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Top Ten Tuesdays – Moroccan Adventures

Olive Market in the Habous District of Casablanca, Morocco

This weekend the Semester at Sea study abroad program docked in Casablanca, Morocco.  Below are just ten of the many adventures participants have experienced thus far.

  1. Touring the Hassan II mosque in our port city.  The third-largest in the world, it boasts remarkable craftsmanship in every detail and a picturesque location on the coast.
  2. Seeing the Roman ruins at Volubilis.  Dating back to 17 B.C., participants discussed how with Semester at Sea, they are not only traveling many miles, but traveled back 2,000 years as well.
  3. Following our guides through Casablanca’s Habous district Рpassing city hall, the royal family’s palace and the souk Рonly to end up in an incredible olive market tucked into a small courtyard.
  4. Visiting the Majorelle botanical gardens in Marrakesh and gaining a welcome reprieve from the 97-degree temperatures of the city.
  5. Enjoying the Medina just outside the gates to our port.  A good place to practice one’s bargaining skills, it also provides a unique look at how the city was oriented during its time under foreign control.  The original walls built to section off the local population now encircle one of their liveliest cultural centers.
  6. Savoring traditional Moroccan meals and learning the etiquette of meal-sharing in our host country.  (Use your right hand, and ONLY your right hand when taking food from a communal dish.)
  7. Marveling at the intricate decor and attention to detail in every aspect of Moroccan architecture.  Carved stucco, painted cedar ceilings and mosaic tile can be found on every type of building.
  8. Spending an afternoon with the storytellers, snake charmers and acrobats in the Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakesh, one of only two squares in the world which UNESCO has named a World Heritage Site.
  9. Venturing out to the High Atlas Mountains and staying in Berber villages to appreciate the stunning landscape and learn about the local culture.
  10. Realizing that we can give directions to the mosque, know exactly how much we should be paying for the cab ride to the Corniche, and say “As Salam o Alaikum” with only the slightest accent.

Morocco has been wonderful, and we will disembark tonight with deep appreciation for the hospitality we have been shown and the adventures we have had.

  • Culture
  • Education
  • Life on Land

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