Friday, November 19, 2010

An Intricately Detailed 3rd World Country


You don't even have to understand the desert: all you have to do is contemplate a simple grain of sand, and you will see in it all the marvels of creation.
-The Alchemist

I’m on a train riding though the heart of Austria trying to gather my thoughts - trying to figure out where to start. I guess the best place would be the beginning…

As soon as Okem and I stepped off the plane, we were met by perfect, dry, sunny weather! With two weeks ahead of us we were all finally together… Hello Morocco!

Our welcome drink at Riad Maison Arabe!
Arriving at Riad Maison Arabe, we were greeted with a million smiles and a welcome drink of fresh squeezed OJ. Basically, we were treated like royalty! They often said confidently, “For you, all is possible!”

The view over Jamaa El Fna Square at sunset! 
The medina (market) of Marrakech seemed to go on forever: selling everything from spices to leather purses to beautiful handmade rugs! After spending a couple hours trying my best at bargaining, I became the grouch and needed serenity and fuel (food). Sneaking away above the JamaĆ¢ El Fna Square, we sipped mint tea (the national drink that I could never refuse) while watching the sunset transform the square into an exotic circus. The empty spaces filled with snake charmers, street performers, and drum circles, and whiffs of delicious foods filled the air. It was both breathtaking and invigorating! After a walk through the square, I ended up with a hand decorated with henna and a feeling I was just let into a secret party unknown to many.
This guy, who we called Yoda, led us on a long walk through the medina to a hidden beautiful restaurant! 
Then, Yoda took us to this spice shop! 

Camel ride into the Sahara Desert with Judy and Nick (ironically from Alabama).
Sahara Desert!

After three days and a lot of shopping, Okem and I took a 12-hour bus ride into the Sahara Desert. The windy and treacherous road over the Atlas Mountains took us to a small town at the base of the yellow dunes called Merzouga! The day after, we couldn’t stop ourselves from giggling about our next immediate adventure: a camel ride into the Sahara Desert! After the stunning sunset, we rolled down the dunes, found our camels at the bottom, and rode to camp! There, we found ourselves eating, once again, a delicious meal prepared by the Berbers (the desert men).  After dinner, we laid in the desert staring at the billions of stars, picking out the little constellations we knew and making up a few. I had to be pinched to make sure I was still alive!

My Camel, Rose! We bonded!
I can’t wait to tell you more about this poor yet exotic country! More to come soon!


  1. Fascinating!!! I love the picture at the top! It looks like a travel advertisement for Morocco.

  2. I'm just smiling... Big cheesy grin. Love the writing (it flows out of you so eloquently) and the pictures even more. I have to remind myself that I was just there too. Simply beautiful.

  3. Kat! Your pics and post are so amazing. I am so happy you are experiencing so many amazing things!