Destination Honeymoon i: Morocco

Morocco is the place I want to go most in the world! I can’t wait to see if it lives up to my ideas of rich, jewel like colours popping up in flashes everywhere, interesting textures, delicious food, sultry nights and exotic opportunities. From what I read, it will surely surpass my expectations! It is so historically and culturally rich it would be very easy to get lost for a few weeks and be immersed in discovering this beautiful country, so steeped in ancient history.

The Moorish architecture is a spectacular combination of exotic and cheerful, and spending a night wining and dining in a riad would be so romantic and fun. (The riad, an interior courtyard often with a garden, is specific to Morocco and places an emphasis on privacy, making it perfect for a newly married couple.)

I think Morocco would be an incredible option for adventurous and explorative honey mooners, keen for something a little different to a beach holiday. If I was heading there, I would need a lot of time, but in my imagination, some of my dream itinerary in Morocco would include something along these lines:

ESSAOUIRA

Head to the Gnaoua Festival, dubbed the ‘Moroccan Woodstock’, ride a camel along the beach and have a seafood feast in the harbour, where you can pick a fish from one of the many seafood stands and have it cooked for you on the spot. Retire contented to the Heure Bleue Palais, as behind the subdued whitewashed walls of the outer perimeter is a luxury hotel with some of the best treated staff in Morocco, as well as other ethical practices.

Photography Credits top to bottom: Camels by Nilton Quoirin for National Geographic, Essaouria Harbour, linked from Daithai C, Heure Bleue Palais in Essaouria

Fez

Get lost wandering through the Medina, one of the oldest in the world, and so steeped in history  you will feel totally separated from the Western world. Ease your walking sore body with a trip to a Hammam, a Moroccan bath – note, this is only for the brave! The authentic, local Hammam experience will leave you scrubbed to within an inch of your life and you certainly can’t be shy about getting naked! There are lots of relaxing, spa style Hammam catering to Westerners as well. Finish off the day with a refreshing Moroccan tea ritual.

Photography credits top to bottom: Medina in Fez by Pete Niesen for Smarter Travel, Mint Tea by Rieh, Baths by Pot Noodle

Marrakech

Ah Marrakech, so full of bustle and life! I think this amazing city would be the highlight for me. It would be incredible to while away a few hours exploring the Souk, the largest in Morocco and full of all kinds of goodies, from colourful shoes and exquisite crafts to exotic spices, edible delights and strange and wonderful animals (a chameleon anyone?!?). Marvel at snake charmers, get your fortune read or smoke a sheesha if you are so inclined. (I smoked an apple and strawberry one in Singapore with my sister once and, not being a cigarette smoker, felt incredibly ill afterwards. Nerd!) Granted, the souk experience may be a little overwhelming, so once you have found your perfect Moroccan lamp and haggled over some Babouche (Moroccan slippers) head to one of the many cool new bars springing up around Marrakech for those who are partial to a beverage! Peacock Pavilion looks like a beautiful place to stay, and you can also partake in a yoga retreat which is run there.

Photography credits top to bottom: Marrakech cityscape, slippers, souk, spices

On top of all of this, Morocco is somewhere where I can indulge my strange interest in beautiful doors. I think they have a fascinating symbolism, and leave me wondering what is behind them, what goes on, who is in there behind them and what stories they have. In Morocco they are incredibly coloured, embellished and textured.

Photography credits top to bottom: Evan Bench, Glenna Barlow, palindrome6996, Glenna Barlow, Bex Walton, Alexander Torrenegra

To finish on a less glamorous, but extremely important note, this article in the Conde Nast Traveller is a great read, highlighting some of the ethical and environmental issues that I often think about with regard to travel and focusing specifically on Morocco. It raises many pertinent questions about how we can ‘do the right thing’ when travelling and have as minimal an impact on our surroundings and the locals while still having an amazing time and enjoying some holiday luxury.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: