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Monday, May 25, 2020

Because Someday I’ll Discover Magical Morocco

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The site of some of Africa’s most intriguing contemporary art and its most colorful traditional communities, Morocco awakens travelers’ senses. You can explore Morocco through Explorations, an immersive travel experience reserved exclusively through AAA Member Choice Vacations.

Relive the Oscar-winning 1942 film, Casablanca, with a meal at Rick’s Café, then immerse yourself in the spirituality of Africa’s tallest place of worship, Hassan II Mosque. The mosque bears spectacular hand-carved stone, delicate mosaic tilework and a 689-foot-tall minaret.

The Moroccan cultural exploration continues in the city of Fez. Wander the maze of streets in the city’s medina, a UNESCO listed site dating from the 9th century where goods still arrive via donkey cart. Many vendors at the medina’s souks announce their wares in sing-song voices and tempt shoppers with locally-grown olives, mounds of aromatic spices and leather handbags.

To the south, Marrakech captivates with its own busy medina from the 11th century, itself a UNESCO landmark. The city also serves as a center for contemporary art and design. Stroll through the Jardin Majorelle, one of Morocco’s loveliest gardens, formerly the home of couturier Yves Saint Laurent.

No visit to Morocco is complete without a visit to its countryside and to the hospitable locals who share their culture — and perhaps a cup of tea — with travelers. The rugged “Road of a Thousand Kasbahs” follows an ancient trading route through the High Atlas mountains into the Sahara, where ancient fortresses rise out of the landscape like turreted sandcastles. Venture into the desert via Jeep and camel to hear local music and tales of the Berbers. Surrounded by a landscape where productions like Lawrence of Arabia and Game of Thrones were filmed and sitting beneath a sky bright with a million stars, it’s easy to feel transported deep into the world of ancient Morocco. — Amy S. Eckert

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