Morroco Magic

Oct 18th, 2018, 02:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 257
Hi Tim, This doesn’t surprise me. I knew the colors weren’t nature made, but it was a fun bargaining opportunity, to bring inexpensive gifts home, and add another memorable moment.

So it seemed like the rest of the trip passed quite quickly. The ride from the desert to Fes was about 8 hours. Slow traffic, stops along the way. Lots of enjoyable scenery. And then there was Fes. I’d heard good and bad. Only having 2 half days and one full day, I’m sure we missed some things. We did hire a guide for 5 hours to take us to see some of the more historic aspects. He also took us to the tanneries and a few places we could have gone on our own. I think overall the money was well spent because we had such a short time, but I think one could do this on their own. Fes was different from Marrakesh. It was also a crowded busy Médina, and there were lots of small passageways and twisting, turning streets, more so than Marrakech. You won’t get lost but you’ll probably not end up where you planned. There were no motorcycles, donkeys, lor carts to share the streets with the pedestrians. We did feel that it was dirtier. Lots of trash on the ground and the store keepers didn’t wash down their outside areas regularly like in Marrakech. There were lots of great shopping opportunities. I had heard that there was less pressure, but we were constantly being followed, called to or asked to come see their goods. It is interesting to see the craftsman working their trades everywhere you walk, but again you must be firm if you’re not interested.

We we stayed at an exceptional Riad, Dar Seffarine. Great location, beautifully restored, wonderful gourmet dinners that you have to try at least once in their beautiful dining area. The people working there were wonderful. They too sent someone to buy our bus tickets for Chefchaouen. We were also given some paper and tape when I asked about wrapping our treasures for travel. Everyone there was extremely helpful. They kept our luggage overnight while we were gone and had it back in our room when we returned. We can’t speak highly enough about staying with them.

The bus to Chefchaouen was another story. Our 4 hr trip was over 5 hrs in both direction. We had a rest stop that was too long and another stop in a small town. On the way home our driver also kept stopping to let people off as we got close to town. The bus wasn’t as comfy as the other, but for the price it’s a great deal. Just wanted you to know before you go!

Chefchaouen is a beautiful small town. A lot of up and downhill walking. The blue of the area is breathtaking, everywhere you turn is a photo op. That being said, if you don’t want to be waiting for other people to get out of your picture or wait for the masses to finish posing, I’d recommend going our early in the morning. The streets will be mostly yours and a few locals. also walk down streets and passageways that others don’t and you’ll get more blue than you can imagine. There isn’t a lot of shopping in the Médina, and not many historic sights, it just plain pretty and quaint. We did enjoy all the locals and their morning markets. Crowded and noisy, amazing clothing and style dating back who knows how long. Also fruits and vegetables and the haggling over them is like a show. That was a highlight for us as well. Don’t miss the climb to the Spanish mosque. Can’t miss it, as everyone heads up there for the sunset. The view across to the city is gorgeous. We stayed at Casa Sabilla, a nice small riad. Comfy and good location. Helpful people and a decent breakfast make this a nice choice. Beware, the mosque is right outside the riad and 5:00 am comes with a loud call to prayer. And when I say husband and I both burst out laughing. We were warned, but not prepared. Charming and fun, a day or two makes a for great memory here.

Back on on the bus, last night in Fes. In the afternoon we took the train to Casablanca. A relatively easy thing to do. Go first class, a few dollars more and a bit more space. Definitely not American first class. About four hours and you’re there. The train runs this route almost every hour.

There are lots of hotels to stay at in Casablanca, not many near the airport. A cab to the airport even from the city center is easy to get and not ridiculously expensive.

I would advise to check on your flights home in advance, and get to the airport more than 2 hours in advance. We were supposed to fly to Paris and then Chicago. When we got to the airport we found that our Paris plane was canceled and we had no flight home. We are not the first to have this situation. It took them an hour and a half to find and book flights for the same day.

All in all, Morocco rates up at the top of our favorite destinations. Food, people, culture, history, scenery, activities, shopping. It’s a adventure not to be missed!

i hope this report will be helpful to those planning their Morroco adventure. I’m always willing to answer questions as other have been kind enough to do for me.
soods is offline  
Oct 18th, 2018, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,806
Thanks for your TR! Which airline cancelled your flight?
yestravel is offline  
Oct 18th, 2018, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,202
Just came across this report and read it end to end. Thank you for sharing. Really making me want to go.
tripplanner001 is online now  
Oct 19th, 2018, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,654
Thank you for your lovely report! And I completely agree about Dar Seffarine - a wonderful place to stay, and so beautifully restored. I could've stayed there for our entire visit to Fes! And the meals were some of the best we had on our trip.
progol is offline  
Oct 19th, 2018, 02:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 105
Yay! Loved reading the end of this report. Sounds like Fes and the north were great but not making me regret our plan to focus south on this trip... Our trip has come together beautifully.

3 nights Marakech
2 Nights Atlas Prestige
1 night stop back in Marrakech . (others recommended driving all the way from Atlas to Essouria - The 1 night Riad seems lovely
2 nights in Essouria - Planning to take the Bus instead of driving thanks to your recommendation
1 night in Casablanca ahead of flight. (taking a meandering drive between Essouria and Casablanca to stop at a few things per recommendation of hotel in Essouria)
sfmasterG is offline  
Oct 19th, 2018, 07:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 257
Delta and Air France booked through Delta. Not the first time we’ve had Delta issues, though flying is rarely problem free these days!
soods is offline  
Oct 19th, 2018, 07:34 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 257
Hi tripplanner001. All I can say is, don’t miss this experience. It’s once in a lifetime, though you may just have to go back again and again!
soods is offline  
Oct 19th, 2018, 07:44 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 257
Thanks progol for reading my TR. Didn’t mean for it to go on so long, but you yourself know that there’s so much to say about such a magical place!
soods is offline  
Oct 19th, 2018, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 257
Hi sfmasterG, I’m so glad I could be of some help. Your trip looks great. I will say that the drive from Essaouira to Atlas Prestige, was not bad at all. You can certainly go directly and not use up another night in Marrakech. I think we were most fond of the southern portion because it’s hard to beat the beauty and magic of the High Atlas and desert! A leisurely drive at the end sounds great! I don’t think you can go wrong whatever you do. I’ll be looking forward to your trip report when you get home!
soods is offline  
Mar 25th, 2019, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,334
soods, just found your wonderful TR...very timely as I'm just beginning my planning. I particularly appreciated your comments on the Imli, Skoura and Todes Gorge areas and hope to follow in your footsteps. So glad your trip turned out to be amazing. Will check out all the riads you stayed in. Thank you!
barefootbeach is offline  

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