University of Wisconsin–Madison

Habibi and more about Morocco

My friend Liz and I went on the We Love Spain Morocco Fantasy Weekend this past weekend (3/13-3-15). We had a great time playing with monkeys, riding camels, and experiencing all that is morocco. First thing we were told on our tour was “Don’t touch the monkeys, let the monkeys touch you”. And with that I’ll start my tale of Morocco.

Gibraltar

  • Peninsula? Isthmus? It’s a body of land which is surrounded by water on three sides, that’s Gibraltar.
  • Used as a military base in WWII the island had a surprising amount of history. With miles (32.57 km of it) of underground caves and a huge boat yard it was ideal.
  • St. Michaels Caves is one in particular that has been renovated but still holds the same stalagmites.1The furthest point of Europe is shown below. Everything was beautiful.

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    Here on this island is the home for the Gibraltar monkeys. There’s 250-300 wild monkeys at the top of Gibraltar.

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    Hotel tanjah flandra

    • 2.5 star I found black hair in the shower and on the badayy. The food they served us was delicious though and despite having to pay for drinks we were satisfied.

    Tangier

    • Jewish quarter is composed of all the expedited Jews and Moores from the south of spain who fled to morocco. The state of Morocco is 98% Islam and 2% Jewish catholic. Told by our guide there’s no religious conflict. We did see a catholic cathedral across the road from a mosque so perhaps it’s true.
    • We saw all kinds of clothing expression from the women. Some with full blown only can see your eyes hijab, others with just a head scarf and a few without any head covering.
    • Al magrab is what the local call morocco which means where the sun sit or the land of the west.
    • First Arab nation to outlaw an Arab man to have more then one wife at one time.
    • With one of the largest population of youths or persons under 20 (17%) birth control is now legal. The average family size going from 7-9 to now 2-3.

    Cape Spartel

    • This is where the imaginary line of separation of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.P1020677
    • We got to ride camels here on the beach! Riding a camel is nothing like a horse, their gait proved far more awkward and harder to move with.
      5 6 7Cheutan

      • The blue city was a labyrinth of different shades of blue and white. To me it looked like something out of a Dr. Suess book.
      • Now what you’ve all been waiting for the answer to why the city is all blue: mosquitoes. Apparently the color blue keeps them away, we didn’t see or hear any while we were there so maybe it works?
      • We experienced heckling for the first time here which was at times almost too much.
      • We had a tour guide who was about four feet tall and would shout out random phrases every other step. blow my mind was his favorite. We learned the word habbi (ha- bee-bee) which is like loved one for a male.
      • I thought that when you went abroad you suddenly became a professional photographer but really it’s just everything here is beautiful. So don’t be worried you too will have beautiful pictures.
        8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16Hotel Golden Beach

        • 2.5 stars – we had a seaside room with a beautiful view and the rooms came with extra pillows which was prime. There was no WIFI though. Instead Liz and I wrote our own script for the Arabic soap opera on tv.17

          Tetuan

          • Second largest city in Morocco with 700,000 people.
          • The tea here is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. You MUST buy some.
          • We got a tour of the medina (means city in Arabic) which is the older part of the city.
          • Circumcision in the Arabic community signifies a boy passing into manhood and has been normally practiced at age 4-5.A barber used to be responsible for this but now it’s free at hospitals and is becoming more common at 1 month to 2 years.
          • People bring their bread to be baked to one local oven, don’t really know why.
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          • We went to a Berber pharmacy and listened to a sales pitch for a half hour to forty five minutes. It boosted of oils to cure hangovers and improve males performance and women’s happiness (take of that what you will).
          • It also had spices and tea, which I got three packs (buy 2 get the third free for only 6 €). For the tea you use 1 tbsp per cup and soak for 5-6 minutes.

          Berber Spice Shop

        Overall experience with We Love Spain:

        • I can’t say if it was the company or if it’s bus tours in general but you travel a lot. Which gives you a feel for the land but it’s boring.
        • People can be very inconsiderate and show up a half hour late which limits time for other things.
        • The wake-up calls were early 745 am for both days.
        • The “tours” weren’t really tours, your money mostly goes towards gas, food, and accommodations.

        Overall Morocco 

        • Borders suck and take 45 minutes to a hour for who knows what to be processed. There’s a lot of people who just hang out by the border, don’t really know why but they do. We also can’t take pictures…
        • I left like I was walking through a national geographic magazine with a feature on Morocco – I mean that’s where all my stereotypes came from.
        • I thought it was a beautiful country and very green contrary to what I thought it’d be like.

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        It’s the dirty cat capitol of the world, i have never seen more feral cats in my life and barley any dogs.

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        • You can’t drink the water unless it’s in water bottles.
        • Hagglers are constant and persistent. They also aren’t very accommodating even if you’re told otherwise.
        • The novelty of interacting with locals, getting tours, and observing the overall atmosphere of Morocco left me with an impression of appreciation.
        • The north of morocco is very poor, the livelihood of people depend on their craft, so for us battering is just trying to get a good deal and for them it’s trying to eat that night.
        • It was odd for me to experience that immediate of an essential level of deprivation on such a grand scale.
        • The division between wealthy and poor never more clear, it had me feel foolish spending 500 durhams (their currency) without much of a thought. That’s more then an average individual salary for a week.
        • I guess Morocco demanded me to take pause and face off with reality.

        Food pictures

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        I loved the food and it was all very healthy. The breakfast though was mainly carbs which I didn’t particularly like.

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        Atun crostini with capers and argula
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        Fried Fish with a side of vegetables and rice
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        Dessert of Strawberries, Apples, and Banannas in Orange Juice
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        Margarita Pizza
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        Large Famiy Size Salad Plate
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        Meat Option- A sautee of chicken, liver, olives and mushrooms
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        Mint Tea – the best I’ve had
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        Orange Salad with cinamon
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        Postre – similar to the consistency of Angel Food Cake but chocolate version
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        Typical Moroccan Salad – Tomato, carrot shreds, cucumber, cabbage, potatoes, hard boiled egg all atop three pieces of lettuce
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        Typical Moroccan Salad – Tomato, carrot shreds, cucumber, corn, green pepper, potatoes, tuna all atop three pieces of lettuce
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        Vegetable Soup
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        Vegatarian Option – Vat of Butternut Squash,Zucchini, Califlower, Yellow Squash, Carrots, Chickpeas, and Green Beas
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        Vegetarian Couscous