Our featured blogger, Sabina Trojanova, stays with a local family in Morocco and gets a deeper understanding of the country and its culture. Includes video
Have you ever taken a two-hour bus ride in the scorching North African heat to spend a night in a stranger's house? Well, I have and it was the highlight of my trip to Morocco.
My friend Becky and I went on a brief, five-day vacation to Morocco to celebrate her upcoming birthday. But it wouldn't be me if I didn't try to push the envelope a little and yearn to see the real heart of the country. And that could hardly be found in the increasingly touristy city of Marrakech.
The Berber Cultural Center – a little community at the foot of the Atlas mountains run by the incredible Mohamed Elhansali – promised to show me just that and it did not disappoint. The Berbers are called "Amazigh" in their language, but after our stay Becky and I decided that it should really be "Amazing". Check out my video below and I'm sure you'll agree.
I simply can’t explain how incredible my time at the Berber Cultural Center was. I’m genuinely considering visiting again this winter – in late November they pick olives and make their own oil, which sounds like a very important and highly applicable skill, right? Right?!
First of all, I have to say that I was surprised by how beautiful the place was. Bright walls, warm hues, tall green plants and cushions – cushions everywhere! As someone who loves napping as much as your average koala, the omnipresence of cushions made me very happy indeed.
I must admit that my appreciation of the place's interior design was eclipsed by my enjoyment of the food. Man, the food! Even the fruits tasted approximately 7.25 times better than the fruits you can buy in a typical Russian supermarket (for those of you who don't know, I live in Moscow at the moment). 7.25! That's some real science for y'all.
But most importantly, the Moroccan countryside completely swept me off my feet. I actually grew up next to a big forest in a small town in western Bohemia. By Western standards, our flat probably wasn't much, but there was a bloody forest - not to mention several fields - in our backyard!
I spend the majority of my time in high heels and my favourite form of exercise is lifting a fork to my mouth, so most people don't take me for the outdoorsy type. But I love nature and miss it terribly now that I'm moving from one metropolis to another. Morocco, with its clay pottery and camels, looks nothing like the place I come from, yet it made me feel strangely at home.
Price: 200-250 MAD per night (18-22€), including all food, transport and activities
My name is Sabina and I have been gracing this planet with my presence for twenty fabulous years. During the past two decades, I have had the pleasure of living in four countries and am nowhere near done. I have a passion for fashion and I revel in travel - my suitcase is always packed full of style, big dreams and crumpled up pages. You can keep up with my latest exploits on Facebook.