After the previous post I ought to write about what I consider real travel and give Marakech it’s glory back.There is more to Marrakech than Kech. I was going to say tourism, but something in me doesnt like that word. Ism at the end is perhaps what puts me off….. Mark Twain said :“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” and I think mass tourism does the opposite.
There is a way to travel in Morocco and elsewhere that I think is the most rewarding.It is a way that doesn’t give itself readily. You have to look for it, hard sometimes , especially when the language and culture are vastly different, or even if it is your own, look for something different that you haven’t seen already ( we get so easily blasé about our own country!) be open, let go of comfort zones, go towards others. You have to struggle a little or a lot, sweat, and smile. Alright, maybe not all at the same time and on the same trip but these are some of the ingredients to put on the table before cooking a really tasty travel dish. This is an ode to an active proprioceptive travel as opposed tp a passive one.Passive being one of the plagues of our society: passive mind, passive body. I am not saying everyone has to exert themselves, being active is also a state of mind, an inquisitive one.
Going to a place and ” feeling” it requires also taking the time. Something I felt robbed with while on my 34 journey, yet I did tick the box of going off the beaten track, and taming distances, meeting people all be it in a bit of a hurry for my liking. Doing physical activities where you tame the landscape is for me paramount. The car of course gives you the freedom to chew through distances, but there is something to be said about doing the same with the physical body, that takes you through a rainbow of emotions. I certainly had that when I travelled from Onomichi to Imabari an clocking 86 km on a bike just to reach a point at 34.02.The heat was something, the 5 suspended bridges across 5 islands were something else! But is was heaven. Here is one of the bridges I had to cross
As much as Marrakech has become this weird, theatrical bordering the ridicule Vegas style with a different look party city, even sometimes called Bangkok of the Maghreb for the wrong reasons, the seriously outrageous tourist traps and crooks, the countryside is something out of this world. It is truely one of the most beautiful areas of the world I have seen, and I have travelled! Some live here in very simple ways, where capitalism hasn’t yet creeped in and this true Moroccan hospitality still lives on. I am always treated with great smile and laughs when I start speaking arabic. This country is extremely rich in terms of the variety of landscapes, and the variety of cultures within the culture, the immense depth and refinement of its arts crafts.
Aldous Huxley :“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” sometimes that is valid for our own country too! Morocco certainly has a lot clichés within itself and so much hidden gems.