Change of Scenery

In June I received an email from ISA that proposed the option of going to Morocco for a week in November. Without hesitation, I knew that it was a great opportunity to see a part of the world I’d never been to and I desperately wanted to go, so I responded ‘yes’ promptly. The Morocco excursion was one that I was looking forward to the most and after the past few days spent in Northern Africa, it flew by so quickly. The trip included travelers from ISA Sevilla, Málaga, Granada and a few Paris students and visits to Fez, the town of Merzouga in the Sahara Desert and the city of Meknes.

Firstly, for our two night stay in Fez we visited the Medina (meaning ‘city center’), an outdoor market composed of thousands of streets filled with mules (Moroccan ‘Ferraris’) and vendors selling items from herbs and spices to leather goods and goats. Throughout the day, we walked over 5km of the possible 30km it would take to see the whole market. We visited a pharmacy that specialized in Argan Oil and spices, a large store selling elegant rugs small and large, an authentic (smelly) leather tannery and a tapestry seller that had thousands of unique scarves to choose from. It was a great day to experience the culture of Morocco and buy souvenirs for the family.

Leather tannery in the Medina

Our next adventure lead us to the Sahara Desert, where we camped out for two nights and indulged in lots of Moroccan cuisine. To get to the camp, we left the tour bus and hopped in 4×4 SUVs and drove along the outskirts of the desert, under a full moon. Once we arrived, we settled into our tents and headed for the dunes. I cannot describe how soft and fine the sand in the Sahara is; I will never forget the bliss I felt when my bare feet sunk into the sand dunes. Overall, we had a lovely two days filled with live music, henna’d hands and feet, and a camel ride through the dunes. Couscous, chicken, steamed vegetables and crepes kept us full throughout the day and mint tea quenched our desert thirst. With only the absence of bathrooms, it was a glorious trip and an experience I’ll never forget.

Camel transportation in the Sahara

After our Sahara stint, we began our long journey back up north accompanied by a stop in Meknes. By now, everyone was exhausted and ready to return to their homes in Spain, myself included. From here on out my weekends will be spent traveling to other European cities with friends and Thanksgiving spent in Paris with my parents. Time truly does fly when studying abroad.