Learning to Appreciate Meknes’ Outdoor Spaces

Katie Mitchell is a student at Colorado State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Meknes, Morocco.

I am not a city gal. I love experiencing new places, but Meknes has thrown me into a doozy. Where are the trees? Why are the parks so uninviting? It has been quite a time trying to adjust to not having the mountains as accessible as they are at home in Colorado. So, I sent out a plea to the Moroccan world via an Instagram post asking for more outdoor time and people to take me there.

Within two days, my new friends from the Meknes American Language Center had set up a hike for the following week. We were going to venture into Azrou, a nature reserve about an hour and twenty minutes away, accessible by taxi. The day of the hike arrived and I was giddy, what should I expect? A walk in the woods? Non-stop elevation gain? I brought along one of my roommates who also loves to hike and we headed off in a grand taxi to the woods.

Our taxi pulled up at a sign announcing the entrance to the reserve and our friend and guide, Oussama, lead the way. He took us for a nice stroll through the countryside where we greeted dogs and donkeys alike as we delighted in the fresh air and lack of noise pollution.

The day turned into a beautiful six-hour hike through sun and shadows that played on the grasses and trees surrounding us. We walked back by way of Ifrane, a small town that is reminiscent of a Swiss Ville and chased the sunset by taxi to Meknes.

Coming off of this adventure, I was in absolute bliss. Suddenly, I saw Meknes with new eyes. The orange trees on the street popped with colors I was blind to before, the parks were more inviting and the sun shone, quite genuinely, brighter. 

Sometimes it takes leaving the spaces you have become used to in order to see the beauty they hold.

Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.

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