Salam alekoum dear readers, and happy new year 2019! 😀 I will start this year by a little trip to Morocco. As you may know, I have already been to Morocco a few weeks ago - for a short city trip in Fez. You can read my story here, however, it is all in French... This is why I decided to write in English for this second trip! 😉
You may wonder why I am going back to Morocco already? Well, I really enjoyed my first stay; I met some awesome people (i.e., Yassine, my Couchsurfing host, and his family), and four days was too short! 😉 This time, I will discover a few more places - and my mum will join me for a few days in the city of Fez! 😀
But, before that, I am going to Belgium to meet some friends and to Cardiff for my PhD viva...
Good news folks, I successfully passed my viva! You can now call me Doctor Lucie! 😀
This morning, I was happy to chat with my friends Maria (Yassine's mum) and B'tissam (Yassine's sister) around breakfast! 😀 I also met Sylvie and Jean-François, two Canadians from Québec staying over. It was sunny in the morning, so we chilled a bit in the sun. By the way, I forgot my sunglasses... 😥
Yassine and I went for a coffee in the medina (old town), where we met Momo, a friend of Yassine I met last month. After that, we went to Jnane Sbil park with Ouadieh, another friend I met previously.
We came back home for a late lunch; I got to try harira, a delicious Moroccan soup made by Maria. We also ate some fresh and tasty mandarines. Sadly, as you can see from the pictures, the sun left... Maria thus offered me to join for hammam. My answer? Of course! 😀 And I discovered a whole new thing!
I feel too sleepy to describe my whole experience tonight, but I will come back to it. Long story short: it only cost 20 Dh (about €2), we stayed there almost 4 hours, and I feel completely relaxed now! 😉
Leila saida (good night)! Come back tomorrow for more stories!
The sky was very grey when we woke up this morning, and it was freezing. But the sun started to shine around 11am, and I am now enjoying it in the garden! 😀 After breakfast, I went for a walk to the Marinids.
Two Canadian women came for cooking class and made us a delicious sweet couscous.
This evening, Yassine, Jean-François and Sylvie (the Québecois), and me, are taking a night bus to reach Merzouga, where we will spend a couple of days and a night. I will probably not have any internet for a few days, thus I will tell you all when coming back to Fez! 😀
At 3 pm, serious business started: we met our camels! 😀 And also Ana and Rosa, two Dutch girls who joined us for the rest of the trip. We walked - or, shall I say, our camels walked - for about an hour in the dunes to reach our camp. The sun was very strong, hence the hoods, but the landscapes were impressive.
I was so surprised when I discovered the camp: it was pretty much a luxury camp! With toilets, a sink, private bedrooms, and even a dining room! 😀 The guys even served us some tea and biscuits!
By the way, did you know that there was such a thing as sand boarding? Have a look on YouTube... 😉 Tomoya, a Japanese traveler, met us at the camp and spent the night with us. He's been traveling around the world for 8 months now! Nobody seemed to be able to remember his name, he was thus baptised Japan.
Sunset on the dunes was absolutely impressive. My pictures only give a tiny bit of an idea. We then had a delicious tajine in the camp, and enjoyed a warm fire with some Berber live music. The night was cold though.
I am a few days late in writing! So Lhoussin woke us up around 7 am to watch the sunrise on the desert. It was beautiful, maybe not as beautiful as the sunset - or was it because I was freezing and still tired? 😉
We then quickly reached our camels for a ride back towards Hassilabied, where breakfast was waiting...
We spent the day in the village, walking around, enjoying the sun, climbing the big dune (for Yassine and Jean-François) or buying a souvenir (for Sylvie and me)! 😉 At 7 pm, we got on our coach to head back to Fez. Funnily enough, after the desert, we drove through the mountains and the road was white of snow! We reached Fez around 5 am. Unfortunately, the "petits taxis" were on strike and we thus had trouble to find a car... Read Morocco World News about the strike here. Ana, Rosa, Yassine and I then slept until noon! 😉
Breakfast at noon with the Dutch girls, and then not much work done in the afternoon, as I was pretty tired and it was cold anyway! 😉 A last coffee in the medina with Jean-François and Sylvie, and I also booked my bus tickets to go to Chefchaouen... but this is another story! Go to post J6 (jour 6 = day 6)! 😀
The bus ticket from Fez to Chefchaouen costs 75 Dh and can be bought from CTM offices. I arrived at the station around 10 am, and had a good surprise: I met Tomoya there, waiting for the same coach than me! 😀 We reached the city around 3.30 pm. The coach station is only 20-minute walk from the medina.
We started our visit of the city by a walk to Uta El Hammam square, the main square of Chefchaouen.
A small Kasbah (fortress), founded in 1471, can be found in the square. The entrance ticket costs 10 Dh for Moroccans or 60 Dh for foreigners. We hesitated a few minutes and decided to give it a go, as it is supposed to be one of the highlights of Chefchouaen. To be honest, it does not really worth it 😉 - even though the view on the city and on the mountains is rather beautiful, as you can see on my pictures! 😀
You can notice on one of my pictures a white minaret on top of a hill: it is the Spanish Bouzafar mosque. I read on a travel blog that the view from there was worth it: there was our next stop! 😀
To find the Spanish mosque, one has to follow the Ras El-Ma river.
We ended the day by a good tajine at Morisco, a cheap restaurant with friendly staff on the main square.
No best way to start the day than with a delicious breakfast! The Souika hostel offers coffee and orange juice and malawi for 25 Dh = perfect! 😉 After, I met Tomoya and we enjoyed an orange juice on our terrace.
We then explored the beautiful streets of Chefchaouen for a few hours, with no special goal. See in pictures!
Did I mention that Chefchaouen was also a city of cats? 😀
In the afternoon, Tomoya took a coach to Tangier whereas I headed back to Fez.
Nothing special to say about that day in Fez. The weather was pretty bad (rain, wind, and cold), and I spent most of the time either waiting for the bus, in the bus, waiting for my mum at the airport, waiting for the bus, or in the bus! 😉 Yes, you read it right, my mum joined me for a few days in Fez! 😀 We stayed at Yassine's as Airbnb guests (you can book here to get a private room for €9, Moroccan breakfast included).
The sun and warm weather came back, yay! 😀 I introduced my mum to the medina, we walked around for a few hours and saw a few famous sites, such as Al Quaraouiyine mosque and the Chouara tannery (check my previous article about Fez here for more descriptions).
We had lunch at Thami's, a small restaurant next to the famous Bab Boujloud (blue gate). It is probably not the best food but it was edible, cheap (€4 for a tajine or couscous dish) and friendly! 😉 After that, we visited the famous Bou Inania Madrasa, recommended to me both by Yassine and my friend Mouna.
After our visit of this impressive building, we decided to enjoy the sun at Jnan Sbil park with our book! 😀
We ended this nice day at the Marinids tombs, with a pretty sunset on the medina.
For dinner, Maria prepared us some kind of delicious porridge with "baby spaghettis". Leila saida!
Last post of this article for our last day in Fez (and Morocco)! 😥
In the morning, we visited the impressive Al Glaoui Palace, which I discovered on a travel blog.
Both my mum and I were pretty impressed by this palace, particularly because we have not heard about it before. Fun fact, Abdou (current guardian), appeared on French TV a few years back to talk about the palace!
For lunch, we went back towards Bab Boujloud and stopped at a terrace. We ordered a chicken tajine with plums, and a pastilla: a traditional dish from Fez. It is a kind of pie combining sweet and savoury flavours. We loved it! It is however quite filling, and we barely managed to finish our tajine after that! 😉
After lunch, we visited the Batha Palace and Museum, located a few hundred meters from the blue gate.
We really loved its peaceful gardens. Furthermore, the staff was extremely friendly and funny.
Back to Jnan Sbil park to end our day - and our stay in Fez! Besslama readers!
Stay posted for my future adventures in China and Asia starting next month! 😉
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