4 Day Travel Guide to Morocco

Cats, Hash, and Ballbaggery Whether You like It or Not

The stresses of life and work can build up over time. If you don’t have time for that big trip you’ve always wanted, you should at least make time for a long weekend somewhere. Morocco isn’t on everyone’s list, but the enchanting city of Chefchaouen should be. Here’s a typical 4 day excursion and how you can expect to feel

Day 1: Getting around with Taxis

Arrive at your port of choice by air or sea. Soak in the shining sun and absorb the smell of spices, fruit, and bread your city has to offer. You’ll probably have to get a shuttle to the heart of the city, or perhaps you can rent a cab straight to Chefchaouen. Men will approach shouting prices in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic and after asking for a discount for the taxi, you’ll be aggressively shot down. With no other options, you’ll have to stomach the price. Assuming you’re in Tangier or Marrakech, the ride should only be 2 or 3 hours.

The driver won’t have too much English but will be keen to practice, and so begins your long journey of awkward interchanges. What’s that noise though? The car breaks down on the side of the road and you wait for the replacement taxi in silence. A similar or worse looking car arrives with a new driver with whom you can feign interest in conversing with.

From Taxi to Guest House

Upon entering Chefchaouen, the driver will point you in the right direction, give you your bags, and set you free. Another man approaches. A pattern is beginning to emerge. He claims to have no interest in your money, only to take you to a guesthouse. When you arrive, the inevitable outcome in your head doesn’t surface. You can try to tip the man, but he’ll refuse and offer to sell you some hash instead, which you can refuse or accept depending on your inclination, before failing to haggle for the price of the room.

You can try to tip the man, but he’ll refuse and offer to sell you some hash instead…

The guesthouse will be nice enough and you head out into the city to grab some dinner, a nice Moroccan tagine and some mint tea. Delicious. Tired from your day of shouting numbers at strangers, you retire to bed.

Day 2: Explore the city

Strolling out into the city during daylight brings with it new sight for your virgin eyes. Everything is built in stone and painted in vivid blue. You can spend the entire day just exploring the city, taking photos, drinking tea, and eating tagine.

Walking through the main strip will provide you with another opportunity to come up with creative ways to refuse buying hash. You’ll have plenty of chances to do so. There is an abundance of kittens throughout the city, you can stop to play with them as they are friendly enough, and the locals seem to look after them well enough. The man who offered you has yesterday finds you again and pushes the same agenda. Tonight you struggle to sleep as the sugar from the numerous mint teas plays havoc with your energy levels.

Day 3: Ballbaggery and being followed

Perhaps you’ll want to hike one of the nearby hills to view the sea of blue from the outside. The nearby mosque is high and far enough away to serve as a vantage point. On the way through the main strip, the locals trying to sell you hash will recognise you and try even harder, following you for a good few minutes.

Here is where the word ‘ballbaggery’ was coined.

A freshly squeeze orange juice purchased just outside the old city offers a break from the mint tea, but retains your sugar levels. The hike to the mosque is hot but pleasant, and the mosque is surrounded by screaming goats. The kind of screaming you make when you’re very angry, but your voice is beginning to break. It’s hilarious. On the way back into the city you play with the kittens again, noticing that you’re coming to the end of your third day, and you haven’t seen a fully grown cat yet. Strange.

After a small rest you head back out, trying to avoid the ballbaggery of refusing hash. For your final meal you feel you should veer away from tagine to try something else, but everything else is hamburgers or some other western rubbish, so you opt for a different type of tagine.

Day 4: Departure

The day of your departure sees you looking for souvenirs. More ballbaggery ensues as you try to haggle the price for a badly made fridge magnet. You’re hungry so you force down another tagine and order the tea you no longer enjoy but are craving. A weak looking kitten can be seen coughing in the corner, shunned by the other cats. The owner of the cafe makes one last attempt to engage in a bit of ballbaggery before you decide it’s time to get overcharged for a taxi back to the port/airport.

At the end of your trip, your stress levels from work will have been replaced by nightmares of haggling for everything and refusing to buy stuff from local shop owners, so in a sense the trip has filled it’s purpose.

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