We flew in from Brussels to Agadir, located on the Atlantic coast, near the foot of the Atlas Mountains. With its endless stretches of sandy beach, and being very easy to reach by plane, Agadir is a major destination for North Europeans who need a a bit of sun in winter. As a result, it has lost a lot of its authenticity and over the years, it has turned into a very modern-feeling city. One part though still has lots of charm: the colorful fishing harbor!
Following the coast up north we arrived in a little village called Essaouira. This charming town lives of the fishing industry, and it is hard to not notice that! Everywhere you look, your eye will catch a glimpse of the little blue fishing boats. There seem to be a million of them!
After having thoroughly enjoyed the beach and the delicious seafood, we headed inland, towards Marrakesh. This amazing city is bustling with life, especially within the walls of the old fortified centre. Marrakesh has a rich history and plenty of the old walls and ancient buildings are still up. It was originally constructed with red sandstone, giving it its red hue and its nickname “the Red City”.
In the middle of the city, you will find the busiest square of Africa, Jemaa el-Fnaa. As busy as this square is during the day, after dark is when it really comes to life!
Only a couple of hours away from Marrakesh, we went to visit the waterfalls of Ouzoud. These 330foot-high falls are truly amazing! This location is off the beaten track, which means it is still a quiet place, not overrun by hordes of tourists. But so worth the detour!
The last leg of our trip took us closer to the desert, to Ouarzazate. In this region there are several impressive Ksars to be found, ancient fortified cities, situated along the old caravan routes leading into the Sahara. Many of them have served in big shot Hollywood movies. Lets see if you remember which heroes fought here…