Last time we left off with our arrival in Marrakesh:

After landing I first had to get used to the sun that was shining on my face. It was nice and warm and high time to ditch the winter jacket, which I packed away, hoping to not have to see it again until I was on my flight back. At the airport, we immediately had the opportunity to exchange some money. For 1 euro, you get about 10,9 Moroccan dirham (DH). Next, we had to go about finding a taxi, which it turned out, was really more than easy, since as soon as we left the airport building there were cabbies looking for tourists like us, rather than the other way around. We found a cab and took it to the Supratours central bus station. From there, a bus left for Agadir every two hours. The fare was about 110 dirhams, so around 10 euros, which, by European standards, wasn’t a lot for a three-hours bus ride. At this point it was about 1 o’clock in the afternoon and there was still some time to explore the surroundings before the bus left. We were really impressed by the ornate building of the central train station and, of course, by all the palm trees that were just standing about everywhere. During the bus ride, we got to see a lot of the beautiful landscape and the Atlas Mountains, plus I used the time to peruse my Moroccan travel guide. I can only recommend to everyone to read up on the country you’re traveling to beforehand – it really changes the way you perceive what you’re seeing!

Once in Agadir, we took another cab straight to the Surfhouse Taghazout. As soon as we arrived, Lando showed us the house and our room. Then he led us to the Chill-Out lounge on the rooftop terrace. This is the most important place in the house because everyone comes and sits together here. We immediately got to know the other guests. The Finnish singer Helli sang some beautiful songs, but despite the fun and inviting atmosphere, we were so tired that we headed to bed early.

The next morning at 9 o’clock we had breakfast on the rooftop with everyone. The meal was prepared by Artti who is cook, entertainer, and Lando’s right-hand man all in one person. With his ultimate breakfast specials, he manages to create a new culinary highlight every day.

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From the terrace, you have a fantastic view of the ocean. The waves were looking small on the home-beach so, using the local bus, we relocated to the village Tamri, half an hour North of Taghazout, where there is good surf, even with small swells.

We stopped at Achmet’s grocery store just outside our house to buy some food for the road. Two bananas, four mandarins, and two freshly baked loaves of flatbread only cost 80 cents! Then we went straight to surfing. It is an incredible feeling to get really warm while paddling out in the middle of winter. It was a really good day to get reacquainted with the waves and to simply surf. That evening, we had the opportunity to eat with a traditional Berber family. The Berbers can be said to be the indigenous people of Morocco. We were very warmly welcomed with a kind of hospitality you rarely experience in Europe. Traditionally everyone here eats sitting on the floor, gathered around a round table. You only eat with your right hand and little pieces of flatbread become the cutlery. We had Tagine, vegetables, meat, and couscous served in a large earthen bowl from which everyone ate. Additionally, we had some of Morocco’s national beverage: a mixture of green and mint tea with a lot of sugar, a delicacy which you cannot get enough of. Despite the language barrier – everyone spoke Berber – we communicated well and had lots of fun. It was probably the most exciting meal I have ever been a part of.

Tomorrow the surfing continues!
Your, Philipp

Hello, I’d like to briefly introduce myself! My name’s Philipp and I’m from Upper Austria, a place called Weyregg am Attersee to be precise. I’m 19 years old and a high school student, I will be getting my Matura this year (that’s the name of the Austrian high school diploma). The reason I’m writing this, is because I want to share my travel experiences with you all, as I journey to the Maranga Surfhouse in Taghazout, Morocco. This little adventure all started with the simple idea, that it’d be great to get away for a bit, just to see something new.

At the beginning my girlfriend Theresa and I were joking about how funny it’d be if we spent Christmas break in some ridiculously sunny place, but that joke quickly turned into reality, as we found ourselves booking tickets into warm Africa. We’d be leaving on the 25th of December and returning January 1st. The ticket prices left us with no complaints – it’s pretty easy to find nice deals around Christmas and New Year’s.

After an impatient wait that seemed to drag on forever, things finally kicked off on the 24th. Somehow, we managed to cram all of our baggage into two backpacks, which meant we would only have carry-on luggage on the plane, and we wouldn’t have to lug any suitcases: a win-win situation. We got on a train to Vienna the morning of the 24th because the journey takes about 3 hours and there’s basically no trains running the morning of the 25th.

I won’t lie, it did feel a bit strange to just leave on Christmas, but the thought of the up-coming sun, ocean, and waves quickly dispelled any doubts I had. When we arrived in Vienna we still had some time to walk around, so we went to the Mariahilferstraße, a famous shopping avenue, to watch the last-minute Christmas shoppers hustle and bustle about. At that moment, we were quite content to be avoiding that situation this year. We replenished our strength with a quick meal and went to our hostel, which was only about a 15-minute walk away. That evening we ventured out again for a longer walk through Vienna. Past the famous Heldenplatz and the museums we managed to find a restaurant that was still open on Christmas eve. We had exotic wraps and cocktails, an unusual but satisfying Christmas meal, and then headed straight back to get into bed: we had to be at the airport the next morning!

The morning of the 25th began very early indeed. Shortly before 5 we set off on foot for the Westbahnhof, where we got the first bus headed to the airport. As we were walking that morning, with cold rain on our faces, we really couldn’t wait to land in Morocco and feel the sun on our skin. And so, we arrived at the airport at about 6 o’clock, full of excitement and anticipation. There was still plenty of time until the flight’s departure, but we had wanted to do everything right our first time flying away alone. After a quick breakfast at the airport we punctually took our seats on the plane. During the flight the sky changed from Europe’s dark grey to a magnificent bright blue. The flight time was 4 hours, but because we were flying into the next time zone we had to set our clocks back an hour, so technically we arrived in Marrakesh only 3 hours later.

In the next blog post you can read about how our journey continued in Marrakesh!
See you soon,
Your, Philipp