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Moroccan marvels

By Grayson Capener Crane | Dec 20, 2017 | Field Studies, Shore Leave

Excitement was in the air, as we slowly came to the dock in the commercial port of Agadir Morocco, we were finally out of Europe and beginning to explore much more of the world.

Written on the side of the mountain, were three words in arabic that we would later find out, said God, Country, King. During our shore leave days  we all went to do some amazing activities, On the first day I rode camels to the national park of Sous Massa, and saw wild flamingos. Others went to the spa to get massage and traditional Hamam or body scrubbing. Visited the local market the “Souk Ilhad”

On our day of field studies we were immersed in the culture of both the Moroccan people and Burber people, the natives of Morocco. The day began with a drive to Sous Massa, with guides that led us through the park by bus, we saw wildlife from our windows, wild Ostriches, Gazelle, Deer and Oryx. Once we drove out of the park we headed to a local restaurant for a four course traditional meal. Dancers and musicians greeted us at the entranceway with loud drums and the women handed the girls sprigs of spice leaves. We ate beef and vegetables cooked in triangular pots, turkey kebab, Cous Cous with powdered sugar, cinnamon and organ oil and almond butter sauce, Moroccan cookies and mint tea which they call Moroccan whiskey. The garden had Papaya trees, orange trees, banana trees, and tortoises they kept to keep away snakes.

After lunch we drove to a local beach where we had a half hour of free time, some visited a man who lived in a cave in the cliffside and surfed everyday. some rode a camel that came visiting with a man who was on his daily commute. In the fishing community there, they eat lost of shellfish and leave the shells out, the beach was very secluded. We drove to one of the many reservoirs that Morocco has. It was high in the hills and a good viewpoint for pictures. Burger people welcomed us into their homes with Moroccan whiskey (tea). We headed next to the mini dunes of the pre- sahara, a small patch of land that was suffering from desertion, and left without water, were rolling hills of sand and organ trees. A nomad had camels resting under a tree that he let us take pictures of.

We drove to the town of Tizinit (Tifnit) famous for it’s silver mines and jewelry makers. Precious metals are one of Morocco’s main exports. We bargained for silver and asked how they made the jewelry. We drove back to Agadir for dinner and the Fantasia show. We were seated in our own large tent with tapestries hung on the walls and ceiling, carpets on the floor and chairs. Dinner was similar to lunch. Traditional food and dancers, that pulled us out of our seats to dance and sing along. After dinner we saw shows of fire breathers, a belly dancer, acrobats and an aArabian horse show with guns that fired rounds of gunpowder.