Magical Morocco – Once Upon a Journey

Magical Morocco - Once Upon a Journey

Morocco might be the most photogenic country we’ve visited so far. Okay, many countries come close (such as Mongolia and Myanmar – maybe it’s countries that start with an M-kinda thing?), but Morocco is incredibly magical (another M-word!).

Sorting out a collection for this photo gallery was incredibly hard, which is why we selected more than just a few.

By Maartje Hensen – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Morocco Gay Travel Resources


Walk the Kasbah – Keep Calm and Wander

Walk the Kasbah - Keep Calm and Wander

I always thought that the likes of Paris or Venice were the world’s greatest destinations for avid tourists like me. But like other travelers who happen to evolve with time and finally find their nerves agreeing on visiting a relatively cheaper and distant destination, I found my solace in traveling to Tangier.

Tangier – the city where William Burroughs, Henri Matisse and the rest of the notable personalities found their unsung inspiration – turned out to be a source of rejuvenation for me also.

I was soothed by the fact that Tangier is comparable to New Orleans in terms of music playing everywhere, to Paris in terms of the rampant love and freedom on the streets, and Venice in terms of the culturally absorbed architecture. In my two-day stay here, my thirst of wandering freely on the streets in Tangier was quenched.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Five Things to do in Tangier

Kasbah - Tangier - Keep Calm and Wander

One day in summer, my feet brought me to the streets of Tangier – the city which has influenced the people on their taste in arts, culture, and cuisine from around the world. Tangier is a mix of everything – partly because of the invasions of the Spanish, Muslims, Portuguese, and English.

A great many artists always look for inspiration for their work – and Tangier has served to be just that for many notable personalities, including Paul Bowles, Henri Matisse, William S. Burroughs, Paulo Coelho, Keith Richards, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, painter Eugene Delacroix, and many others.

By visiting the city in summer, I understood what brings all the literary and artistic juice of the world here and I’d like to quote it in the words of William S. Burroughs,

“Tangier is on one of the few places in the world where, so long as you don’t proceed to robbery, violence, or some form of crude, antisocial behavior, you can do exactly what you want.”

I literally did what I could. Of course, I cannot talk about the “other things”, ahem, but I can tell you my 5 most favorite experiences there.

1. The Kasbah

I have to say that I really did enjoy my time wandering here. Believe it or not, I spent close to 5 hours, one foot in front of the other. I stopped twice in some old cafes and ordered something strange. While passing through the gate of Kasbah and stepping into the large courtyard and then into the Dar el-Makhzen palace of the 17th century, I could notice how every atom of the place could speak volume of what they have been through. The intricacies of the Moroccan artwork pleased my eyes which changed into ecstasy as I stepped into the Café Detroit which has served to be the rallying point of most of the writers mentioned above.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Mesmerizing Meknes – Keep Calm and Wander

Meknes - Keep Calm and Wander

Meknes is an ancient place in Morocco that most tourists would pass by, in favour of the nearby Fez. Most tourists who go here are day trippers from Fez. They combine their day trip to Meknes with Moulay Idriss and Volubilis, an ancient Roman city. And that’s exactly what I did. I joined a 4-person tour organized by my hostel in Fez. Meknes was our last stop of the day – and we explored the city for 4 hours!

Why Meknes?

a. It is by far cheaper than the neighboring Fez

b. I loved the serenity and less-frenetic ambiance of the city

Related Post: The Roman Ruins of Volubilis

Related Post: Moulay Idriss is the Birthplace of Islam in Morocco

1. Bab al-Mansour

Bab in Arabic means “gate”. I must say, I hadn’t seen a gate so colossal and grand like this one. I have a feeling that it could be the largest gate in the whole of the continent. No, I’m not over-exaggerating, it is! In fact, experts deem this gate as one of the few gigantic structures that have survived in North Africa.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Gay Morocco – A Gay Man’s Guide

Morocco - Pixabay

Before I left for #Morocco, I had received multiple concerns from family and friends about travelling to an Arab country. Their concern came from my sexuality and the idea that Arab countries threaten the lives of LGBT+ individuals. I am not saying that isn’t true, countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia have a history of this, but I was traveling to Morocco.

The first step into Gay Morocco

I had traveled to Morocco with friends and a professor who had grown up in the area. I definitely recommend flying from New York to Casablanca. Casablanca, Morocco reminded me of California when I had visited, and I think that is a good way to transition from American lifestyle to Morocco.

It eases you into this new country with not as big of a cultural shock. Especially since the Casablanca is the setting of the 1942 film, “Casablanca”. There is a sense of familiarity to it.

The Sahara desert and its beauty

My first weekend in Morocco, we had travelled to the #Sahara desert and camped out there for a night. We had left for our camping spot during the middle of a sandstorm. It was one of those adventurous scenes you would see into a movie, leading to the discovery of an ancient tomb and magnificent riches. Sadly, we didn’t find any riches but instead reached our camping spot. This is still one of the most memorable moments in my life. Dancing with everyone around a fire while our hosts were playing instruments, staring at the stars that shinned in the night sky, and going to sleep with the sound of the wind and the moving sand.

By Jonathan Kerrins – Full Story at Blasting news

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Two Weeks in Morocco – Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Tangier - Keep Calm and Wander

Two weeks in Morocco is just the right time to explore the places you wanna see and go. However, this is not enough to get to know the whole country. On this trip, I skipped the Sahara desert safari because I’ve been and have lived in the desert for months. So, I don’t need to be reminded of how beautiful the sand dunes are at sunset or sunrise.

Transport in Morocco

In between cities, the train is the most convenient transport for backpackers. Though trains are kinda slow, but it will get you there. It arrives almost always on-time. Taxis are also common in cities, but most of them (or the ones I had) don’t really have fare meters. You have to agree on the fare first before getting on the cab.

Day Trips in Morocco

Taking day trips via tours save time and inconvenience. If you’re in Marrakech or in Fez, there are tours that would take you to amazing tourist destinations.

Day 1 – Casablanca

Airport to downtown Casablanca is connected via a railway. The train departs every hour and it costs $3 for forty minutes ride. Get off at the last station where McDonald’s and Starbucks greet you at the exit.

I arrived at my hotel around 4 in the afternoon. Then thirty minutes later, I went out and started walking on the corniche all the way to Hassan II Mosque. It is Casablanca’s most visited tourist attraction. I’ve got to witness the beauty of this grand mosque in late afternoon, at sunset and at night.

In the evening, I met up with the local couchsurfers who had iftar by the beach. Then, we all went to a cafe downtown where we had tea and beer.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Chefchaouen: Morocco’s Blue City – Keep Calm and Wander

Chefchaouen - Keep Calm and Wander I have no doubt that Chefchaouen is Morocco’s most photogenic blue city. There are no skyscrapers here but mountains and there are no flickering light bulbs at night but stars. The houses aren’t made of steel and glass windows but of adobe bathed in blue. These houses aren’t coated in blue to beckon tourists to Chefchaouen. It’s not even for aesthetic beauty but more of a religious reason. So, you asked me, “Why blue?” Well, centuries ago, the Chefchaouen or Chaouen (for short), was a fortress for Spanish exiles. Most of these exiles were Jewish who wanted to escape the Spanish Inquisition. Here, the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians are living in harmony. When the Jews landed here, they brought with them the tradition of painting things blue to reflect the sky and the power of God.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources


Early Morning in the Medina in Fes – Keep Calm and Wander

Alain - Medina in Fes The moment I entered the medina in Fes, I was met with a lot of annoyances. A simple “thank you” with a smile didn’t work, so I ignored the scammers and hawkers. The first scammer told me that the hostel I’ve booked had already been closed a week ago. He then recommended me a very nice one for a cheaper price. The second scammer pretended to be helpful by showing me the way to my hostel, but I was very quick to tell him nicely that I’d be fine to find the hostel on my own. We had a little argument until he realized that I wasn’t going to let him win. He looked at me like he could crush me in one blow. The medinas in Morocco almost have the same thing to offer. They awaken your five senses in all corners along potholed alleys and narrow main streets.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources


Roman Ruins of Volubilis – Keep Calm and Wander

volubilis-morocco-fes-mekness-7 The Roman ruins of Volubilis is a testament that the area was once a progressive city that held power and might. The imposing pillars and arches show grandeur of Roman architectural style. The ruins are reminders that the Romans were there, settled, conquered it – and vanished.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources


The Doors of Morocco – Keep Calm and Wander

Doors of Morocco - Alain Ladies and gentlemen, the beautiful doors of Morocco! On my first few hours in Marrakech, I noticed the old, repainted, renovated, run-down and pretty doors of the city. Their charming designs delighted me so I took a lot of photos until I became obsessed. There was even a time when all I was looking for were doors, doors, doors! However, the most interesting ones I saw were at Chefchaouen, nicknamed as “The Blue City.” They’re just not lovely but they’re very photogenic, too! You can’t resist taking a shot when passing them. If ever I’d have a house of my own in the future, I’d certainly design one of my doors like one of these pretty doors of Morocco below.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources