Hear about travel to Morocco as the Amateur Traveler talks to Ralph Velasco about his recent photography tour of the country. Ralph tells us about some of his favorite cities in the country Chefchaouen and Essaouira in a trip that also included Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Fes.
“I had never heard of Chefchaouen or Essaouira before this trip either but as I was doing my research I started looking into them and certainly after I was able to experience these places I just fell in love with them because they were so exotic and interesting, just like stepping back in time.”
Chefchaouen is in the Northern part of the country. “Morocco has a very French influence, but in Chefchaouen, there is a Spanish influence as well because it is very close to southern Spain. What I loved about Chefchaouen is that it’s like stepping back in time. It’s this town that’s built between two mountains. The houses are all painted in varying shades of blue and lavender, so very colorful. These are towns where I could easily fill my time with just getting lost in the back streets, sitting down, having some mint tea, and walking into the local bakery. ”
Essaouira is a working port, there is a big fishing industry there. They’ve got dozens and dozens of boats. There are dozens of miles of beaches there, and it is known for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
“What really surprised me is that it [Morocco] did have that Muslim influence. You see the locals walking around in the djellabas, these incredible markets in Fez and Marrakech, but what really surprised me is the European influence. There is this cultural exchange I had not anticipated, but that makes for a wonderful cuisine. The food was phenomenal.”
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