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This journal will be about our 7-day trip across Morocco.
To be honest, I didn´t know Morocco was that big, and WOW, what a surprise, what a beautiful country.
It all started as a work trip, but it did not end like that, at all.
We were a group of 9 people who went from colleagues to friends in the time frame of a week and it all had to do with that kind of vibe that you only feel when you´re traveling. That vibe, that glorious vibe, coming from something that feels transcendent to you, is the vibe that IMAGO wants to share with the world, with you, through their clothes. And hey, this is not a paid piece of content, everything I am writing is running through my brain and from the tip of my fingers to you.
Day 1 – Lisbon -> Marrakech
As I said before, when we met at the airport, most of us didn´t know each other, apart from that common “hey, what´s up? How´re you doing?” with a few exceptions.
To start things up, Fred, Imago´s CEO, made a small speech where he introduced himself, the rest of the group and made sure that everyone knew what the spirit of this trip was “a group of friends on a trip!”
After that, we all held up our airport beers, everybody cheered and popped on the airplane. What a terrific way to start a “business trip” !
1:30 hours later we landed in Marrakech and went straight to Riad Nabila to “get some sleep”.
Day 2 – Marrakech
Day 2 was going to be our only full day in Marrakech, so we had to make it count.
We woke up at 6:30am (a healthy 3-hour nap) so that we could be ready to shoot by sunrise at Le Jardin Majorelle, which was around 8am. Harsh, but 100% worth it.
Check some pics below.
After shooting every possible spot and angle at Majorelle, we went to Marrakech´s main square, Jemaa el-Fna. A place where every road leads to, where all confusion meets, a mix of people, cars, animals, sounds, everything. Literally everything.
Lunch Time, FINALLY. Everyone was starving, we went to our amazing Riad to have lunch, to talk, chill by the pool, to laugh and guess what? To shoot some more!
TIC-TAC, TIC-TAC, the clock is running “guys we have to go!”
Everything was planned to the minute, so, we headed to the souks to shoot before and during the sunset. The souks are these huge markets, in the center of the Medina, where you can buy and sell everything you want. From fruit, to spices, to ceramics, to carpets, to louizz vuitton and pradda bags. It´s an amazing mix of colors, it´s the heart of Marrakech.
After what felt like a 72-hour day, we went to a great restaurant: Le Foundouk where we were welcomed with a nice “we´re not serving food anymore.”
We were all looking at the waitress, fists closed, angry eyes and ready to jump out of our seats when she told us she was joking. Not a super funny joke to tell to someone who has barely slept and walked 485 kms in the last 48 hours.
Apparently, it´s a local kind of humor there because they did a similar joke later on the trip, saying that our hotel reservation was canceled after a 4-hour ride to the middle of nowhere. AHAHA. NO. PLEASE. NO.
After this hilarious joke, we had a great dinner and went back to our Riad.
Day 3 – Marrakech -> Aït-Ben-Haddou
“Wake up guys, time to hop on the bus”
Day 3 was when we met Hamid, this awesome dude/tour guide who would become an essential part of our trip.
So, Aït-Ben-Haddou, or Yunkai for the Game of Throne fans, is a village located 4 hours away from Marrakech and is commonly known as Morocco´s Hollywood, due to the number of movies and series filmed there. It´s the halfway point to the Merzouga desert.
So, what can you expect when traveling to the desert? A mountain full of snow? Morocco´s highest point? If your answer is NO, then you´re wrong, cause it´s exactly what happened.
We also said NO, by the way.
4 hours later, we got to Aït-Ben-Haddou, WOW. It looks like a city made out of clay.
Quick lunch, make-up, clothes picked and we´re ready to shoot again.
Shooting and filming done. It was now time to sleep, eat and recharge for what would become one of the best sunrises of our lives.
Day 4 – Aït-Ben-Haddou -> Merzouga Desert
No words. No words needed for that sunrise. Just scroll down, please.
Time to hop on the bus again.
This time, for 6 hours, but not without stopping at Todra Gorge, these huge 300-meter-high cliffs, for an awesome sunset session.
Here we had a beautiful moment with our tour guide Hamid. Remember when I said that we all went from colleagues to friends? I was including Hamid, what a great guy!
After 6 long hours, we arrived at Riad Madu Merzouga (Really Recommend), had dinner and then went straight to bed.
Day 5 – Merzouga Desert
“Day 5 or day 50? There´s no way it´s been 5 days. It feels like I´ve met you all 10 years ago, my habibis and habibtis.”
That´s how every single one of us felt, by this day, we were no longer work colleagues, we were friends. All the sunrises, sunsets, jokes, bus trips, conversations, and emotions, it was just like what Fred said at the airport:
“A group of friends on a trip!”
I’m heading off track, let me go back.
Naturally, day 5 would start with yet another sunrise, so we mixed things up.
What about an ATV SUNRISE? Let´s goooooooo!
What an experience.
Driving an ATV in the desert, during the sunrise, it´s a bucket list check I didn´t know I had.
We then headed to a nomad village, close to the border with Algeria.
There´s no way this day can get any better right?
Looking back to these pictures and videos… I´m almost tearing up. What a wonderful world we live in.
Heading off track again, sorry.
After the camel trip and a quick shower at the hotel (super cool tents right in the middle of the desert) we had dinner and then asked one of the hotel employees if they could lit up a bonfire. Another bucket list check.
A bonfire, in the middle of the desert, looking up at the stars, dancing with friends and listening to good music.
Day 6 – Merzouga Desert -> Marrakech
Waking up in the middle of the desert felt unnatural. Unnatural light, unnatural low noise, unnatural colors.
I would´ve stayed there for a few more days, but it was time to go. A long 10-hour trip was waiting for us.
We packed our bags, hopped on the jeeps, raced our way out of the desert (our driver would beat Ayrton Senna btw) and got back to our bus.
10 hours listening to good music, talking, sleeping, eating, stepping on each other, laughing, what else right?
An eternity later, we´re back in Marrakech!
Unfortunately, this would be our last night, but on the other end, it was also time to celebrate this wonderful trip!
We went to this awesome restaurant called Bô Zin, and since we didn’t have to shoot more in the next day, we could let ourselves free, and that we did!
We had an amazing dinner, we laughed, we cried (yeah, Fred made some of us cry with an emotional speech) and we daaaaaanced, we danced like it was our last night on earth.
Day 7 – Marrakech -> Lisbon
After a wonderful night, it was time to head home.
We weren´t even at the airport and I was already feeling nostalgic and getting that after-trip sadness. It´s a great sign. It means it was good.
As I said in the beginning of this text, it all has to do with that vibe that you only feel when you´re traveling. When you´re traveling with friends.
It means you are growing as a person.
This is what Imago represents.
Thank you notes:
To Fred, one of my best friends, for inviting me on this trip, making me laugh and helping me clear my mind and enjoy some time with awesome people before a major change in my day-to-day life.
To Fon, also one of my best friends, for always being there, available and with a big (sometimes stupid and sneaky) smile on his face. You rock.
To Mariana Palaio, for your great sense of humor and friendship, you made me laugh the entire trip! Invite me to your birthday please.
To Manuel, for always being in front of us, behind us, next to us. For being the type of friend that you can see at first glance that he will always be there for you.
To Mariana and Antonio, always together, for being the awesome couple that you are. What a great match. Invite me to your wedding, please!
To Margarida, for letting me get to know you so well, keep on like that cause you are amazing from this side of the wall!
To Salvador, who I immediately connected with, for bringing this awesome, crazy and always-in-for-it vibe to the trip! What a guy.
To Hamid, for being this complete and out of nowhere discovery and a key piece of our trip
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