Les Thermes de Moulay Yacoub

Bonjour all! I hope this past week has treated you well, and that you’re preparing for winter. Even though it hasn’t really snowed much here, I know that it is just around the corner.

After my weekend trip in Germany, I had planned to just stay around campus for the rest of my time here. I have a serious lack of motivation. It isn’t easy knowing my time in Morocco is limited, yet I still have to focus through these last two weeks to ace my finals.

Saturday morning I woke up with an urge to adventure. I had heard talk about some natural hot springs near Fes, so I decided to look into it more. Within thirty minutes, I had made my mind up, shaved my head, and packed an overnight bag!

I took a grand taxi just over an hour south to Fes. Coming from America, it seems quite bizarre to take a taxi such a long distance. 60kms. Here, it is totally normal, and I have begun to embrace taking taxis long distances. Transportation in Morocco receives an A+ on Ti’s Travel Tips. However, it is the curvy roads that will get you! Once in Fes, I switched petit taxi stations to save money. The final taxi 21 kms east was only $1 and it took me right to the steps to my hotel.

The picture below is Moulay Yacoub. My hotel was sorta in the center of the hillside but had many stories so I had a great view. It was very nice. I asked for a room with a view of the mountains.

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This solo R&R trip was perfect. I am not even sure that a lot of Moroccans have been here. It isn’t at all a big tourist area. In fact, I didn’t see any other foreigners while I was there. That also means that I got a lot of stares — but hey, if I saw a handsome fellow like myself, I might glare too. (:

One of the best things about Morocco is that it is completely safe. There has never been one single instant where I have felt threatened or that I had to be overprotective of my friends. Even though I was alone and can’t exactly get by with my Arabic, I didn’t feel at all out of place. One of my favorite things is to explore a new village where nobody knows me.

Unfortunately, I found the water to be much too hot for me. I couldn’t enjoy it. Also, the smell of sulfur was at times a little too much. Nonetheless, I didn’t shy away from exploring the city. Real Madrid was playing so all of the Cafés and Salon de Thés were bustling with cheers and laughter. The city is built on the hillside, so you have to take steps everywhere. For those who can’t get around as easy, they do offer donkeys that you can ride back up; the natural hot springs are at the bottom of the steps.

However, on your way down the steps, there are tons and tons of shops to browse through. One of the coolest things about Morocco is that most of the shops are completely open. So, you don’t have to necessarily go inside to see what they have. I browsed through the market, looking at chocolates, keychains, and other similar knick-knacks.

After some delicious chicken tajine and Moroccan soup, I headed back to the hotel to get some sleep. I left the window open so I could hear all of the noise from the village as I slept. Then in the morning, I left the curtains open because I wanted to wake up to the sun shining on the mountains. It was everything my big, romantic heart loves. Seeing the sun rising over the mountains was absolutely amazing.

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I decided to wait until I was back in Fes before having breakfast, and I am glad that I did. I found this little restaurant that served a traditional breakfast: bissara. It is pureed lima beans with olive oil on top. It is served with freshly baked bread and either cumin or paprika to sprinkle on top. I had reservations about it, but it was phenomenal. I finished my entire bowl. Holla for vegetarian protein! And it was so filling. Afterwards, I wasn’t just quite ready to taxi back to Ifran, so I found a Salon de Thé and had some mint tea. While drinking the tea, I read Letters to a Young Poet. My friend Michelle sent it to me from back home. She knows me so well because I loved it! I finished my tea and the book and was back on campus all before noon.

Until next time my loves, stay savvy. Relax. Love.

I’ll see you soon.

With much love,

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