Travel to the Holy City of Moulay Idriss
Moulay Idriss is known as the “Holy City”. Moulay Idriss is filled with the richness of Moroccan culture. It has many religious and traditional aspects of the town. It is located on a mountain and is just a 30 minute taxi ride from Meknès. We went to stay in Moulay Idriss in hopes to go hiking and to experience the Roman Baths. We did not fulfill this, however we will come back! No hiking because of precaution and we need to bring a Moroccan friend to hike with us. The paths are very free so it is important to have someone knowledgeable about the trails.
Look at how beautiful the nature is here though!
We stayed at an air bnb and we had the sweetest hosts. They lived on the mountainside of course and they view was spectacular. I found their Moroccan hospitality to be outstanding. We were made dinner with typical dishes such as tagines, bread, Moroccan tea and for dessert oranges with cinnamon. Delicious!!
The picture below is not the food that was made by our air bnb, but this is a good portrayal of food that is ate in Morocco.
Moulay Idriss is not touristy at all and is the place to go if you want to relax and truly experience the culture. We experienced the Saturday souks, the farmer markets, the streets filled with food to buy and products to buy. We bought a bunch of oranges for around 5 Dirham (MAD) this equivalents to around .50 USD. The oranges are delicious in Morocco and were the perfect treat for our day.
When wandering around the town we met a local who took us on a tour. In other places of Morocco people are pushy to get you to buy things such as in Marrakech or Casablanca, but we did not feel forced or pushed. Coming to Moulay Idriss is perfect for experiencing the culture and was a chance for us to practice our language skills.
We went on a tour with a local Moroccan who guided us through the extremely confusing roads of Moulay Idriss. It is very steep with very narrow roads. There are no taxis inside the town, but you will see donkeys often. The guy kept saying that is Moulay Idriss’s taxi the donkey!
We finally made it to the top where we overlooked the town. It was beyond gorgeous. It was very nice to be able to watch the sunset here and also be with a local who spoke English well. He helped also with teaching us some words and it was nice to be able to have that connection.
The sunset was phenomenal. Look at this view!!!!
We had learned a lot of the culture by asking our air bnb hosts, practiced our French, and even went on a picnic with the family. Conversing with the local Moroccan gave us perspective on what locals live like, the culture, and skills with communicating. He was very kind to us when we used as many Arabic, Darija or French words with him. Also, I barely know how to communicate in these new languages so body language has been extremely helpful. When you are immersed in a new language there are cues that you try to look for in desperation for understanding. I am understanding gestures more and when traveling to a country it is important to research body language and gestures along with the language to help you!
Overall I am learning a lot every day in class and just walking around. I am gaining so much insight of their culture and it is fascinating. With learning a new language and immersing yourself in culture it is important to gain multiple perspectives of that culture.
Go out and adventure my friends. Moulay Idriss was extremely humbling and showed the care and hospitality of Moroccans.
When you learn about the world you learn about yourself.