From ancient medinas to camel treks in the Sahara Desert, this lively and cultured country offers a variety of exciting things to do. My first time here on the African continent and I chose the nation of Morocco. Rich with history, culture, and various landscapes, Morocco is a lovely entryway into the rest of the continent.
My first day was spent within the ancient medina of Fez. Now, this is where it becomes a matter of preference. To me and many others, within seconds you fall in love with the pandemonium that is that ancient medinas of Fez. Others will run away in horror. You see, the medina is about a thousand years old and it looks the same way as the day it was built. I found it incredibly beautiful and unique. To have something so old and so well preserved just shows the care that was given to protect this millennium old marvel. It’s the world’s largest urban area that is car-free, which adds even more charm to it. Within the labyrinth you’ll be pleased to find a large crowded market selling all sorts of items. From hand sewn Moroccan rugs to knockoff leather merchants, you can buy a ton here for an extremely low price. A trip to Fez is not complete without visiting the madness within the walls of the medina.
For those who are claustrophobic or just plain don’t care for historical places, an adventure through the Saharan Desert might intrigue you. Come the second day of my travels through Morocco, I ventured off to the desert which was over seven hours away. After a seven-hour drive with my good friend Abar, an off-road ride to our camels, and then a one hour camel trek into the middle of the desert I finally made it to my home for the night.
Just before dusk, we set out on the camels to reach our base for the night. If you’ve never been to the desert before, I recommend you do so if you want to feel completely isolated. Sure, you have others with you riding the other camels. However, the desert is so vast, so quiet, eerie. Envision yourself surrounded by 30-foot-high sand dunes, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but fellow travelers, camels, and a couple of cats. It’s a strange feeling, both exciting and frightening. The good kind of frightening though, like when you watch a horror movie.
As we reach the base, the sun is just about set behind the dunes giving just a glimmer of light highlighting the edges of the horizon. I get to my tent to drop off all my belongings and get ready for dinner. The crew at the base has prepared a lovely meal for the ten of us. Oddly enough all from separate parts of the world. We begin chatting, getting to know one another, telling stories of our travels.
Where the best mountain peaks are.
The best street food in the world.
Loveliest villages in Europe.
The conversation goes on for another hour or so before we start heading to the tents for bed. Come the morning, we all chat once more during breakfast just before the sun rose and I’ll never forget what happened next.
Everyone gets up from the table and goes to the entrance of the base. We all look out towards the horizon and we see one of the camels perfectly silhouetted atop the dunes like something out of a National Geographic film. A picture perfect moment that was so perfect, no one wanted to break their infatuated gaze with the scene in front of them. We just stood there in silence, deep silence, and watched as the day began before we slowly rode back towards our next adventure.
by Kevin Czopek
About the author:
Kevin is an adventure enthusiast who has managed to travel through 20+ countries as well as 20 states over the past two years, all while juggling part-time jobs and obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Sciences. The devout explorer uses his photography and writing to tell unique, passionate stories about his travels. When he’s not hiking up active volcanoes in Indonesia or camel trekking through the Sahara Desert, he’s most likely editing his photography portfolio or typing up a new entry for his blog http://mytravelthoughts.com/ . To find more of Kevin’s photos you can visit https://kevinczopek.pixieset.com/