Last weekend I went to Morocco. Yes that’s right MOROCCO. Man, was it an experience.
Our day started with a 6:30am Ferry from Algeciras (Spain) and 3 hours sleep. But we didn’t care, we were headed for Africa!
I don’t think I realised how much of a culture shock Tangier (a major city in Northern Morocco) was going to be.
Once in Tangier the six of us (three Australians, one Canadian and one Swedish) set off on foot to the main marketplace in the city.
The marketplace was absolute madness! There was everything from litre bags of fresh herbs, raw chickens hung by their necks, dead goat heads, mountains of olives, slabs and slabs of fresh bread and much more.
The most eye catching moment was the fish section of the market. At first I was very hesitant to enter due to the vile smell but with enthusiasm from the boys I ventured slowly through the doors. I was so glad I went in, the array and variety of fish was just incredible. From live crabs to the head of a sword fish I found it hard to leave the place.
By this time we became quite peckish and deliriously tired (remember, we only had 3 hours sleep) so we set off for somewhere to eat and a place to rest.
As we approached the main street with numerous small cafes and restaurants we were heckled by a few different store owners to eat at their restaurant. However, earlier that morning we had already made a promise to one of these owners that we would return to his place.
Caption: Conner and Sam on a main street roundabout getting coerced by two different restaurant workers.
Once we arrived, we were ushered to our orange plastic chairs covered by umbrellas placed next to a small fridge with plentiful amounts of fresh food.
The waiter kept asking us what we would like; in the end we literally just said, “choose for us”. After a mumble of what seemed one third English, one third French and one third Arabic we expected a chicken and lamb dish to share between the six of us.
Fresh bread that we had seen minutes before in the markets and a selection of oil and vinegar arrived to our table within seconds. Next to arrive was a colourful plate of salad which included: lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion. Accompanying this was a plate of fries. Thinking this was all that was to come, my friends and I devoured the food. However, minutes later came two big plates of Moroccan couscous with chicken. A plate of lamb shish also arrived. The only off putting aspect to the meal was that when I went to eat the chicken, all I could imagine was the raw chickens hanging just meters away in the marketplace! Along with this delicious meal I got mint tea, possibly the most refreshing and tasty tea I have ever had!
Once it came around to bill time we were all a little anxious hoping that it wasn’t going to cost a fortune. Much to our amazement the whole meal with drinks was less than 10 Euros (or 100 Durhams) each!
After lunch we managed a little more sight-seeing and just soaked up the buzzing but different atmosphere of Morocco. I definitely would recommend a trip to this part of the world, purely on the basis of its tasty, fresh food. One tip though… take a plane instead of a ferry. Only take a ferry if you are happy to endure many lines of people, cars, trucks, large suitcases and major delays (this is however a whole other story to be told).
- Photographer: Justine McKenna
- Photographer: Georgina Cunningham
- Photographer: Justine McKenna