We were the first KUSis to visit Safi/Morocco. For me it was the stopover, I was the most excited for. Strolling through bazaars and markets, buying souvenirs and gifts, trying new food, that was the romantic idea I had of our stopover in Morocco. In the end it was a bit different than I expected it to be.
The first time we left the harbor behind us in order to visit Safi was overwhelming. So many impressions at one time. I’m going to tell you how it is like to walk through Safi. The main difference to Germany is probably the trash. Everywhere, in the streets, at the beaches, there is trash and it does not seem like as if they even try a little bit to reduce trash, but one of our guides told me he likes the party “die Grünen”, so maybe the mentality about waste reduction changes.
If you walk further, it is impossible not to see one ownerless cat or dog and while you are walking along the street, you definitely need to have an eye on the traffic because the driving style of moroccan people is creative, because the main goal here is not to get safe from A to B, but as fast as possible. Well, not everywhere is traffic, if you follow the small streets in Safi, you will soon get to a bazaar or a market where pottery, which is typical for Safi, is sold. Of course we had to stroll through one and buy souvenir. The different kinds of pottery are fascinating, especially when you see how much pottery just one shop sells. But as we saw, the potters are just very fast and good in what they do. We had the opportunity to see how the pottery is being produced. The man could form a little mug in just a few seconds. And while we were watching him, you could hear impressed KUSis whispering “Oh my goodness, we did the same in our art lessons, but it took me three months to form something”.
Well, walking through a city can be very exhausting, so what is better than trying regional food while taking a rest. We tried and ate a lot of food, maybe a little bit too much. So first of all in the streets they sell this delicious buttery baked puff pastry and a very basic, but yummy pita bread. For the sweet hunger you can try the roasted nuts and almonds, or you buy honey baked pastry. But that’s just the streetfood, of course we had to try something typical regional and moroccan. For one lunch we had grilled sardines at a very beautiful location in the backyard of the Hotel “Atlantide”. At the same day we were invited to a villa to try a well prepared couscous dinner, something our galley teams really need to learn. Our couscous meals have lots of space for improvement. And after you ate something and took a rest, you are ready to continue exploring Safi.
After a time you will recognize that some things are very, very different to our culture. When for example a little, rickety couch passes by it is totally normal here, but for us Germans it feels like a different sphere. Another thing, which is very different to our culture is, that you can never be sure when or if something is going to happen, the only thing you can do, is to be prepared for any eventuality. On our last evening for example, when we had an invitation for the dinner in the villa, we were told that a bus was going to pick us up, but it just did not appear, we waited and we waited, in the end the bus came, but we must have waited at least two hours at the pier.
So, you see Morocco was a very special, but wonderful stopover, and its really hard to describe the feeling you have when you dive into the moroccan life.
And to come back to my romantic idea of the stopover: we did all of that, strolling through markets, buying gifts and souvenirs, trying new food and all of those experiences were great, but there were so many other things that had a huge impact on the experience we could not be aware of. To make a long story short we could not have imagined how our stay would be, because it’s a completely different culture, but one you definitely should experience.