North: Cities and Coastline
Morocco was a surprise to me in that it has so much to offer on a road trip in a rather compact space, and nicely close to my home in Europe. This part shows impressions of the first half of our journey on the northern side of the Atlas mountain range, which goes from north east to south west dividing Morocco. My personal favorite is the second part with its scarce but impressive landscape. But in the north, bustling medinas (old towns) and beautiful city gardens blew my mind as well.
Our trip started in Fes, being thrown into the bustling labyrinth of the old town, the medina. Shopping in the busy streets with their markets, wandering in the quiet streets. Rabat is the capital, with a more commercial flair, government buildings, the big king's palace, and the old and well restored fortress. Unfortunately work on a supposedly ugly hotel temple by the emirates has started which will ruin the view from the kasbah soon. Casablanca has mostly a gigantic mosque to show off to visitors, and grand development plans that will not save its lack of charm. El Jadida is a quiet little jewel on the coast, not visited much by international tourists. Essaouira seems attractive to tourists through its nice and long city beach. But really, beaches are nicer in between the cities, and key to Essaouira is its active port life. People are selling, repairing, eating, discussing, wandering about. Marrakech again is more of a hub, not a place to discover anything you wouldn't love more in other cities.