Visiting Morocco was definitely one of my travel highlights of the year! It was so exciting and for some reason, unexpectedly so. I think the biggest draw to visiting Morocco is the authenticity you get on a holiday here. The people don’t try to edit themselves for you and become some version of themselves that traveller are taught to expect (which sometimes happens in up and coming travel destinations). Visiting Morocco and Marrakesh in particular definitely leaves you feeling you’ve gotten a sense of Moroccan life.
If you wanna push the boat further on authenticity, I recommend visiting a Berber village. Now the term “Berber” is one that I’m still not sure is politically correct (due to the origin of the word). Our tour guide referred to the people are Berbers though I think he mentioned the fact that the other name of the people is the “Amazighs”. I have a short attention span and while he was explaining this and some more important stuff, I was distracted by a baby goat skipping along… (they’re so cute!). I had to try to play catch up with the others afterwards…
On this afternoon, we took a trip to Berber village but before heading to the actual one we would be visiting, we stopped off on the way to see this one set on the hills. Don’t be fooled though – these house may look old and rather rustic but they have electricity, cable TV and phones!
The house are built near a source of water (for obvious reasons) and at certain times of the day, you can see the people from the village doing the laundry down here (apparently)
We had kids from the village run up to us as soon as the cars parked. Those kids are as sure-footed as a mountain goat. I was so impressed by how quickly they scaled the steep cliffs and climbed up to us so effortlessly.
The olive trees are planted near the rivers (again for obvious reasons) and are a mainstay in Moroccan cuisine.
We drove along, stopping to gawk at at a few villages along the way (and take in the beautiful scenery surrounding the villages)…
Finally, we arrived at the village we were visiting where a family was waiting to meet us.
We meandered our way through the village down steep alley ways though with none of the grace that the kids we saw earlier possessed albeit with several times the effort. I thought I was going to land on my ass at one point!
Finally we arrived and got to meet the ladies in the kitchen who gave us a quick tour of the house and showed us to the rest of their family.
The set the kettle on for tea (I was looking forward to this!)
The patriarch of the home serves the tea to the guests and so, kettle boiled, he got down to the business of preparing the Moroccan mint tea!
Our guide showed us the sugar from sugar cane plant which was to go into our tea (I can’t remember the guide’s name now – I told you I have a short attention span though I’m blaming those darn cute goats)..
The tea was served with homemade flatbread and olive oil…
Finally, we went on our merry way, taking a mini tour around a few other parts of the village before heading into our cars off in search for more adventures on our Moroccan trip!
I heartily recommend doing taking the time to visit a Moroccan family when you visit! It’s a nice way to learn a lot more first hand about Morocco, it’s people and cultures!
(And please please PLEASE, try not to get distracted by baby goats prancing around – no matter how cute they are or you’ll find yourself asking questions about what the tour guide said for the rest of the afternoon!)