Category: Travels

Driving through Morocco – an introduction to land and culture

In order to escape from the hectic Christmas time, we decided to leave Germany behind to travel through Morocco for three weeks in 2014/2015. To avoid a huge post I will divide the trip into some smaller reports. This article is about Morocco in general and some advice when travelling through the country.

Travelling through Morocco by car

When we decided to travel through Morocco we did not do a lot of research in advance. We had a rough idea about what we wanted to see and we booked a car to pick up at the airport. If the country allows it we normally like to travel by car as it gives you a lot of independence. Of course what we missed is the experience you get from travelling with locals on public transports… In the end we heard from other travellers that travelling by bus is quite reasonable. However, as the car rental was very cheap it was our choice of transport.

The roads in Morocco are quite good for an African country. Nevertheless, you should always plan for a much longer travel time than what you are used to in a Western country. At least double the amount should do. Of course depending on the road (highway, inner country road or mountain pass) I would always plan two hours for 100 km. When travelling through the mountains even more.

Cars are by far not the only vehicle on Moroccan roads. We encountered biked, horses, donkeys etc. So driving by night is really not a good idea as donkeys usually are not equipped with a back light.

‘Visiting the old city centres’ or ‘How to get lost a lot’

Our first stop in Morocco was the city of Fés. We arrived at the airport in the early evening after a comfortable flight from Frankfurt. As mentioned we did not really get into all the details about the country before our trip. So when we arrived in the old city centre (also called medina) of Fés we were sure that we will find our accommodation with the help of the maps that we had downloaded before to our phones. However, we learned the hard way that maps are absolutely useless in the old medinas of ancient Moroccan cities! Read more →

Ghana: Cape Coast Castle

Cape Coast is known to be one of the more touristy spots in Ghana. So I expected an almost Western flair here. However, we did not find ourselves surrounded by masses of tourists and the area is still saved from let me call it an “European influence”. However, what the Europeans left behind in Ghana are two very well preserved castles, one in Elmina and the other one in Cape Coast.

Largest slave-holding site in the world

To be honest I did not inform myself a lot before visiting Cape Coast. I only knew that there were some dungeons in which slaves where hold during the colonial era. However after we have visited te Cape Coast Castle, the details of the cruelty of that time almost made me cry.

With a guided tour, we visited the cells in which the slaves were kept for three months before they were walking through ‘the door of no return’ onto a ship to Europe.  Read more →

Cape Coast, Elmina and the Kakum National Park, Ghana

Cape Coast and Elmina are historic ports and known to be rather ‘touristy’ places in Ghana. However, we did not meet a huge tourist crowd but rather a more laid back area with very interesting sights to visit.

Two castles and nice markets

As we merely had one weekend to spend in the area we decided to only drive by the St George’s Castle of Elmina, which already looks stunning from the outside. This castle is the oldest extant colonial building in sub-Saharan Africa and I think definitely worth visiting if you have enough time at your hand.  Read more →

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