Eurotrip 2016 Part 3
Oh god, I'm horribly behind posting but oh well! Gonna publish the last two posts about the Eurotrip and then move on to new exciting things like announcing a new partner on the scene and hashing the deets of my extremely fresh nuptials (is there a such thing as postpartum depression but for weddings? If there is, I'm definitely experiencing it.).
You may remember from the last post that we had just met a handful of our study abroad friends and stayed on a boat in Copenhagen. After our stay in Copenhagen Cameron had to fly back home for work, so the rest of the trip my best friend Nora was my travel partner. The next two cities we visited were Barcelona and Tangier. Nora and I visited Barcelona years ago when we were studying abroad in Italy and couldn't resist spending a couple days there again.
Unfortunately we only had a couple of days to spend in Barcelona, I wish we had given ourselves more time! We managed to pack in a trip to Park Guell, half a beach day, loosing ourselves in the gothic quarter, an afternoon enjoying cava at an outdoor wine bar, a visit to the Picasso Museum, paella, pan con tomate and fruit from La Boqueria(every day of the trip, we couldn't resist) and a good dose of wandering around while scheming about how to live abroad in Barcelona. We mostly revisited our favorite spots from our stay years ago since we only had 2.5 days, but we were able to explore the Gracia neighborhood our last evening in Barcelona. We both loved the neighborhood vibe and couldn't stop daydreaming about living there. Then we were off to Morocco!
Morocco was an incredible experience, but there are some things I think we would do differently if we visit again. My favorite part of our stay was the INCREDIBLE airbnb we stayed in. I am so inspired by Moroccan interior design and architecture, it made me want to knock down all the walls in my house, cover the floors with tile, build a rooftop terrace and shockingly white steep twisting stairs all over the place. I loved all the brightly patterned tiles and how many different patterns were fit into each space.
Tangier is small enough that you can wander the whole historic district by foot, although it can be nerve wracking with all the twisting narrow streets. We anticipated a cultural difference so we made sure to wear loose clothes that covered our legs and arms, however, we still felt a little uncomfortable walking in the streets unaccompanied by a man. It wasn't that we ever felt unsafe, it was more just feeling uncomfortable because every person we passed would stare, say something in arabic or french, try to stop us, or try to sell us something. You definitely did not go unnoticed as a tourist, especially as two women. When I return to Morocco I will make sure to bring at least one male travel companion. We were able to get a friendly guide who showed us around the city a couple of times and when we were with him people mostly left you alone.
We also really enjoyed the food! In college I worked as a waitress at a Moroccan restaurant so I already knew some of the dishes I wanted to sample. We had delicious couscous, vegetable tangine, chicken tangine, special ramadan bread(we happened to visit during ramadan), fresh mint tea, and a sweet and savory chicken and cinnamon pastry called bastilla. We had to be careful about eating raw vegetables and drank only bottled water which means we missed out on a lot of salad options. I was bummed in the moment, but we both managed to avoid stomach problems, so it was a smart decision. I didn't expect to be so obsessed with the olives though! I had no idea how delicious Moroccan olives are and I am now on a hunt for where to buy them in the Bay Area.
One of our days in Morocco we were able to take a day trip to a nearby town called Asilah, which I will talk about in the next post as well as our short trip to Sardinia.