Shnuuu? This isn’t Morocco, is it?

Meghan Johns
February 12, 2014

[A Day Trip to Ifrane]


Six girls and a driver in one cab? Totally normal. Not enough seatbelts to go around, but who wears seatbelts here? For us in Fes, it’s the cab life.


An awesome girl in our program decided to organize a Saturday afternoon trip from Fes to the city of Ifrane. (And by organize I mean find six people to fit in a grand taxi and decide to go to Ifrane.) The rest was up to us to figure out where this taxi was and what to do once we got there.

We had to take petit taxis (these fit up to three people) to the location of the grand taxis that could take us farther to Ifrane, a city less than two hours away. Now grand taxis sound pretty spacious to me, but they fell short of my expectations. What I thought would be a small van-like taxicab is actually what could be seen as a normal sized five-person car in the U.S. The cab driver told us two girls would share the front seat and the other four of us would share the back. He said it would cost 100 Dirham per person. This was after we had originally been told by a host mom that it would only cost 20 Dh per person each way, but this cab driver said he would drive us and wait there for a few hours so that he could drive us back home. We took the offer because we really knew no other way of getting there and back. Once we all climbed in, he gave us his cab card with his name and number need we ever have to report him to the police. How reassuring, but he did end up pulling over at this little police station on the side of the road to verify with them that he was taking six American girls to Ifrane and back. I must say, he turned out to be a really nice driver! He drove us to this beautiful lake area that is located near the edge of Ifrane. We got out to take some pictures, but immediately upon exiting the cab and walking towards the water, these men with horses all started heading towards us. They all kept coming and coming, and eventually all six of us were completely surrounded in a circle of young Moroccan men and horses. Now the horses were pretty and all saddled-up, ready for a tourist-y ride, but we did not want to spend the money or time to do so. We broke out of that circle fairly quickly and hopped back in the cab leaving the horsemen out of luck.

Pointy roofs and storks?

Ifrane is the little Switzerland of Morocco according to my host mother. It’s in the middle-Atlas region, and the middle of nowhere really. It is a cute town, but it’s very small. It consists of tall, pointy roofs, restaurants, clean sidewalks, a stone lion statue, and a lion snowman. (Yes, snow exists in higher altitudes of Morocco!) A ski lift exists further up in the mountains, but we didn’t see much snow at all. Just this random guy:


Snow does exist in Morocco!

I enjoyed the short adventure, but I especially enjoyed the big lunch we had there of a roasted chicken filled with French fries on a plate of rice with a lot of bread and sauces. It was just oh-so-delicious and oh-so-cheap! All six of us shared the plate; there was so much food. I also really enjoyed the car ride, despite space being so limited. The countryside is really beautiful, and you see different ways of life that you don’t normally see back in the states, like families walking with their donkeys whose backs carry bundles and bundles of sticks that will go to keep the fire lit back at home.

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Meghan Johns

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello, everyone! I am Meghan Johns, a 20-year-old student who comes from the small, but lovely Carthage College in Wisconsin. I study studio art, art history, and the French language there, but I am really excited to begin learning Arabic in Morocco. In my free time, I draw and write music. Traveling is always a must on my to-do list. I cannot wait to see what Rabat has to offer. You can guess how excited I am to start my adventures there this next semester, but the only thing I&#39;ll love more than having them is sharing them, with you.</span></p>

2014 Spring
Home University:
Carthage College
French Language
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