Everytime someone asks me what I enjoyed the most in Morocco, I tend to say something different. My answer is never the same, and it seems that my favorite thing really just depends on my mood at the time I’m asked. Though I’ve given it lots of thought, I really can’t choose a favorite day or excursion. I enjoyed each day so much because every day was entirely different from the one before! Our “itinerary” was usually irreverent to our actual schedule, which was one of the things that made each day so exciting, we never knew what to expect next. However, what each sunrise brought was a beautiful day and an exhilarating chaos that I fell in love with.
Right now, as I am writing this, my favorite time was a day spent in a town called Moulay Yacoub, a little north of Fez. In Moulay Yacoub, we toured a large farm that grew olive trees, oranges, aromatic roses, and lots more. We got to see many different things, we were practically running from one spot to the next to get to everything that we could. The farmer was so excited to show us his land, as soon as we stepped off the bus- into a field of aromatic roses, the tour began. We learned that Morocco is the third top producer of aromatic roses in the world, and aromatic roses are what gives us all of our rose oil, rose scented candles, rose cosmetics, etc. that we use. After smelling the roses, we walked through greenhouses and then into his horse stable before we all loaded onto the back of a truck to go to our next spot. We were not entirely sure where we were going, but it was obvious the location wouldn’t have been accessible by bus as we started up a very steep hill. After descending the steep “hill” we were engulfed by a huge orange orchard. The truck drove down a dirt road that reminded me of home until a set of tables and chairs blocked us from going any further. There in the middle of the road surrounded by rows upon rows of orange trees, a magnificent picnic was set up for us. Homemade bread and pastries sat among bowls of olive oil, honey, and jellies, everything harvested from the farm. An array of food along with fresh orange juice from the orchard, clean water, and of course, mint tea (an emblem of Morocco that represents friendship and hospitality, we were always offered some at each meal). I was blown away at the sight. And I could only imagine the work it took to set it all up, to bring out tables, chairs, silverware, glasses, etc all the way out into the orchard for us to enjoy. Let alone the loads of incredible food. I felt so welcomed and loved. While we sat there, time stood still for me. I was so in awe of the setting around me. The bright oranges hanging off the trees, the mountains peeking out far away in the distance, and the incredible group of people I sat with. No matter how long we could’ve possibly sat there, I don’t think it would’ve been long enough for me. I was eager to see the rest of the farm, yet reluctant to walk away from something so special. Those moments of pure bliss have stuck with me. I think about that day often, and I can feel that same joy I felt then. At this moment, that was my favorite day in morocco.