My first trip to Saharan Africa was more than I could have dreamed. Marrakech was as beautiful, wild and frustrating as you might imagine a city that was born over 1,000 years ago as one of the great citadels of the Muslim world.
The smell of the rug souks and the questionable roadside tajines will forever live in my soul. The red clay rouge of Marrakech charmed me harder than the snake wrangling flute blowers in Jemaa el-Fnaa. Outside the bustling UNESCO site, the rich golden sand of the Sahara desert whispered seductively across my camel's hump as we trotted clumsily over dunes with the sun melting into the horizon.
The medinas of Essaouira and el Jadida invoked nostalgia of a past life as a child jumping from the walls into the sea on a muggy summer eve.
The colors, the textures, the sounds, smells and tastes of Morocco one of a kind, brilliant, and ancient. I left with too many rugs and too much couscous for my luggage, and just one perfect leather bag.
The peace of the country side, and a beautiful quaint country house was strongly defined by the awe inspiring sunset and home cooked feast.
Most of all I left with new friends in a country where, despite being conquered repeatedly, the Berber spirit of community and connection to the land lives on.