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Off to Africa

by Katarina Hedstrom

Over the past two months I’ve been able to knock cities and countries off my bucket list. Two weeks ago I got to cross off a continent. My friends Catherine, Danielle, Kate and I traveled to Morocco with DiscoverExcursions. I knew if I was going to travel to Morocco it would be with a group so it was a perfect fit.

The first part of the trip was getting to Seville (or Sevilla) where the bus would be taking us to the Southern tip of Spain. We got there with enough time to walk around the city, or a tourist activity that I’m getting good at – dodging as many rain drops as I can while seeing as many famous sights as I can. A few free tapas later we were off to Africa!

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IMG_3949Once we were in Morocco I was beyond ecstatic seeing as I finally got the first stamp in my Swedish passport. We drove to where we would be staying – Hotel La Paloma – and had a quick dinner where we were first exposed to the different kinds of foods we would be eating. And then it was the highlight of my day: going to bed. Let’s just say after a day of a two hour plane ride, three hour bus ride, hour long ferry ride, passport control for a group of 40 people, and another hour and a half bus ride, I was beyond excited to sleep.

Saturday started with an early breakfast of mainly carbs: donuts, cake, and more carbs so I was completely content. We were on the road by 9 to “The Blue City”- Chefchaouen. Along the way, we stopped at an overlook. The scenery – mountainous; not what I expected. Then again, don’t tell me that when people think of Africa you think of Pride rock and are expecting to kick it with Pumbaa and Timon.

Chef is a beautiful city, nicknamed the blue city because the majority of the buildings are painted – blue. It was one of the first and biggest villages due to it’s location; summers can get up to 46 degrees Celsius (114 Fahrenheit) and in the winter, there’s snow on the mountains making for the most fertile soil in that region. It is also a very holy city, with many mosques. Painting buildings blue is supposedly done to help act as a natural air conditioner, and also keep out mosquitoes and flies. We spent our time in the Medina, which is the old part of town that is surrounded by stone walls. We had a tour, but with 40 of us, it was hard to really hear anything he had to hear. But you really didn’t need any information because just looking around was enough.

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After the tour we headed to a restaurant called La Lampe Magique which had a fun Aladdin theme, even the waiters were dressed as Aladdin. At this point I was a little nervous about eating the meat so I became a vegetarian for the rest of the weekend, something I would be thankful later on.

Free time was next so the four of us looked around a little, and went up the nearby hill a little ways to get views of the city.

Back at the hotel was dinner, a little show of folk Moroccan music, and bed.

Sunday was the longest day of my life, but not in a bad way. It started with an early checkout and breakfast, and then a bus trip to go do what I came to do – ride a camel! The ride itself was short but it was well worth it, plus the view wasn’t too bad either.


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We stopped for lunch before making our way to the coastal town of Asilah. This town is known for being more artsy, and what the guides called “graffiti” could be found all over the city. This graffiti was actually beautiful paintings on the sides of buildings.

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After a little free time to shop and explore we were back on our way to Spain. Camels, scarves, people with contagious happiness, delicious food, unforgettable tea – I’ll be back again Morocco.

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