A journey through Morocco displays the entire gamut of colours—from deep reds to bright blues—and offers a wide range of immersive experiences. By Samir Bhatnagar
Picking a winter holiday destination to visit from Europe can be tricky. For me, Morocco was high on the list. Holidays in this African country are reputed to be immersive and rich experiences, more adventurous than relaxing. The country serves up a cultural joyride rich in flavours, if you are up for it.
Since I hail from New Delhi, Marrakesh felt somewhat familiar. There is beauty amid chaos, and if you are not easily rattled by too much of everything, you can find some treasures. The Medina of Marrakesh appeared like an underground city from an Arabian classic. It is a partially covered bazar with aromas ranging from Argan oil and olives to camel leather. It also offers some fabulous cafes; Bacha Coffee looked like it had leaped right out of a James Bond movie.
Around the Medina, you encounter majestic chariots led by beautiful Berber horses. Taking a ride in one of these is a chaotic experience, with lots of action happening everywhere you turn and scooters whizzing past dangerously. You might also be called out to attention—I was likened to Shah Rukh Khan a lot, even though I look nothing like him! Bollywood is very popular here, and you might come across a radio or two playing popular Indian songs.
In northwest Morocco lies the mountain town of Chefchaouen, popularly called the blue city of Morocco. It was surreal to walk through its hilly terrain, as if visually experiencing Eiffel 65’s hit single I’m Blue. No Moroccan odyssey is complete without a desert safari, though. A long bus ride from Marrakesh took me to Ait- Ben-Haddou—Game of Thrones fans know it as Yunkai— with its stunning earthy castles and mesmerising sand dunes. Dromedaries are Berbers’ best friends, and I realised that they are cool operators on the tough sea of Saharan sand. Finally, a night under the starry sky nicely rounded off a mesmerising sojourn.
Related: #TNLVirtualTour: Morocco