The Mystical and Magical Morocco - United Hub

The mystical and magical Morocco

By The Hub team

Each week we will profile one of our employee's adventures across the globe, featuring a new location for every employee's story. Follow along every week to learn more about their travel experiences.

By SFO Customer Service Representative Madhura Chitale

I've always wanted to see the Sahara Desert, explore old medinas and eat the delicious food of Morocco, a place I imagined to be very exotic and full of colorful palaces. Recently, I finally got to experience all that when I decided to take a trip there with some co-workers and friends.

Madhura Chitale and friends in Morocco

We decided to go to Marrakech first. Once we arrived we headed straight to our bed and breakfast we had booked in the historic district. After having mint tea and a good lunch, we visited the medina and explored some beautiful architecture. A medina quarter is a distinct city section found in many North African cities that is typically walled, with many narrow and maze-like streets.

After exploring the medina, we went to the famous Jemaa-el-Fnaa Square, where you can find hundreds of people at night eating and shopping. Later that night we decided to go to a travel agency to find transportation for our trip to the Sahara Desert. We decided on a tour guide who took us to the desert in a Land Cruiser the next morning and brought us back the following day. It was a very long trip, but worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Early the next morning, our travel began with a drive across the high Atlas Mountains. We passed many beautiful villages and made a stop in Ait Benhaddou -- a walled city along the former caravan route between the Sahara Desert and Marrakech, as well as the famous Kasbah, which has been used in various films as a backdrop.

We stopped in Ouarzazate to have lunch and then crossed a more than 120 mile long Draa Valley to arrive in Merzouga, the gateway to the dunes of the Moroccan Sahara Desert. We arrived at night and rode camels to our Berber camp. It was so dark that we could see the Milky Way very clearly. Once at the campsite, we had a wonderful homemade dinner, while watching Berber people playing music. As all the lights went off, we could fully appreciate the starry sky. There is nothing around you, and all you can hear are footsteps of camels on soft sand -- it was a dramatic experience.

camels in Morocco

The next morning we were ready to climb the dunes and take lovely pictures of the sunrise. Our bodies were a little sore from trekking for an hour the previous night, so we decided to take road transportation to the starting point of our camel safari. We have very fond memories of the entire journey, during which we experienced the most beautiful, spectacular and dramatic scenery in the world.

The next day we took a train to Fez, famous for its walled medina. We wandered through a maze-like city of minarets with Arabic and French influence. The medina of Fez was founded in the 9th century at around the same time that Islam arrived in Morocco and the imperial rule of the country began. Fez was the capital of Morocco until 1912. We also visited the Jewish quarter, The Mellah, where few Jewish people still live.

Exploring archaeological sites in Morocco

After leaving Fez, we explored the archaeological site of Volubilis. This was a Roman city dating back to the 3rd century BC and was a central administrative city of this part of Roman Africa. People lived there for more than 1,000 years until it was abandoned in 18th century and was demolished in order to build the palace of the Sultan in Meknes. We visited Bab el-Mansour, which is the main gate between the Meknes medina and Imperial City districts. The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail is the tomb of Morocco's greatest ruler, who made Meknes his capital city in the 17th century.

After exploring imperial cities of Morocco, our last stop was Tangier. We took a four-hour drive by private van from Fez to Tangier, which is a Moroccan port on the Strait of Gibraltar. We took a ferry across to Tarifa, Spain, ending our fabulous trip to mystical and magical Morocco.

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
By United Newsroom, December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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