Photo Credit: TN
Traveler Story: Exploring The Hidden Gems Of Casablanca, Morocco
Traveler Lauren-Ashley tells Travel Noire about a stop in Morocco during a “Trip Around the World” and gives tips for traveling the globe with an infant.
Travel Noire: Why did you decide to go to Morocco?
Lauren-Ashley: It was very difficult to decide where I wanted to go for my 30th birthday. I could not decide on one destination, so I chose multiple. Although I’ve traveled to 18 countries, I had never set foot in Africa. Morocco is an extremely tourist-friendly African country with rich history, beautiful architecture and tasty food. We decided to make Casablanca the last leg of my 30th birthday trip. Over the course of almost three weeks, my husband and I, along with our 5-month-old, flew from the West Coast to Taiwan, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco and home via New York. One of my favorite places we visited was Morocco.
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Travel Noire: When did you start planning your trip?
Lauren-Ashley: Planning a 3-week trip around the world is no easy task, especially when you have to accommodate a 5-month-old and a partner who works full-time. I had been planning for months. I first brought it up in spring 2017 and we left at the beginning of 2018. I’m usually an on-the-go kind of traveler, so if I have to sit on a 14-hour flight, I’m going to try to see everything a city has to offer.
Travel Noire: How did traveling with an infant impact your trip?
Lauren-Ashley: Traveling with our baby meant that I had to be sure to leave time in between destinations for missed flights or delayed connections. I also only plan to visit 2-3 attractions
per city just to account for any unexpected mishaps with our little companion. Traveling with a child provides a different kind of experience. Every time someone asks me about the baby and our trip, they want to know how she did on the flights. We flew a total of 67 hours and she slept through most of it. We decided to stay in chain hotels that provided the amenities we needed to make our visit more comfortable with the baby, so we made sure we had laundry, 24-hour room service and a fitness center. I’m certain I’ve never ordered so much room service in all of my life.
Travel Noire: Where were your favorite places to eat?
Lauren-Ashley: One meal stands out during my time in Morocco and I wish I ordered that during our entire stay. From the presentation to the flavor, the Chicken Tagine from Restaurant Les Fleurs was amazing. I would highly recommend ordering this dish. I also had a banana crepe: I can never say no to a crepe while traveling! Although I stuck to mint tea during our time in Morocco, my husband drinks coffee and was raving about the espresso at La rose de la medina.
Travel Noire: What was the coolest thing you did?
Lauren-Ashley: If you stop in Morocco, you have to visit the Hassan II Mosque. There was a certain calming and tranquil vibe about it. Beyond that, the architecture and cultural significance are absolutely beautiful to take in. My background is in fashion so I always meticulously plan my outfits to match the destinations we visit. I wore an emerald jumpsuit, which matched the green and blue hues used throughout the mosque. I tend to take a lot of pictures while traveling but these types of places force you to put the camera down sometimes and just appreciate the beauty with your own eyes. The Mosque blew me away. All of the pictures that I saw during my research didn’t do it justice.
Travel Noire: What surprised you the most about this destination?
Lauren-Ashley: The most surprising thing about Casablanca was how developed it was. It was very commercial. Outside of visiting Old Medina you don’t get the feel of Marrakech and Fez that you might have seen in pictures. This is part of the reason why I would consider visiting the country again. My advice to anyone visiting Morocco would be to allow enough time to visit all three cities if possible.
Travel Noire: Would you return to Morocco?
Lauren-Ashley: I would love to go back to Morocco to visit more cities. I’ve heard they are very different than Casablanca. I am slightly obsessed with the distinct architecture and the mosaic design that is used throughout Morocco. That is something that I could definitely see again someday. However, I have yet to revisit a country because I get caught up in how much more of the world there is to see. So, even though I would like to revisit Morocco at some point, I have a long list of other destinations ahead of it. I am hoping to have visited 30 countries by the end of my 30th birth year.