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African Adventure!! August 3, 2012

Posted by Frederick Grimm in Travel Log.
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One of my favorite and most memorable trips was Marrakech, Morocco.  I had not planned on visiting Morocco when I arrived at Georgia Tech, but I am glad I was able to!

My friend Max Tanski and I made the excursion during our 5-day extended weekend.  We had originally planned on going to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but that plan fell through.  After much searching, we decided Marrakech would be just as adventurous. 

We flew into Marrakech from Paris, and the first noticeable difference was the temperature.  We left a cold, rainy Paris and arrived at Marrakech at over 100 degrees Fahrenheit!!!  It was definitely a pleasant change.  After leaving the airport, I could relate to nothing.  The roads did not have lanes and cars drove wherever they wanted on both sides.  It was very frightening!  Our driver took us to our riad, which is a traditional Moroccan style home.  These riads have large open atriums in the center, and rooms surrounding the atrium.  It was a challenge finding our first riad in the maze of streets!  We then wandered around in the medina, which is the name of the city center.  The medina is the historic area and is marked by the old stone walls, and it has been around unchanged for hundreds of years!  Being in the medina felt like stepping back in time.  There were literally hundreds of merchants all selling fabrics, spices, lamps, fruits, carved items, etc.  It was a beautiful chaos!!  We spent hours getting lost in the small roads within the medina.  It was an experience unlike any other! 

Our second day took us to the coastal town of Oussaroura.  It was similar to Marrakech, but much smaller.  We enjoyed the coastal foods and the marina, and bought several cheap paintings from here.  One of the best parts was driving through the desert to reach our destination!

Back in Marrakech, we decided to see more of the city.  We bought a ticket for a bus tour, and saw all the sights Marrakech had to offer!  I can truly say this trip was eye-opening for me.  Though the city is not very wealthy, it is very alive and has a wealth of cultural artifacts to offer visitors.  One of my favorite memories was going through the market at night and seeing the snake charmers and monkey venders.  I even got a monkey placed on my shoulder!  I also ended up buying a few souvenirs.  I will definitely have a difficult time bringing back the five Moroccan lamps, but I believe it will be worth it.

Marrakech was a beautiful city, and I cannot wait to explore the other treasures Africa holds!! 

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