Location: Marina Smir, Morocco
Today we spent our first full day in the country of Morocco. We went on a fun little adventure into the town of Tetouan, where we were given a very in-depth and a hands-on guided tour through all of the different aspects of the town. The guide started by bringing us through the old town, where we got to witness the early morning routines of residents getting ready for their daily activities. The market was where most families would go to get their breakfast, and the stables were where the town kept all of their “taxis,” also known as donkeys. We were able to learn a great deal of history about the city. From that point we were given a very nice tour of the facilities where they worked with animal hides in the tanning district, it was really quite a sight to see how they produced all of their leather by hand for the leather crafts we saw later in the markets. We really learned a lot about the craft and how to make leather with all of the different pits. From there our guide brought us to our first experience with a Moroccan Bazaar where we all got to test our haggling skills with the Moroccan rug dealers, it was a great deal of fun negotiating prices, though I don’t think anyone really expected what those clever dealers could get away with. After having so much fun seeing how many rugs we could all buy, we went for a traditional Moroccan lunch at one of the tour guides’ friends restaurant. We had a very nice lunch of chicken and couscous while watching and listening to traditional entertainment. After lunch, our guide showed us how homes are posted for rent or sale and how prospective buyers or renters can find and sign to publicly seal their agreement. We all signed up for timeshare agreements (Blogger’s note – This was an attempt at humor) and then our guide brought us to another market where we were given a lesson on the essential oils and spices of the region and then an opportunity to purchase some of those for home as well. After we all settled up on our purchases and finished exploring one more street of shops, we made our way back to Argo after an exciting and history-filled trip into town.