The past few weeks have been both hectic and exciting. After Paris I had one day in Amsterdam then took an 8 hour train down to Munich to visit an old friend that was on exchange at my high school for a year in NC. I really loved Munich and it was the first German city I had visited that had the typical German charm I had always pictured. We mostly walked around the city and visited the christmas markets that are famous in Germany. We drank gluhwein and visited cafes to stay warm in the snow!
There wasn’t much time for touristy things, but we did go to the Hofbrauhaus which is the biggest beer hall in Munich and had a nice Weis beer and brat! I really enjoyed the atmosphere overall and was bummed that I couldn’t stay for longer. After a couple days of hanging out with Clara’s friends and seeing the student side of the city I was once again on the train to Dusseldorf to leave for my next adventure
From Dusseldorf I had a flight at 7 am to Agadir, Morocco for a week of surfing in a small village called Taghazout with some friends from Amsterdam. The first day after I arrived we had our first surf lesson at 7 am and I was pleasantly surprised at how fast all of us picked it up. We were able to stand on the board after the first lesson 🙂 We went back to the villa and had a nice breakfast followed by a nap in the warm sunshine. We went surfing again later that day and practiced what we had learned in the morning. I really, really love the beaches in Morocco and was happy to hear shark sightings were almost non existent in the waters 🙂 Not that it wouldn’t be supa cool to see a shark, but definitely puts the mind at ease when paddling out without constant paranoia of a chunk of my leg being chomped off. The next couple days were scattered with surf lessons and lazy sunning sessions in the afternoon. One of the days we took a break and went to a little place called Paradise Valley to jump some cliffs and hang out in a river valley. We also visited the Moroccan hammams which was quite a culture shock.
The hammams are weekly baths than men and woman would go to to scrub themselves and apparently their friends too…We were unsure at first about what to expect but we went with open minds. We got there, paid for soap and a scrub glove and told to shimmy down to our underwear and walk into this massive steam room with about 100 other naked Moroccan women and children. We saw people filling up buckets of water so we did the same while waiting for further instruction. We were thoroughly confused until a couple of large (also naked) Moroccan women came over to scrub us down from head-to-toe..front-and-back with our scrub glove and a lots of mother-like love. We left feeling squeaky clean and a bit violated…but it was definitely an immersion we will NEVER forget.
The next day we visited the Souk in Agadir. The Souk is a absolutely massive market in the middle of town that had vendors that sell things from spices to bags to carpets to jewelry. The markets are definitely a strange experience, especially as a foreign woman. The moroccan vendors will yell after any woman that is obviously not Moroccan and continues to harass them until they are out of sight. Once they see that you have even the slightest interest in what they are selling they will say absolutely anything to get you to spend more time at their store. If you ever find yourself in these sort of markets, its better to embrace the spirit of the market than try and fight it and get frustrated with being constantly cat-called at.
After a week of surfing and sun I’m here in Marrakech after staying up all night and waiting for my flight which unfortunately doesn’t leave until 6pm, but I had to get here at 7 am with the rest of my friends because their flight left earlier. I figured I mind as well explore a little bit of the city since I’m here, but honestly cannot wait to return to my cozy apartment in the Dam for the rest of the holiday season 🙂