When traveling abroad, if you take the time to seek out and learn about local traditions, you’ll glimpse a window into what shapes a place and its culture. Sometimes these local traditions take the form of particular foods prepared in specific ways. Other times they might be a certain form of dress, community festivals, day-to-day routines, and music. All of which may seem exotic to visitors. But to locals, these typical traditions might seem to be rather hum-drum affairs or something they take great pride in. Here are a few things you should know about some of the more typical traditions in Morocco you can expect to find on your journey. (more…)
Morocco’s souks are filled with colorful treasures, among them, a wide variety of pottery. Vases and pots, decorated with colorful etchings, sit for sale alongside tagines, the conical-shaped cooking pots typical of Moroccan cuisine. Three cities—Fez, Meknes and, especially, Safi, are the main pottery centers of the country, producing about 80 percent of Morocco’s pottery. In these cities, sun-baked clay twirls on wheels, forming into practical and attractive shapes. Designs etched into the wet clay set as the pottery dries in the sun. Artisans fire pieces in kilns and decorate them with colorful glazes, making them water-resistant.
Most Moroccan pottery design is heavily influenced by Islamic or Berber art. Intricate geometric and arabesque patterns tend to cover the entire surface of pieces, completely transforming the humble clay building materials. Groups of artisans carry on centuries-old traditions in their designs, passed on through families. Many pieces of pottery from Fez are various shades of blue, due to the use of cobalt oxide in glazes. Pottery from Safi is known for its metal inlays and is often made of red clay and glazed in green, turquoise and black. Potters throughout the country tend to use multicolor designs, whether Moorish-influenced curlicues or floral motifs. (more…)
If you are Morocco travel, then one of the things you may be eager to check out is the assortment of amazing markets. You are likely to find a great bargain here, but even if you don’t, you’ll find that the atmosphere and the hustle and bustle are worth the trip alone.
That said, with so many interesting trinkets available, it will no doubt add to the trip if you can bring back some sort of souvenir, and you’ll want to try your hand at bartering here so that you get the full experience. Here are a few tips to help you grab a great deal without offending anyone.
When you walk through the markets, people are going to shout out to say hello and ask you where you’re from. Yes this is an attempt to get you to pause long enough to sell you something, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t also genuinely interested in chatting and practicing their English. There’s no need to be rude and ignore them; just answer politely but keep moving if you want to. (more…)
Located on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, Tetouan was historically the main connection between the country and Andalusia, and Spanish influences are evident in town today. About an hour southeast of Tangier in Morocco, Tetouan allows visitors to experience northern Morocco on a smaller, less frantic level than in the major port city. Ferries leave regularly to and from Spain.
Tetouan’s medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Though it is smaller than those of larger cities, Tetouan’s medina has been largely untouched, making it an authentic site. Guides can point out the Andalusian, Jewish and Berber sections of the medina, though wandering solo will unearth plenty of interesting experiences. The smaller scale of this medina means fewer opportunities to get dizzyingly lost, making the purchase of rugs and other goods less stressful. (more…)