Monday, December 28, 2009

The Hagens and their First Crusade

Essauira, Morocco- sea breeze, camels, grilling meat, endless maze of shops with silks, spices, wood carvings, carpets, lanterns. It took a while to get to the quaint little beach town for our honeymoon but it was worth it. We had a day layover in Spain and visited Toledo on the celebratory day of the patron saint of Toledo. We drank the holy water, entered the cathedral, and got interviewed by a news team about our views on kissing the statue of the virgin and spreading swine flu.
Getting to morocco was quite the adventure in itself; Royal Air Maroc only had one plane going from Spain which we discovered is notoriously late. We arrived in the mystical, magical land- the air was warm, new spells were in the air, Arabic writing was everywhere. Walking out of the airport there was a large crowd of people in veils and draped clothing that we had to walk through. We arrived for the President’s feast day celebrated with food and concerts, and left during Ramadan making it difficult to find food during daylight hours. Our hotel in Casablanca had marble floors, beautiful chandeliers, and detailed design. We slept in and with some difficulty, (no one spoke English) found a guy to drive us to Essauira the next day. It was an interesting drive with changing landscapes. The “4 hr drive” turned in to 8, and we eventually arrived at our destination.
Our hotel, the Sofetil, was beautiful. Right next to a beach, with a beautiful pool that had outdoor couches and beds to lounge on. The town was exotic and charming; it felt like a mix between Aladdin and Indiana Jones. Plenty of shopping from craftsmen and fishermen in the markets that wound through the maze-like streets of the medina. Yummy grilled meats and delicious magnum doble ice cream. Lovely mild temperatures.

When we didn’t want to relax and just soak it all in, there was always adventure waiting around the corner. One day we rode camels that seemed to start in the middle of nowhere desert, then after coming around a large dune ended up on the beach. The wind was blowing like crazy and I had no idea I’d be up so high and bouncing back and forth so much. It was crazy and fun. We spent our last couple nights in Marrakech, a larger, more famous town in the desert. It was hot, but our hotel was amazing and had little pools by all the rooms that you could jump in and cool off. The trip went by too fast and before we knew it we were on a sweaty train ride back to Casablanca, no more snake charmers or camel rides, back to real life.


Seth said...

Party People,

Stop with your shenanigans!! You're making me jealous. First off, y'all are going to have to teach me how to even plan a trip like this. Heaven sakes.

These pics are awesome. Thanks for posting them. I was kinda wishing Brad would put up more stuff on Twitter but alas, this is much better.

kristen kathleen said...

Katie - this post is AMAZING!!! What an awesome adventure to kick off your marriage. Can't wait for the next update! =)

Katie Hagen said...

good to hear from you, my mom told me about you and your husband moving to scotland, i'm jealous! i'm glad i can check out your blog now and see your european adventures!

Rachel Hagen said...

You guys are quite the adventurous couple!! Looks like your honeymoon was amazing. Hope ya'll had a nice Christmas!


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