Morocan Itinerary -- your thoughts please?

Reply

Mar 5th, 2012, 03:39 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Travelin'

you mention Fintt (proper spelling..strangely enough, a double "t" ending)..it is not exactly "outside" Ouarzazate...it's a rugged drive over poorly maintained dirt/gravel. We drove it, as we did all of Maroc, and the rewards were well worth it. Fintt is truly of another time.
These scanned pics (sorry about the crowding) can be enlarged by clicking on the magnifying glass icon and using the mouse to move things around. Fintt was most memorable and we were the only people visiting that day. The map gives you an idea of what we covered in three weeks. Magnificent country.

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Morocco#

I have several more Fintt pics...mail me at rozstu1 at aol dot com
tower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2012, 07:26 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Another suggestion if it's not too late....while in the Merzouga area, flitting around the dunes, take the time to see the nearby Rissani market...ain't for the tourists...but rather a true local market...sheep, hogs, horses, rabbits, etc....exceptionally colorful with fascinating people watching to boot.
tower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2012, 08:49 PM
  #23
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 241
Oh what great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing!

Please DO keep them coming! I still haven't picked a place in Marrakech yet. I want to stay quite near the Cafe de France so that, as a woman alone, I can get back and forth without too much hassle.

(As an aside, I have learned to say "leave me alone" in Darija, which, ironically sounds a lot like "bad men" -- ba-ad meni, and I intend to put it to good use! Still waiting to find out how to say "Shame on you!" tho )

We have agreed on the number of days and the start date, but not all the details of the plan -- I'm going to work on that tonight and tomorrow. And will also be able to continue to make changes as we go along.

I can do the hectic pace only because this is going to be in the middle of my four week trip (sorta) so I will be spending time at my leisure in Cannes, Fes (including a cooking class) then Essaouiri (can anyone tell me how to pronounce it? Essoooree?) then Marrakech. I couldn't do it as my entire trip.

I have definitely decided on Desert Majesty, so I'll be able to report back, when I return. I specifically requested a driver recommended by one of the women that I spoke with as a reference, so hopefully that will be good.

I have reserved a room at (Riad) Dar Bensouda in Fes which has two or three negative reviews (I can read the ones in French lol) and quite a lot of positive ones. I'm really looking forward to that as sort of my "splurge" as they didn't have any standard rooms left. They have been lovely so far.

I also read of a restaurant called Sekaya which I'm looking forward to trying. My cooking day at FesCooking with Lahcen Beqqi (yet a different Lahcen) will be on my second day in Fes, after which I will "take it from there".

My driver knows Fintt apparently so I'll trust him to get me there... but I will carry extra water... never leave home without it ;-)

Per your suggestions I have decided to cut back on the desert and add one more night -- so again, please do keep the suggestions coming!

The reason I am planning so late is that I only decided to take this trip a bit more than a month ago (long story -- not that I'm rich lol) and first spent about ten days looking at India...

but I learned when I was in college that no matter how broke you are, you should always have enough cash for a taxi or a different hotel room if you're in danger... and otherwise, the more things go wrong, the better the stories afterwards!

Cheers,

TF
TravelinFeet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 01:03 AM
  #24
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 122
Some more pics (and a video) of the Finnt oasis: http://www.morocco-knowledgebase.net...read.php?t=242

Shame on you: n'shouma

Essaouira (Es'souira) is pronounced by most as sow-ear-ah
TimCullis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 01:57 AM
  #25
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 673
Yes, don't miss Rissani, a very authentic market. Like thursdaysd I wasn't that impressed with Marrakesh either, found it way too touristy, anyday preferred Fes, which has so much more character, loved wandering around the souk. Enjoy your sabbatical TF, hope Morocco's all that you expect and more...
geetika is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 11:09 AM
  #26
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 241
Thanks so much geetika, tim and others. So I've changed my itinerary to spend less time in Marrakech, but plan to do my heavy shopping there, to avoid having the carry stuff much of the way. (Main plan is to buy jewelry as gifts -- earring travel so well! But I really want a tagine pot.) Any suggestions?

OTOH I am a people watcher, so will enjoy sitting at a rooftop cafe over Djemma Al Fna (sp?.

I remain a bit worried about my itinerary -- so any other suggestions of stops would be great! I'm not all that interested in Ourzazate (sp?) but I have just read that there is a good artisan cooperative there. Does anyone have experience with this.

Anyone find a real Berber jewelry place?

Many, many thanks for everyone's kindness!

TF
TravelinFeet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 01:06 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 122
There's an extremely good fixed price shop in Ouarzazate called Bazar Rabab. It's next to the supermarket that sells alcohol on the main street near the Shell fuel station. It's not huge but there's a back room with jewellery. It's handy to see prices here as even if it's not something you want you can use the prices to judge just how much other shops are fixing their prices. One of the good things to buy at Bazar Rabab are pouffes, which pack up real small to take home.

Standard tagine pots with lids are around 60dh. Avoid pretty colour ones for cooking as they use lead-based glaze.
TimCullis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 04:12 PM
  #28
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 241
Thanks Tim -- once again you saved me! Dang about the colored ones tho. I will definitely add that place to my list.

Hmm... I would never have thought of a pouffe being easy to pack ... I'll have to think on that one... I was thinking more along the line of fabrics or pashminas...

Many thanks AGAIN!

TF
TravelinFeet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 04:15 PM
  #29
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 241
Ian, Have you found out any more about

"Foum Zquid via Tazenackt or vicinity to see carpet co-op weavers in their homes"

Do you recall where you first heard of it?

Thanks again.

TF
TravelinFeet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 04:36 PM
  #30
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 241
PS, after a ton of sites offering to tell me about squid, lol, I did find a few references to Tazenackt and carpet weaving, but still nothing very specific.

thanks again
TravelinFeet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 04:43 PM
  #31
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 241
Tim/anybody -- did you stay anyplace that you liked in Essaouira?

thanks!

TF
TravelinFeet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 05:08 PM
  #32
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Travelin

We loved The Villa Maroc in Essaouira. Large deck overlooking the harbor where you can have your breakfast...walk everywhere in town. In my pics, note the famous Orson Welles mini-monument and the colorful town walls in the background. Scenes for Othello were filmed on the ramparts with the cannons. Nice resto at the harbor, Chez Sam...sea food and other dishes.
stu

http://www.villa-maroc.com/
tower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 07:17 PM
  #33
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Travelin'
In your other thread..."Essaouira very unfriendly"..pay no heed...we found the town and everywhere else in Maroc to be friendly and pleasant and helpful. There must be some ugly story behind that comment from the poster on another forum.

I personally think you're overplanning. This would be a good time to stop and just finish with the essentials...air reservations, unless you already have them, lodgings, etc.
Go with a sense of adventure and enjoy every minute.
stu
tower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 09:44 PM
  #34
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 241
Thanks so much. Funny to think of me as overplanning... especially as I just started a month ago... but you may be right.

(If it makes any difference, this is the only part of my trip for which I have ANY plan other than hotel. (and I only have 3/5 so far for those lol) and still don't have my flight back to Rome either lol.)

Still I have gotten such great ideas here, things that are right along my way and that I will very much enjoy, and just in the last 24-48 hours, so I'm not ready to give up the experience of the many here! FWIW I'm very much a "go with the moment" person, so if something else comes up -- that's ok too.

And thanks for the hotel idea!

TF
TravelinFeet is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:49 PM.