WHY MOROCCO? Currently top of our most FAQs – why have we chosen Morocco as the place to develop a new program of Art & Cultural tours? Maybe it’s the cool guys in turbans?
What began in 2010 as little more than a stab at a map of the world to choose our next holiday destination, has grown into a wonderful experience that is best shared with friends and like-minded people. The richness of the art and architecture, the glorious landscape, the hospitality – we can’t seem to get enough of it! Some call it an obsession – it’s possibly a kind of madness.
Morocco presented us with a very different holiday experience. Without endless museums and galleries to visit, the engagement came through experiencing the cultural history, the landscape and the people. The hustle and bustle of the souqs in the ancient Medina’s of the imperial cities are a total sensory overload, with an intensity of colour, aromatic exotic oils and spices and the abundant decoration of woven, painted, carved and tiled surfaces.
However, all this is then easily juxtaposed with incredible contrasts by making forays out into the spectacular landscape.
The Atlas Mountains take your mind and soul back to prehistoric times. Back to the geological formation of the earth’s crust when lava flowed and continents collided, leaving the twisted forms of the layered strata as evidence of a time past – unhinging the mind through a kind of time travel if one lets the imagination run free.
The Sahara, on the other hand, presents another concept of time and space, where the land itself has been weathered down over the years, down to a fine sand. The vast expanse and distances and the extremes presented by the elements there, lead one into the realms of spirituality, where faith or fate might play a role in existence. One feels the powerful force of nature through every part of your being. It’s an intensely metaphysical experience.
Apart from that…the friendliness and hospitality of the people is heart-warming. The ancient indigenous Amazigh (Berber) culture still survives alongside the Arab Islamic overlay introduced in the 7th century. French ‘chic’ in contemporary Moroccan design brought about by 20th century colonisation melds with rich traditional textiles and decoration. Medieval architecture is now peppered with satellite dishes and a network of electrical cables and wiring bring the new world media to the masses.
They have a wicked sense of humour and a very laid back attitude that seems to fit our Australian sensibilities. Things are not rushed. One needs lots of time to relax after all, and everything will come together ‘Insha’Allah’ (as God wills it)!
‘Morocco is such a beautiful but crazy world’ – quote from another Australian friend who became entangled in Morocco some 3 years ago – and undoubtedly the men in turbans have a mysterious exotic allure! But don’t worry; we will keep you from losing your mind!
Follow the links below to read more about our specialist Morocco tours:
Photo: Nadia Wood, 2012 Drawing Tour