In 2017 was the very first time I´ve gone to Europe, starting by Spain where I fell in love with the cities, the people I met there and its festive environment throughout the year.
While I was studying there I had a nice group of friends, kind of weird the way I met them but nice story though! We were from different countries around the world and one of us was a Moroccan man who nicely invited us to visit his city Tétouan and some places around in the north of Morocco but just some of us could, due to visa was a requirement for some nationalities, luckily as Peruvian I didn’t need more than my passport.
Friends at the Airport
when I was a child I had seen a soap opera filmed there, I always been curious about it and that crazy trip I always wanted to do but at the same time impossible because “it was not safe enough for a girl travelling alone there”, but of course it was not a problem anymore, I was safe with huge group of people guided by our local friend.
So it was me with 5 friends already and 5 strangers left to arrive (to the airport and to our lives); everyone excited about a new continent, a different place and culture.
Something I always get the QR code of the boarding pass in my mobile phone to make everything fast but this time was not the case, they asked me to show the printed boarding pass which disappointed me and made me wait a bit longer and we needed those also when we went back.
Clothes and Culture
It was December and as the north of Africa, Morocco has a similar weather to the south of Spain but a bit more windy, so I brought a winter jacket, long sleeve t-shirts and oversized light pants to feel comfortable and covered enough, it is important to respect their culture that’s why during our stay we were suitably dressed especially in the non-touristy places, also some actions that for us were common to do, were unrespectful there. So I may recommend not kissing in public, and be discreet taking pictures of the citizens of a small town just in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation and live the best experience.
It is not common to find people who speak English but Spanish and French in small cities except in touristy places where there is no problem about languages either pictures, it is allowed to enjoy as much as possible.
Accommodation and currency
For the very first time my friends and I felt like rich, ok not that much, at that moment actually we were almost “broke” due to we were travelling often so I asked Achraf (our Moroccan friend) about how much should we bring and surprisingly we found out the money was not a problem, I didn’t believe it until it happened, so I took 200 euros for the 4 days staying.
We were around 10 people and rent 2 flats, of course, we shared rooms and beds, I can not remember how much did we pay but also it was not located at the centre city so we took many taxies to go to the places we wanted to visit, so a closer place to stay would have been a better idea at the same price (flat+ taxies) by the way taxi drivers are crazy and it reminded me of my city Lima.
*Tickets were not included in my 200 euros budget, I bought it 1 month before the trip and it cost around 45 euro.
Tanger – Tetuan – Chauen – Asilah
My favorite by far of those places is Chauen, is totally wonderful, I had never been to a place similar before in real life, that’s when I felt the Moroccan essence, so colorful, with those small stores around the place, where you can find nice traditional clothes, shoes, accessories, decoration, souvenirs and of course CHEAP!, I wish we could have arrived earlier there to enjoy a bit more but I will never forget the lunch we had there surrounded by nature (including a lot of cats) and artistic shows.
More than just a trip
We were 10 people but there we got some other Moroccan friends who made our stay easy-going and warm.
At the end I got more than nice pictures, and souvenirs; I got incredible experiences with memories such as my Mexicans friends singing rancheras in the car, party nights at the flat, feeling intimidated when we got into a bar crowded of men when our group we were 4 women in a place of 30, or the stories we used to tell each other when we were tired in the car and definitely those strangers became part of that trip and part of my family abroad.