Couscous, a BLUE city, and Andaluci Music
As I was looking through the seemingly endless number of study abroad programs out there, one of the things that first drew me to CEA was the number of excursions they offer. To clear a few questions up that I had coming into this program, these are already included in your program cost, meaning your hotel, meals (except for an occasional need to pack a picnic lunch or have money for one travel meal), tour guides, etc. everything is covered. Excursions could be in your city (ex: tours of the many sections of Granada), different towns, or even to another country.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let me tell you about our trip to Morocco.
We left Granada early Friday morning and bussed, ferried, and bussed again to Tangier. It was mid-afternoon when we arrived, so we immediately headed towards our lunch destination. Despite all of the amazing things that we saw on the rest of the trip, this was my favorite part. We ate lunch at a foundation that helps women who have left abusive situations, been disowned by their families, or have no one to care for them. We had a traditional Moroccan salad, couscous (but in a way you’ve never experienced couscous before, unless you’re in Morocco), followed by lemon meringue tarte and Moroccan tea. We also got to tour the facility and see the classrooms where women can learn to read, write, sew, weave, and a number of other skills. All I can say is this organization is amazing.
After lunch, we toured Tangier a bit, and then headed on to Tetuán, where we spent the night. The next morning, we toured Tetuán, our guide’s home city, and then went to the famous blue city of Chefchaouene. In the city, which really is all blue, we ate lunch with a local student’s family (Moroccan food is incredible, I cannot stress this enough), and then had free time to explore and shop!
Pro tip: bargain, bargain, bargain. Most of the time I was able to pay less than half of the original price for things.
Finally, after an amazing day in the blue city, we returned to our hotel and listened to a bit music from a Moroccan band. The Moroccan culture is a bizarre, wonderful mix of Spanish and Islamic tradition. You can see that mix in the food, the household norms, and the arquitecture in Morocco, but I think that that music captured this the best.
All in all, this was an amazing trip, and it was just the first one! CEA has a lot of really cool excursions yet to come, and I’m excited for the adventures.
Megan V. is the Fall 2017 CEA MOJO blogger in Granada, Spain. She is currently a Junior studying Political Science and Spanish at the University of Tennessee.