“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.” Rumi
f I were to sum up Morocco in one word, it would be, pride
. Moroccans are extremely proud of their heritage, their culture, their food, their hospitality, their foreign relations; they’re even proud of their pride. It’s certainly not without good cause, either.
Morocco is not Turkey
Most shops and restaurants in the medina are not marked with signs to tell you where you are. We sought a decent ratio of tourists and locals at any given cafe: locals, to prove it wasn’t just a tourist trap; tourists, to prove that our sensitive stomachs would handle the menu. At one such cafe, we sat for a late breakfast, and I ordered a Moroccan coffee. As the waiter brought my coffee, my husband asks him if it’s anything like Turkish coffee. “NO! It’s nothing like Turkish coffee,” the waiter, clearly disgusted by the idea added, “it’s MOROCCAN coffee. Pure Morocco.” He walked away. The husband asked for a taste, which I granted. He takes a sip, stares me in the eye, and says, “it’s Turkish coffee.”
Later, we stop by the hammam in our hotel. The hammam attendant asks us if we’ve ever had Moroccan hammam (spa) before. The husband says he’s been to a hammam in Turkey but adds that it’s my first time. The attendant scoffs and asserts, “Moroccan hammam are much different!” I have nothing to compare it too, but my lovely husband assured me after it was done that it’s nearly the same.
The Bahia palace is breathtaking. Tickets are only 10 dirhams per person ($1 USD at the present exchange rate). The palace is worth every penny. Built in the late 19th century by a grand vizier of the sultan, the Bahia palace was intended to be the greatest palace of its time.
The gardens of Bahia Palace
Immediately upon entering, you are greeted by a beautiful garden. Gardens are central to Islamic architecture: they represent heaven. Wander around and, if you’re lucky, get here early to get a few shots without the crowds. This palace is a popular tourist attraction for a good reason! Continue Reading…