My son and I are leaving our small town in southeastern United States to live for a year in a small town in southeastern France. It couldn't possibly be THAT different, right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Dream Trip

    Twenty-five years ago, I met a Moroccan family in a train car heading back to France from Spain, and they were really nice.  They had brought all kinds of wonderful food for the trip, which they shared with me along with stories and photos of their beautiful country.  I never saw my travel buddies again, but ever since that encounter, I have dreamed about visiting Morocco.
    My dream came true last week on February 12th when Jed and I took a plane from Lyon to Marrakech along with our friends Erin and Dan.  I am very grateful to these new travel partners for changing their plans to go to Tunisia so that they could travel with us.  I don't know if I would have gone without them.  As much as I'd like to think that I am up for adventure, I was uneasy about traveling alone with my child (without a man) to a country whose culture I did not really know that well.  When Dan found this trip on the SNCF website, I jumped on it, and we had our reservations soon afterwards.
    What I loved about the tour was the variety of landscapes that we saw.  I had no idea that Morocco was a country of such great contrasts.  We crossed the Atlas Mountains and its valleys; we watched the sun set in the desert; we lunched in villages with mud and straw houses; we stayed in modern cities with millions of inhabitants; we passed by a ski resort and through a forest of cedar trees and skirted the Atlantic Ocean; we visited Roman ruins and saw several of the king's fourteen palaces; we wound our way through market mazes and watched artisans of all kinds at work; we were up close (and a little too personal at times) with camels and snakes and monkeys (oh my!), and we admired sacred places from a respectful distance.  In all, we travelled 1900 kilometers across Morocco, beginning and ending in Marrakech.  We ate extremely well and enjoyed the company of not only Erin and Dan but of Laurie and Frank, a French couple from Brittany, and of our driver Hussef and even of our grumpy guide, Hassan.
We went to Marrakech, Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, Erfoud, Fes, Volubilis, Meknes, Rabat, and Casablanca.

Jed was so taken with our driver, Hussef, that he cried after he left.  He's heartbroken at the thought of never seeing him again.

Hassan was not quite as warm as Hussef, but he took good care of us.  

No comments:

Post a Comment