It’s Time for Africa! | This was my very first time on the African continent and let me tell you I really had no clue what to expect. My older sister spent a summer traveling through South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia doing an Aids Awareness program and she had a lot of interesting stories. However that was Sub-Saharan Africa and my trip was to the North African Islamic Kingdom of Morocco. If you rewind to my highschool and early college days and you will know that I was a proud Model United Nations (MUN) guy. In fact in high school, I got to attend a weeklong training session and MUN tournament at Patrick Henry College just outside Washington, DC. When I started attending Community College at age 17, I was the co-founder and president of our MUN club. And for 2 whole tournaments, I represented the Moroccan Delegation! For me, visiting Morocco was like the main reason I took this trip!
As you can read in my last post I took a 40 min ferry ride from Tarifa, across the Strait of Gibraltar, and docked in the port of Tangiers. I didn’t get to spend much time in Tangiers, but I was able to snap some cool photos. First I noticed the red colored earth and closely grouped whitewashed houses. Lost of the modern architecture and construction in Morocco is very boxy and simple. The nicest builds are always owned by members of the royal family (about 300 family members), official government buildings, or Mosques. Tangiers itself reminded me a lot of the Jordanian city of Aqaba; very hilly and slightly rocky. The coast of Morocco is breathtaking though! Unlike most of Costa del Sol, Morocco’s coast line has higher elevation and more rocky, but driving along the coastline you see these beautiful alcoves with a perfect beach access. Turns out during the 1960’s, American hippies flocked to Tangiers’ beaches to live the Sea side caves, smoke the national Hashish, and procreate with their fellow hippies.
Modern day Morocco is a well balance mixture of traditional Islamic & Berber culture along side a modernity. While Morocco as a whole I guess would be a developing nation, parts of Morocco definitely have a 3rd world feel to it. Here in Morocco the super rich royal families rub shoulders with the lower urban classes. The amount of agriculture that Northern Morocco produces totally astonished me. I guess like most people who see pictures of North Africa, I expected a more Saharan desert feel, but driving from Tangiers to Fez literally looked like driving through the wheat fields of Kansas or something. Driving through the rural national roads, we passed up dozens of trucks that were packed to the rafters with produce such as beets, sugar root, hay, and other wheat cereals.