That’s where I’ve been in the last two weeks… And that’s where I would love to live the rest of my life!
A beautiful country, made of sand, sea, ocean and imperial cities…
The land where time really stops! At first we thought it was our watch, but soon realized that the whole country is inside a time capsules, where hours seem days, days seem weeks, weeks seem months…
For the first week I kept asking what time it was, and then suddenly saying: “That cannot be true! It cannot be still SO early!”… Then, little by little, the watch wasn’t an issue any more: our day was scanned by the prayer callings coming from the minarets and filling the cities with their melodic verses… It wasn’t any more a matter of what time it was: we were living fully (and, honestly, still are) in the Moroccan way…
Our trip was fairly classic for a two week first exploration of Morocco. We toured the imperial cities and did a short escaped towards the desert.
Moroccan currency is dirham. It’s better you change you foreign money at the airport: the rates are very good (at least for euro) and there is no commission. Don’t do the grumpy tourist that try to pay everything in US dollars and get pissed if robbed! 😉
Credit cards are accepted only in few places and they normally add a commission of 5%. On the other hand there is plenty of cash dispensers.
We travelled in public transports, train, buses and taxis.
We stayed mainly in awesome riad, the traditional Moroccan house: a cube with no outside wall windows, but windows facing the inner court where there was a large open area, with a fountain or a garden, with lots of light. It normally comes with a huge terrace on the roof. We booked all of them before to go (and I strongly recommend it!).
We used two travel guides: an old Routard, from 2000, and a newer Guide Vert Michelin, 2007. Both weren’t up to the task, honestly. Maybe we should have used the Lonely Planet instead, but we wanted to keep it French, for once…
As none of us can speak Arab (or should I say Moroccan?), we spoke French all the time. It’s not that Moroccan people doesn’t know any other foreign language, they do, but French is more natural for them. And French is anyway the second language of Morocco. French is essential if you want to go to Morocco by yourself.
We didn’t bought a carpet but if you want to, we strongly recommend you to look up the prices for Moroccan carpets in your country, so at least you know against which price you should haggle. Because Morocco is the land of haggling too! 99% of what is sold doesn’t have a price tag, and Moroccan just love to haggle! A lady on the train told us that they haggle for tomatoes and carrots too!!!
In the next weeks I will publish an accurate account of our trip, full of pictures and stories…
Do not expect too much food! Not because we didn’t have it, but because after the second tajine, looking all the same, you stop taking pictures…
Moroccan food is very very good, but, unluckily, it doesn’t excel in variety: tajine, tajine, grilled meat, tajine, fried fish, tajine again and then, on friday, couscous and then tajine again… And then, of course, their wonderful patisserie! But I don’t want to spoil the fun of reading the next posts!
Stay tuned for:
Day 1 Marrrakesh, a first bite
Day 2 Rain going to Fès
Day 3 to 4 Up and down Fès
Day 5 to 6 Meknes and the King
Day 7 to 9 Salè and Rabat, the old and the new
Day 10 The hot train and the harassing city
Day 11 The (almost) desert
Day 12 to 14 Too much harass, too much heat and too much almond milk
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