One day after lunch at a home in a Berber village, Mustapha showed us how Moroccans make the fresh mint tea that is so much a part of their daily life. He explained that mint tea is meant to awaken all five senses. During the pour, the server holds the tea pot high above the glass, and you see the stream of tea splash into the glass. You hear the glass filling and smell the fresh mint. When you touch the glass to pick it up, you feel the warmth of the hot tea. And finally, you taste the tea, with its fresh mint and sugar.
Like mint tea, our Moroccan adventure offered an intense experience for the five senses-hiking and cycling in the Atlas mountains and countryside, camel riding on the Atlantic beach, wandering the medinas of Essaouira and Marrakech, eating exotic and delicious foods, and retreating to the quiet of our inns and riads at night. And through our guides and the people we met in our travels, we caught a glimpse of the multicultural Morocco with its Arabic, Berber, Moslem and Jewish and French heritages.
We have repeatedly been asked by friends whether it is “safe” to travel to Morocco. Yes, it is safe to travel and stay there. The irony of this question is that we live in a country with the highest rate of mass shootings for any developed country, and where the inner cities of all our major metropolitan areas are extremely dangerous for gun violence. There are urban areas throughout the United States that none of us would drive through for fear of crime. We felt safer walking around in Marrakech and Essaouira at night than we would have in many places here. Such fears should not prevent you from traveling to Morocco.
The featured photo above presents an illusion-am I standing in a window (with Howard taking the photo) or photographing myself in a mirror at the El Badi Palace in Marrakech? Perhaps the gallery below can answer that question.