Kasbahs, camels, and couscous - 12 days in Morocco

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Jun 30th, 2010, 07:02 AM
  #41
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Well, A Street in Marrakech is good for an account of the day-to-day life of women in the medina is like (or was like, believe it was written in the 1970's so I'm sure there are some changes but maybe not a lot). It's non-fiction. Interesting to see how a stranger is initially treated and gradually accepted by the local women.

Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits is a quick read of more contemporary short stories. Well-written.

The Caliph's House is a good non-fiction account of remodeling a house in Casablanca. Might be similar in feel to a House in Fez. If you end up liking his writing style I know he continues the story in a second book - In Arabian Nights, a Caravan of Moroccan Dreams - I haven't read that yet.

Hideous Kinky is another quick story (fiction). Or you could rent the movie with Kate Winslet which was pretty true to the book.

I love Paul Bowles but if time is limited I'm not sure I'd put him at the top of the list.

Have fun!
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Jun 30th, 2010, 09:43 AM
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Thanks - that's a big help.
I'll get to the library/book store soon.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 10:36 AM
  #43
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I think I got some on ebay as they are out of print & not in my local library.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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Besides ebay you could also try:
http://www.bestwebbuys.com/books/
http://www.bookfinder.com/
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Jun 30th, 2010, 02:59 PM
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I got 3 books already (or at least they are on order) from my local library.
I should have them in a couple of days. I should have enough time to read Hope etc, Hideous Kinky and A Street in Marrakech by the time I leave for Morocco in September.

Thanks for the book recommendations, Leslie.
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Jul 1st, 2010, 04:12 AM
  #46
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You're welcome. Hope you like them Lolo!
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Jul 11th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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I already read 2 of the 3 that I got from the library - Hideous Kinky and Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits.
They were both very easy and fast - 1 day for each!
Next is A Street in Marrakech.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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That one will probably take a little longer - interesting because a true story if I'm thinking of the right one.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 12:05 PM
  #49
 
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Leslie_S: Was in Spain in May (is that when you were in Morocco?) and before checking Fodor's had decided to go to Morocco in 2011. Just found your trip report. WOW. Great reading and many thanks for the book list! I will be traveling alone, but want to join a group - thinking of Country Walkers as I like to hike. Again, thanks for the terrific report.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 01:02 PM
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Yes, we went in May.
I checked into Country Walkers when I was planning our trip. It sounded very interesting. I can't remember why I didn't go forward with them - maybe the price or maybe the lodging. I had my heart set on staying in riads & had already picked out ones I was interested in by that point. Again, I can't remember but I think they stayed in hotels rather than riads (which would generally be the case with a group since most riads wouldn't have enough rooms). If I was considering going alone I'd definitely have CW at the top of my list - I talked to some people that had traveled with them & they gave them very high marks.

I hope your trip is as wonderful as ours was!
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Jul 21st, 2010, 09:43 AM
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I just finished A Street in Marrakech and absolutely LOVED it.
It gave a wonderful glimpse into the everyday life of the people living in the medina.
This was my favorite of the 3 that I read.
I have nearly 2 months to go before I leave - I hope to read 1 or 2 more books.

Can't wait to walk through the medina and get lost!!
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:41 AM
  #52
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So glad you enjoyed it!
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Jul 30th, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Leslie - I just viewed your pictures that you had posted on Picasa. What wonderful photos! You have captured the essence of Morocco and have whet my appetite even more. My husband and I leave in 7 weeks and we can't wait.

I just have a few questions, if you don't mind.

I was thinking about taking Cipro as a prophylactic - I certainly don't want to be stuck (like on a camel) where I can't get to a bathroom. I didn't do this while in Egypt, but I know people who have. Did you have any problems with any of the food?

Also - I see that you dressed conservatively - I was planning on cropped pants, short sleeve tops with sandals. Long pants and polos for my husband. I would imagine that this would be ok. We will be there in late September into October when the weather will still be warm. How cold did you find it in the mountains at night? I am planning on a lined windbreaker. I tend to travel light and really don't want to bring anything heavier. What do you think?

I am most appreciative of your opinion and recommendations.
Thanks.
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Jul 30th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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I hadn't Heard that people were taking antibiotics as a "prophylactic". I think that's a singularly bad idea - it's the unnecessary overuse of antibiotics that has led to bacteria developing immunity and rendering some of them useless. I had no stomach troubles in Morocco and would think that normal precautions (no tap water, for instance) would be adequate. In any case, Cipro is no longer effective in some parts of the world - you'd better check whether that includes Morocco.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 11:26 AM
  #55
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Hi Lolo -
I took Cipro over with me but never needed it. I did, however, take pepto-bismol as a prophylactic (you can google that and see there is a value to it for short term use if you don't mind the side effects). I had no problems with the food but I was pretty cautious - didn't eat at food stalls, for example. I just didn't want to take any chances.

One of my biggest regrets was not having more warm clothes. I took only an unlined rain jacket and was really cold some of the time. If I went again, regardless of what time of year I'd take at least a fleece. The mountains and the desert at night -- brrr.

As far as dressing conservatively - I was glad to be covered both out of respect and also I burn easily. But you certainly will see every type of outfit from full coverage to skimpy spaghetti strap tops and short-shorts. I wore some capris and I think one day some bermuda length shorts and didn't feel 'inappropriate.' Cropped pants and short sleeves will be fine for you. I'm pretty sure my husband wore cargo pants every day and either t-shirts, polos or button-up shirts with the sleeves rolled up. We didn't have any nice outfits so at a couple of dinners in our riads I felt a bit sloppy but not enough to worry about.

Do the usual layered thing so you're prepared if you do have cold nights or rain. Have a great time!!

p.s. I felt totally safe in Morocco - never any worries at all about getting pick-pocketed, etc. although the busy squares are supposed to be full of them. Anyway, just got my wallet lifted in St. Petersburg and am so annoyed at myself. I've gotten complacent after so many trips with no problems. But I'll be biting the bullet and wearing a money belt from now on. So just watch your things in crowded areas!
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Aug 6th, 2010, 06:28 PM
  #56
 
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I am reading this late....just came onto it now.

Thanks Leslie_S nice report , good information and nice pictures.

My friend is St.Petersburg got his wallet lifted also.

We were touring the Aurora Cruiser at the time ( the boat/ship that fired that shot at the Winter Palace during the Russian Revolution !)

Once again Thank You
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Aug 9th, 2010, 04:15 AM
  #57
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Thanks Percy!

Sorry to hear about your friend - puts a damper on a good trip.
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Aug 9th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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Well at least he did not have his passport and any great amount of money with him!!!

These items were back on the cruise ship.

Our guide warned us that the Aurora cruiser ship is a favourite place for pick pockets.

Mike ( who lost his wallet) said to us, "heck I would know if someone was lifting my wallet".

So we all had a chuckle when Mike's wallet was lifted.

I looked at your other pictures.

Were you on a Mediterranean Cruise?

How did you just do Finland , Tallinn and St.Petersburg.?

This is not the usual Baltic Cruise ?
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Aug 10th, 2010, 03:54 AM
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He was fortunate! I was lucky too my passport was not stolen - what a nightmare that would be. And I didn't feel anything either - they got the zipper open and reached all the way down into an inside pocket for my wallet. Very talented! That was on crowded Nevsky Prospect.

It was a Rick Steves tour to SPb, Tallinn, & Helsinki. Not by cruise - got from one country to the other by ferry & train. Really a great trip - wonderful fellow travelers (only 16 of us) - perfect guides - good mix of free time & togetherness - good lodging and wonderful restaurants when we ate as a group. Would definitely recommend if anyone's looking for a small group tour with emphasis on culture/history not shopping.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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Thanks Leslie_S

How did you contact Rick Steves. ?

I am sure he has a website that lists his tours and their dates. ( Do you have the website handy !?)

I justed watched his weekly half hour TV show last night on Vienna.

Did you purchase or see any of his DVD's on Europe.?

I was wondering how you got a picture of Rick Steves and his group in Tallinn.

I also do not like large group tours ( but 16 to me is not large), 20 and over is large.

It is nice to hear that his tours emphasize culture and history......shopping is not my bag!

By shopping ,I mean shopping- shopping, ignoring much of everything else but shopping.!

When I toured the Grand Bazaar in Turkey I did not qualify that as shopping..... as I wanted to see the Grand Bazaar.!

Thanks for the help.
( Yep, Nevsky Prospect would be another "nice" place for pick pocketing )
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