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Marvelous Morocco

Sep 4

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9/4/2010 1:01 PM  RssIcon

Marvelous Morocco by Garima Obrah

It has got beaches and marvels, mountains and mosques, film studios and scorpions; it is home to some of the world’s most oustanding athletes – runners Noureddine Morcelli and Said Aouita; it has its own unique brand of the north African music known as RAI and it’s a monarchy where ultimate authority rests with the king. Morocco is split in half with the northern, former French half as a vibrant society and the southern, former Spanish half is in a no-man’s land politically. Little is known about it – access is verboten. Half of the hippie generation washed up in Morocco at one point or another and the other half were too washed up to get there. It has inspired novelists, artists and film directors.
Essaouira on the west coast and Tangier in the north were two favourite hangouts for the likes of Paul Bowles and William Burroughs. It is a friendly, fascinating society, a modern Arabic community – like Iraq used to be – comfortable in its own skin. Buses are the cheapest and most reliable to get around Morocco. Collective taxis are slightly more expensive than buses, but are a speedier alternative for getting from A to B. Morocco’s limited train network is a fast and comfortable way to travel between major cities. The most useful rail line links Marrakech and Tangier via Casablanca and Rabat. Hiring a car is also an ideal way to see the country, and major roads are in good shape, even if most of them only have one lane.
The official language is Moroccan Arabic and most people also speak French, a hangover from colonial days. In the mountains, Berbers speak the Amazigh language. Most street hustlers speak some English. As a Muslim country, most Moroccans are very conservative about public displays of affection and attire. Couples may even be frowned upon for holding hands. To avoid extensive harassment from Moroccan men, Western women are advised to wear loose, long-sleeved clothing. Alcohol can also be difficult to find outside bars, restaurants, hotels and supermarkets frequented by tourists.
Moroccan cuisine is simple irresistible, fusing African, Spanish, Berber, Portuguese, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Jewish influences. Spices are often key to Moroccan cooking, with saffron, mint, oranges, lemons, couscous, chickpeas, beef, lamb and chicken among the chief ingredients. The most popular dishes are tangine (a spicy meat and veggie stew cooked and served in a clay pot), pastilla (a meaty pastry) and kaliya (a traditional Berber recipe combining lamb, peppers, onion and tomatoes). Most meals are accompanied by a generous serving of couscous. Morocco has international airports in Agadir, Casablanca, Marrakech and Fes. A cheap and popular way to reach Morocco from Europe is to fly to Malaga in Spain and then take a ferry from Algeciras to Tangier.
Agadir, which indicates “wall enclosing a town” from the Berber dialect, is regarded as as Morocco’s seashore resort. It truly is found from the southwest of Morocco, close to the Atlas Mountains and may be the capital with the Agadir province. This Moroccan seaside resort town has a lot of modern day hotels and European-style cafes. Agadir generally benefits from its seaside place, getting recognized for its seafood and being a major fishing and commercial port. In truth it really is regarded since the 1st sardine port within the globe. Possibly its most defining characteristic is that the metropolis was virtually obliterated from your map. On February 29, 1960, a powerful earthquake that lasted 15 seconds decreased the city to rubble and killed tens of thousands of its inhabitants. Under the leadership of King Muhammad V, the city was rebuilt beginning in 1961, into a neat grid of residential suburbs and wide boulevards.
A stroll all-around Souq al-Had is recommended. Virtually every thing could be discovered the following - food, household goods, souvenirs, and even second-hand things. For a panoramic view, one can go to the Kasbah. Entirely destroyed from the 1960 earthquake, only traces from the former dwellings and the words “Fear God and honour thy King” inscribed on its front gate remain. If you want to know much more concerning the old Agadir, visit the Earthquake Museum based on the southwest corner of Jardim de Olhao. All-in-all a great toourist destination!!

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It was just the other night that I was paging through my album, the photos depicting the utter chaos of the market streets and the beautiful colors on display. It was a visual spectacle. The food was a gastronomic spectacle. My personal favorite dish while visiting Morocco was the lamb tagine with dates. The tenderness of the lamb coupled with the sweetness of the dates was a mere delight and surprise to my palate. Thank you for helping me relive my Morocco experience. Morocco is a must-see travel destination and for more information visit for some great travel tips and facts about Morocco.
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