Vagobond in Ifrane and Imouzzir


On Sunday, Hanane and I set out from Sefrou to take a small daytrip to a couple of nice little towns that aren’t too far away. The total for the day with breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice cream, transport, and small gifts for the family was about 287 dirhams, or a little more than $30, about half of that was for the crazy and inefficient ‘grand taxis’ and other transport. (See future post on Moroccan Transport)

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We started the day in Sefrou where we bought a breakfast of Avocado shakes and cake and some kleenex for a total of 20 dirhams. (approximately 8.5 dirhams = $1 U.S.) Here in Morocco, there is no breakfast like I think of breakfast, meaning omelets, french toast, toast, fruit, yogurt, or especially since this is a Muslim country, bacon or ham. Instead, breakfast is usually cake of some sort. In this case I had the peanut cake and Hanane had a chocolate cake. The avocado shakes are just milk, avocado, and sugar blended together. Very nice if you haven’t ever had one.

After this we caught a grand-taxi (24 dh) to the little mountain town of Imouzir. There were plentiful apple and pear orchards and then we began to enter beautiful farm country with cedar lined hillsides. The houses were built into the hillsides and the rustic nature of the countryside surrounding Imouzir was very appealing to me. In addition, it seemed to be incredibly clean. I could imagine myself living quite happily in the countryside here and Imouzir is surrounded by many springs and natural water sources as well. It’s about 25 miles away and sits roughly 4000 feet. The houses in Imouzir are distinctly more western and there are actually rubbish cans here and there.

We took a petit taxi (7 DH)to the spring of Ain Sultan, a very popular water park of the natural variety and drank from the natural springs. It became obvious, if only by the lack of rubbish all over the ground that Imouzir is a place where wealthy people live in Morocco, any doubts were put aside by the big villas as we walked back to town from Ain Sultan. Of course there were some small rustic places too.

Back in Imouzir we ate a lunch of half a chicken, rice, olives, salad, fries, and coke for the princely sum of 47.5 dirhams. We were overcharged because of me being white, but the dollar they overcharged us bothered me much less than Hanane. After this we cuaght another grand taxi to the resort town of Ifrane. The cost was quoted at 18 dirhams but went up to 20 and then Hanane tore into thte driver and it dropped back to 18.

Neither of these towns have old cities as both were, I think founded by the French during their occupation. Ifrane has red tiled roof villas, large gardens, and even a royal chateau that Hassan II used to stay in. Ifrane was founded in 1929, definitely by the French. There are ski resorts, a modern university, and lakes and forests surrounding it. Definitely a nice place.

You could take Ifrane and drop it in Utah and it wouldn’t be too out of place, okay, maybe it would be. Someone should do that. We spent about 100 dirhams on gifts, food, drinks, ice cream, and fun and then we went back to the Grand Taxi station to get a taxi back to Sefrou.

I will devote the next post to the madness that is Moroccan transportation, but suffice to say after a long wait we caught a taxi to Imouzir, a bus to Fex, another taxi to Sefrou, and finally a petit taxi to Hanane’s house. Grand total for return trip: 67 dirham.


Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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