Special to The Prospector

Kim Valle at the Atlas mountains.

Winter in the Summer-Europe in Morocco

March 16, 2016

IMG_0385_1024Special to The Prospector

My classmates and I made our way to Café De’ Mask, which was our meeting point every weekend for our excursions. We hopped in a white van and made our way up north. We drove along and saw the most breath-taking scenery I have ever seen in Morocco–pines trees located everywhere, so much greenery and mountains that were spread along the view.


The van dropped us off in the center town of Ifrane, where the French had previously colonized. The architecture of the buildings is European and it felt like we were in Scotland or Germany. Aside from the beautiful architecture, the city was extremely quiet and clean. It is known to be one of the cleanest cities in the world.


A few of my classmates and I made our way into the square, where we bought water and other snacks to keep us awake throughout the day. We encountered a large lake on our way while walking around the town, and took group pictures while admiring the view of Ifrane.


Then it was time to leave the plaza to head back to the van. We arrived at a farm, and a young man welcomed us. I could not believe the weather of this place, I needed a heavy jacket and luckily one of my roommates was carrying an extra coat. We made our way into the man’s house, and he asked for us to remove our shoes and so we did.


We walked into the living room where three tables were set up with Moroccan coffee, mint tea, orange juice and a variety of breakfast condiments. Everyone was shivering from the cold and kept drinking hot fluids to keep warm. To be honest, I was dreading the hike that we were about to embark upon due to the cold.


The breakfast we ate was very tasty and homemade; and I wanted to take some extras just for the hike. We made our way outside and took pictures with each other and the scenery. Mouhsin, our assistant director, always had the best energy even if he had only slept for a couple of hours and had to be up bright and early the next day.


Mouhsin called us over and we started out on our trail. He started singing Moroccan songs to wake us up, because we had a long day ahead of us.


We made our way into the Atlas Mountains, where we ran into a couple of men who had horses and were offering rides. I hopped on a horse and rode for about 15 minutes. Apparently the men were requesting money from Mouhsin, and they got into an argument because of it.


Mouhsin said this was a way for them to make money when they see tourists.


We kept walking and encountered an area where there were monkeys. I was amazed at how many monkeys there were, and that they were out unsupervised. I was scared to get near one, especially the bigger ones because they were fast and would fight with each other.


My classmates and I gathered together and the monkeys made their way toward us–I guess they could sense we had food. They were some pretty smart monkeys, if I must say.


I gave one particular monkey a piece of chocolate and he would not leave me alone until I gave him the entire chocolate, even though I hid it from him! I got really close to two monkeys to take a picture and one of them scratched me! Although monkeys were adorable, that was it for me–I was terrified about them attacking me.


We concluded our hike up to the highest peak of the Atlas Mountains, where we saw the whole town of Ifrane. I felt like I was invincible! I took a deep breath, and thought of my parents back home wishing they too could experience this unforgettable view right in front of me.








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