Long before I dreamed of visiting Morocco the mere mention of it would fire up thoughts of an exotic land far away. Of deserts and nomads, colourful markets and its traders. And of romantic fables from times long past.
From the moment I first arrived it was everything, and more, that I'd dreamed - an explosion of colour, handcrafted patterns and designs everywhere, amazingly hospitable people, ridiculously good food and authentic beauty.
What I wasn’t expecting was that I would be totally captivated and enthralled by this magical land. With each journey back I find its alluring charms feed your soul, but never totally satisfy – instead, you’re left wanting to return for more ! It seems the more of Morocco you soak up, the more you want.
So when I’m asked why I’m so passionate about Morocco there’s no short or simple answer.
I'm stunned by its natural beauty and endless diversity. As your journey unfolds it constantly surprises - from expansive coastlines dotted with ancient ramparts and fishing boats, through rich valleys filled with orchards and the UNESCO Roman Ruins of Volubilis, over rugged and sometimes snow capped mountains complete with rustic village life, to the quiet and stunning beauty of the desert.
Even the simple things are special, like kicking off your shoes and walking barefoot over lush, hand loomed Berber rugs....
or sinking your toes into the warm Saharan sands as you make your way by lantern light to your desert tent.
And then there's the sweet aroma of mint tea as it’s ceremoniously poured from the intricate tea pot into your etched tea glass.
There's nothing like immersing yourself in the experiences of day-to-day life in Morocco ! Watching trays of warm crusty bread emerge from the public bakeries in the alleyways of the ancient medinas, or having a laugh with local merchants as you bargain and throw in the occasional word in French, Arabic or Berber.
It’s impossible not to have your senses ignited, on many levels. It's this sensory overload that I find so invigorating and exciting, and one of the many things that will keep drawing me back to this beautiful country, full of tales to tell.....