After the last leg of the European adventure, I flew out of our last stop, Rome. I got a stamp in my passport, and boarded a flight headed for Morocco, on my third continent, Africa!
This would be my first time in Africa, and I was definitely looking forward to arriving. After the initial culture shock from being in Europe, five months of living in Bilbao made me quite accustomed to Spanish life, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in other countries in Europe as well.
After finding a new sense of normalcy, I was excited to arrive in Africa to experience a nice dose of culture shock, to round out the final few weeks of my time before returning to Wichita.
My first flight was to Casablanca, where I had a short layover before the connecting flight to Marrakech. On this flight, I got my first glimpse of the Mother Continent from the air.
When I landed in Casablanca, I entered the terminal, and it was probably one of the coolest and most unique airports I’ve seen yet.
After a short layover here, I landed in Meharrakech around 6 p.m., and since my hostel was just over three miles away, I decided to walk and experience the city on my way to the hostel, rather than drive through it in an expensive taxi ride.
It didn’t take very long for me to realize I had made the right decision, because the beauty, colors, and environment of this city blew me away. I had not done much research on the city beforehand, but walking through the parks filled with families and friends enjoying a nice july Friday night, as well as seeing all of the incredible architecture, was a wonderful first impression.
I arrived to my hostel, had some dinner, then headed to bed to get some rest. The next day, my first full day in the city, I headed out to see a bit of the city and explore the markets near the main square.
This part of the trip is definitely where I felt the most culture shock. Walking through the markets amongst people of all different backgrounds, combined with the heat, and all the different colors and new smells was a definitely an experience I’ll never forget.
After a bit of exploring, I headed back to my hostel, where I booked a tour to go do what inspired me to come to Morocco in the first place: go spend a night in the Sahara Desert! I would be leaving the next morning at 6 am to start the 10-hour journey to the desert, with some stops along the way.
I’ll be writing about that experience in my next article, so don’t forget to check it out!