Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roadtrip I

We started our adventure bright and early Sunday morning and began our 3 hour drive to Casablanca, our first stop. When we arrived to the city we went to Hassam II's mosque. This mosque is the third largest mosque in the world. Hassan the second donated 1/3 of his personal wealth and took donations from the citizens of Morocco in order to begin construction of this mosque over water. The minaret is taller than the pyramids of Giza! We weren't allowed in, but from what we could see of the inside it's attention to detail couldn't be more intricate. This is where we picked up our friend Ryan, another TSSer who is living in Morocco right now for school. We didn't stay long in Casablanca because we had another 3 hour drive to Marrakech, so we loaded the cars back up and continued on our way. We arrived in Marrakech later that night and finally found the apartment we were going to be staying in. We stayed in Marrakech for two days. One day we went to our friend Laila's house, where her family prepared an amazing lunch for us. We spent another afternoon at the waterpark cooling off from the hot Moroccan sun. One night we went to Teatro, voted morocco's "best nightclub since 2004." We paid extra to get a couch and a table and it was in such a great spot...right against the speakers. Sitting on the couches felt like a really bumpy car ride with all of the vibrations pulsating through. However we didn't sit long, we spent most of the night dancing on the stage in true TSS style. Another night we went to the medina and explored there and had some amazing fresh squeezed orange juice. After Marrakech, we drove to Essaouira, which is known as the windy city, which we found to definitely be true. Located right on the Atlantic, Essaouira remains relatively cool. When we went out that night I had to wear my sweatshirt, which I didn't expect to ever happen. Our hotel was located within the medina, so were in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the city. That night we went out to dinner and then took a walk along the beach at night. Here's a fun fact - off the coast of Essaouira, only a couple of kilometers away, is a little island that is home to a castle which inspired Jimi Hendrix to write the song "Castles in the Sand." Anyways, we only spent a night there and left the next afternoon to begin a 3 hour drive to Agadir. Agadir so far was the first city I felt like I wasn't in Morocco; a lot of cruise ships port here so it's more touristy. We arrived in the afternoon and met up with Taha's friend, who was a great host and showed us around the two days we were there, and went to our apartment. That night we went down to the marina where we had dinner and hung out at the beach. We also had entertainment courtesy of another tourist. As we are sitting on the beach, a girl sprints by wearing a thong bikini and dives right into the ocean. Naturally, this caught a lot of men's attention. As she came back out, she couldn't seem to find where she was originally sitting. People tried to point her in the right direction, but she just kept wandering farther and farther away. Whoever she was with, it appeared to be her brother, didn't really care that she was lost; he too just watched her roam around. Eventually she made it back. The next day we went back to the beach and spent the entire time playing in the waves. We had a lot of fun and emerged from the water to discover our skin was a lot redder than before. We had lunch and ate the best chicken tagine I've had yet. It was amazing and I really wish you could have all had some. After lunch, we departed on our way towards our next city!

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