Beautiful Morocco Sep/15 part 2

Old Oct 12th, 2015, 05:59 PM
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Beautiful Morocco Sep/15 part 2

Today we have a guide to take us through the labyrinth of this old city that will take us back in time to when it was built in the 8th century. Once we entered the medina there were donkeys and carts and people busy with their day to day chores walking the narrow streets, vendors calling you in to look at their wares. I can't describe the smells that assaulted us, there was mint, spices, meat and donkey dung all mixed into one exhilarating scent. We visited mosques and souks where their goods spilled onto the pavement. There were sacks of spices, live chickens. goat heads, dried fruit and dates. Everywhere you looked there was something fascinating to see. Call to prayer is held five times a day and the eerie haunting sound can be heard wherever you are. I was really looking forward to seeing the tannery but unfortunately it was closed for repair so that was disappointing.
That evening we decided to venture out to find a restaurant for dinner. We had instructions from the staff left, right, right, left off we went, only to return fifteen minutes later lost. More instructions only to find the restaurant closed! We decided to keep walking and finally found a place we could people watch and the food was simple but good.
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Old Oct 15th, 2015, 11:08 AM
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Thank you for posting. I wait for more...
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Old Oct 15th, 2015, 10:34 PM
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I also wait for more, Mirasia.....
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Old Oct 17th, 2015, 01:52 PM
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Its coming just got caught up with being home and work!
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Old Oct 30th, 2015, 02:14 PM
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We spent the day feeling more confident about venturing into the medina so we did a lot of walking through the narrow streets and people watching. Fes is fascinating.
Later we heard of a restaurant called Thami's that was supposed to be good and Thami quite entertaining. Off we went only to find we had eaten there the night before! Tami unfortunately was not there. We had noticed a restaurant the previous evening that sounded interesting so we went looking for it and were very surprised and pleased to find it. The Ruined Garden had a beautiful setting and the food was delicious! I really enjoyed the iced mint tea, a refreshing change to the hot.
Today our driver Abdul, who I have to say was fantastic picked us up to take us to Chefchouen. It was an interesting four hour drive through the countryside. He told us that there was a festival so we would have to change hotels because it was very busy. Our first hotel Dar Echaouen was simple but nice with a good breakfast and a pool which we did enjoy. Our second hotel was awful! I think it was called Riad Gabriel. It was in the medina which the other one wasn't but that was about all that was good about it. Having the festival there it was a lot of fun. They had setup a stage and had all kinds of bands playing. We were glad to be there when it was so lively but you could still walk through the medina and find it quiet. I loved Chefchouen's beautiful and unique hues of blue.
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Old Oct 30th, 2015, 02:58 PM
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Today we are going to Cascades d'Akchour. The drive into the Riff Mountains was beautiful. We started out on the trail and after 20min asked someone how far it was to the waterfall, he said 40min to the small ones 3 hours to the big ones! We were not expecting it to be a long hike. We did go to the small ones which were pretty but I think I would of preferred to stay and explore Chefchouen. So I would probably not recommend visiting the falls. When we got back I did get a chance to walk the many streets and enjoy the town.
Now here is where I would do things differently, not that we didn't enjoy it we did but would change it. I would go back to Fes and take the train to Marrakech.
Next we stopped at Volubis on our way to Meknes where we went to see the Sultan's massive stables where he housed his 12,000 horses, it was very impressive. Here we stayed at Riad Felloussia. The riad was very nicely decorated but it was like staying in a dungeon, very dark. The area was good inside the medina. But I wouldn't recommend it.
We loved our drive through the middle Atlas Mountains. The scenery was beautiful from rocky, sun baked plains to cedar clad mountains to deep canyons! In the cedar forest we stopped to see the entertaining Barbary apes. Our drive to the Sahara was wonderful and very picturesque. Our hotel Ksar Merzouga was awesome, right on the desert! We went to the small village of Khamilla where we listened to the music of the descendants of black slaves, we found this very beautiful.
I don't have words to describe our camel ride except torturous and exhilarating at the same time, if that's even possible! One of our highlights! Absolutely beautiful to see those wonderful apricot dunes and the caravan of camels winding their way through them. The evening was romantic with the candlelight and the music of our Berber guides. Our tent was comfortable and the food delicious! A very magical, memorable time, not to be missed!
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Old Oct 30th, 2015, 03:36 PM
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Today we walked the impressive Todra Gorge, with sheer cliffs rising straight up on either side another highlight for us. Then its on to Skoura with its oasis of palm trees. We explored the beautiful Kasbah Amridil, where a lot of movies were filmed. I felt like I was stepping back in time, walking up the stairs and through the passages and seeing how they cooked and lived back then.
Our biggest surprise was our hotel, Ksar Elkabbaba! It looked like it was straight out of a magazine, so very beautiful! It had a gorgeous pool and gardens, I would highly recommend it.
We start another day of driving this time through the High Atlas Mountains. This day is a very special day for all Muslims called Eid al Adha, its like Christmas for us. Everyone in the village goes to spend time with their family, where a sheep is slaughtered.(this is the short version, there is more meaning to it than this). It was very eerie driving through empty villages and not seeing anyone and occasionally witnessing the killing of a sheep as we drove by. The Atlas mountains were spectacular with the winding roads.
In Marrakech it was still the holiday so a lot was closed. We stayed at Riad Ariha which was nice. Here we hired a guide who took us on a 7 hour walking tour! He was very interesting and informative we enjoyed our day. After that we took the local buses and toured around on our own. We were planning on going to Essaouira but didn't have time which I was sorry we missed.
We had a very memorable time in Morocco and enjoyed everything we did, the people were wonderful, the scenery beautiful and we felt very safe. It was a holiday we will never forget!
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 02:58 AM
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Merci.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 08:50 AM
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Thanks so much for sharing the details of your trip, Mirasia! Very helpful to me and other future travelers to Morocco.
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