Morocco Revisited

And our Indian programming will now be interrupted for a Moroccan announcement…

More than any other place, people ask for recommendations about visiting Morocco. So I’m going to put the information I sent to a friend on here:

My husband and I spent about 6 weeks in Morocco. I have a couple of negative posts about it.– But that was because we were there for so long in the hottest time of year and during Ramadan. The people were a bit grumpy during Ramadan. It was also my first experience in a developing country, so the dirt and flies and heat and everything got to me a bit. Now I think I could handle it better since we’ve been to India. Plus you’ll be there in a cooler time of year.

These are the cities we were in:

Ouazazarte: a small town in southern Morocco, we stayed here for a month: http://www.dartuzzalt.com/index.html. It’s family run and very nice. The town has a movie set museum and a kasbah. It’s very calm and desert-y.

Taroudant: We couch surfed here. If you want a bit of culture it’s a great idea to stay with a local. I’m friends on Facebook with the English teacher we stayed with if you want me to get you in touch with him. His name is El Habib.

Marrakesh: The stereotypical Moroccan city that you don’t want to miss (with the monkeys and snake charmers) they are extremely aggressive and rude here though. The traffic is nuts.

Rabat: A beach town and the capital city, a nice place to relax (and the only place I know of with a tiny tiny LDS branch) I have their contact information if you need it.

Fez: The religious heart of the country, there’s some amazing shopping to be done here. Well, not that I bought anything, but you can get lost in the maze of shops. The place we stayed had roaches so I wouldn’t recommend it, haha.

Tangiers: A lot of Spanish influence, more tourists since it’s right next to Spain, some charming architecture.

If you’re only there for a few days, I’d recommend a camel trek from Marrakesh which will take you to the kasbah in Ouazazarte and some other pretty areas. Here is a contact from a tour we used that we really enjoyed: paul@hostelsclub.com

and a list of possible tours:

http://www.hostelsclub.com/act_step01_country.php?lang=en&country=41&city=0&mese=10&anno=2010&currency=2&type=15

The Sahara desert is something in my opinion you don’t want to miss. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and riding a camel through it is just awesome.

Oh and as far as safety goes, it’s extremely safe. The biggest thing will be if you are a woman traveling alone, you will get harassed a little bit more. Just don’t let it faze you and dress conservatively. Do you speak French? That would help enormously.

And the food is very good, you’ll be able to try all of the main dishes: couscous, harira (soup) and tagines.

I hope you enjoy it! It’s very exotic. The one thing I wish I had bought was the clay pot they cook tagines in. They are very expensive to buy in the States. I wouldn’t have minded buying Moroccan clothes but the storekeepers are so dang aggressive there I never was able to do it! Until just recently, that is, where I bought something from the airport in Casablanca while waiting for a flight.

Oh and by the way? Don’t eat at McDonald’s in any city. Jacob and I and our two friends got hit with food poisoning in two different destinations of McDonald’s. (I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s since.) Actually, don’t eat raw salad period in Morocco.

http://www.travellerspoint.com/accommodation/22832-Amour-de-Riad/ is where we stayed in Marrakech. You can book it free on any hostel website. It was very cute. If you go on the tours, a stay in a provided hotel is usually included. We camped out in the desert one night (the roaches were sooo huge. They were living off of camel poo!) There are many tours, as you can imagine, so if you don’t find one you like with hostelclub you can do a Google search. They were just the best value that I found.

They use their own currency there. You can bring money to convert, but I’d just recommend using an ATM machine. I forget the name of their currency. I think it’s dirham. Something like 7dh to the dollar. If you convert cash you’ll be losing money to the exchanger, if you use the ATM you’ll just get charged a small fee of about $5.

There are ATMs everywhere so you can get cash as you go…most places won’t accept credit cards. I don’t know how much you’ll need. Depends on how frugal you are, I guess. If you take too big a chunk out, you can always exchange it afterwards–but be sure to do that before you leave Morocco, because it’s illegal to take any money out of the country. Also, don’t carry all your cash in one place. Spread it out in case something gets stolen. We always just take out from the ATM as much as we can at a time because we stay so long in each place.

This is church information that is probably outdated:

Our address is 44 Rue Chemiere #2, Agdal-Riyad, Rabat.

There is a bus stop near the intersection of Avenue Ben Barka and Al Melia.

My phone numbers are (ask me if you need them).

On www.viamichelin.com, If you plug in Rue Chemiere as the street address and Agdal-Riyad as the city, it gets you very close. There is no Chemiere #2 on any map. The #2 refers to the next street over from the labeled street between Avenue Ben Barka and Rocade Rabat (as labeled on the viamichelin map).

Sacrament will begin at 11 followed be Sunday School / Primary. At 1 pm we will have our weekly pot luck lunch.

I hope you will be able to join us. Will you be coming by train, then by bus?

–Mo Hanners

CHARLES M. HANNERS, SA, DAFC

Deputy Chief, Force Protection Detachment

U. S. Embassy, Rabat, Morocco

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Amour de Riad, Marrakech, Morocco – Ratings, Reviews & Bookings – Travellerspoint

www.travellerspoint.com

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 361 awesome articles for us.

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