3 Single Women in Marrakesh

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Aug 4th, 2001, 07:43 PM
  #1
Glenda
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3 Single Women in Marrakesh

Need some information about safety in Marrakesh. Three female women (black, spanish and white)traveling to Marrakesh from Lisbon, Portugal in late August beginning September 2001. Our journey starts in Lisbon Portugal but would like to jump over to Marrakesh. Anyone have suggestions on best way to do trip - tour or independently. Will 3 woman be alright doing Marrakesh independently. Either way what are some must sees or dos.
 
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Aug 6th, 2001, 08:26 PM
  #2
elvira
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Three women (all Anglos) toured Morocco for two weeks on our own, and had no problems...other than the 'guides' who wanted to - ahem - help us find the interesting sights. We declined their offers. In Fez, we hired a guide through our hotel - these are guides licensed by the government - to take us into the medina. In Tangiers, Rabat and Chefchouan we were on our own, and saw pretty much what we wanted.

We had made arrangements for a camel tour through
http://www.imilchil-travel.com/
and for a guide in Marrakesh. It was well worth the money (the whole day, including meeting us at the train station, getting us to our hotel, then picking us up for a tour of the city; the next day, we were met early in the morning and we were out until late in the evening) - this was a couple of years ago, and each day cost us $25 - that's right, not per person, for ALL of us for a whole day.

You certainly can tour the cities without a guide, but in Marrakesh there is so much to see and so much history that's so unknown to the average non-Moroccan that a guide adds real value. One of us wanted to buy rugs for her new home, so we asked Abdul to take us to a carpet salesroom. He did, and said "I will wait for you, but I won't be involved in any purchasing because I don't want you to think I am influencing you". She got 5 gorgeous rugs at a very reasonable price; they were shipped to her (she had to pick them up at Customs at JFK) and she received exactly the rugs she'd purchased.

We dressed conservatively - short or long sleeved blouses, pants or knee-length baggy shorts, and we kept our hair tied back (two of us have very long blonde hair).

Don't worry about skin color - Moroccans are ALL different colors - even "blue" (the Tuaregs are called the blue people because their skin has a sort of mulberry tinge to it - quite beautiful people. Very tall, and very regal).
 
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Aug 7th, 2001, 12:38 AM
  #3
bejeca
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do you need adresses in Lisbon, for travel agencies? I live here (lisbon), and I did a program a few years ago, with a portuguese travel agencie that works very well.
I spent a week in Marrakesh, and my flight departured from lisbon via casablanca.
note, that you can also go without having to go to a travel agencie, because the flights are regular, and there are two airline companies operating to morocco via lisbon ( RAM - royal air maroc; PGA -portugalia airlines ). If you need adresses in Lisbon, just answer were.
About safety. Itīs the same as everywhere else in the world. If you play it safe, itīs ok.
last note: Marrakesh is really fantastic
 
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Aug 9th, 2001, 07:00 AM
  #4
spen
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My friend and I hired a guide recommended by another visitor in our great hotel. I've traveled alone a lot through Sicily and Turkey and was glad to have a guide in Marrakesh. The market men do a lot of aggressive touching. My friend was Chinese-american and didn't get hassled as much. I never felt in danger, but it was worth the money for me to have the buffer of a guide. My guide Abdul and his dwarfed partner Geleli were wonderful gentlemen and really showed us a fantastic time. We found them at the french cafe in the market square, though I dont know the names off the top of my head. The guides the hotels provide are much older and a lot less interesting and get cuts everywhere so you don't get the best food and such. Whomever you do find, make sure they take you out to the countryside for a day along the river and at the weekly people's market. It's magnificent. This was a couple of years ago, before mendi hand painting was big.... I suggest you ask a guide to set you up with a mendi artist. They usually have an aunt or sister who do it. It's a good opportunity to actually interact with women, who are rarely visible. Also, the odd women's bath house is available and was a highlight of my trip.
Anyway, once my friend and I had our hands painted we were even better received by hotel staff and market people. We tried to immerse ourselves as much as possible in the week we had, and the mendi expressed our appresicaiton for their culture.
 
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