In early November I had to leave the Schengen zone for my visa. It ended November 3. As long as I leave the Schengen, when I next come back into the Schengen I have 3 months as a tourist, no formal visa required. This year I chose Morocco.
I surprised myself. I have a friend from high school who travels the world and Africa seems to be her favorite destination. Not me. Europe draws me. New Zealand calls to me. But I did love Istanbul – and was able to collect Asia while in Istanbul the city on two continents. I did get to Ephesus too so I really was in Asia. The only place in Africa that intrigued me was Morocco. Yet it also scared me. Because of comments I heard from friends (tall blondes who felt uncomfortable) who toured there and Arab Spring news etc.. So I said I’ll go to Morocco when I go with a friend, not alone. I have no hesitations going alone anywhere in Europe. Not Africa. And yet…
My initial idea was to visit Gibraltar for my visa exit. It is British after all. But when I used Rome2Rio to see how to get there, it suggested flying to Tangier and then taking a ferry to Gibraltar. Hmmm. So I looked into Tangier. An up and coming town, it said. Much improved. Safe. I found a Hilton – ok, taxi to the hotel, find a guide, taxi to ferry… yes I can do that.
Interesting, isn’t it? How your mind suddenly expands when you give it a chance. When Tangier became a possibility, I found the rest of Morocco started pushing its way into my consciousness. I focused on Marrakesh at the suggestion of a French friend who loved Maroc. And you know it was a French territory or protectorate or something for years so most speak French. So many pluses… And my traveling high school buddy had just been there in February 2017 so she had a recommendation for a place to stay.
But what to do there? She suggested a cooking class. Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that a cooking class is the last thing that would interest me! Yet, what about other classes, I thought. So I found an atelier website. I could choose from a host of craft programs. I finally picked jewelry work and leather work. I planned for three nights. I have found I take in sights quickly and usually end up places with extra time – like Bordeaux this fall – I changed my train tickets and left a day early.
So arrival Friday night (delayed), guide on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon free, Sunday morning jewelry, afternoon free, and Monday morning leather and afternoon free before a early evening return flight.
Sounded perfect and it was.