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For those of you who love Europe and have visited Morocco, please share your thoughts!

For those of you who love Europe and have visited Morocco, please share your thoughts!

Old Jul 15th, 2008, 02:31 AM
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I was in Morocco about 15 years ago and had a horrible time. I was followed through the streets numerous times by men. At the time, I was in my early 40's. Some of the men even tried to talk to me. I had to firmly tell each man to leave me alone.

It grossed me out to see male and female children urinating in the street. Needless to say, the sanitary conditions could be a lot better.

When I was on line to get a train ticket a man walked right in front of me as I approached the window to buy my ticket. I let him know that he could not cut in front of me. I realize that women are viewed differently in Morocco, but there is no excuse for rudeness.

Yes, it's been awhile since I was there. Things could have changed.
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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"Some of the men even tried to talk to me"

Oh horrors! I'm surprised you made it out alive....

I think it's safe to say that if you have only been to Tangiers or have only been to Morocco 15 years ago, you don't have much that's useful to offer to someone contemplating a current trip. There are countless threads here on Fodors advising folks who are thinking about a daytrip to Tangiers NOT to do it, precisely because it is so vastly different (in a bad way) an experience from venturing into the country.

Clifton summed up well some of the differences between Morocco and Europe. I'll add that King Mohammed VI's interest in tourism has wrought innumerable changes for the better in the past few years, chief among them for the typical visitor, perhaps, his "crackdown" on the young boys who used to pester foreigners in the souks and elsewhere.

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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 06:45 AM
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StCirq, The very essence of this board is its openness to the spectrum of opinions on any topic. Please give tcreath the credit to distill and discern the various viewpoints on her own.
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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Tracy, my husband and I had a great trip to Morocco in 2004. We drove ourselves the whole time and covered a lot of ground going from Casablanca to Fez to Merzouga to Todra Gorge to Ourzazate to Marrakesh to Tamarghant to Essouira back to Casablanca. It was an adventure unlike any trip we've ever had but we both loved it. Driving ourselves though we did find our French came in very handy when asking for directions and such. I did a trip report on the Africa board plus I have a virtual tourist page with some pics at http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a4b1/edc/
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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<<I was in Morocco about 15 years ago and had a horrible time.>>

Fifteen years ago is a long time. I was in Morocco two years ago and did not have any of the experiences that you did. The men that followed you may have been may have been trying to get you to hire them as guides, a common practice. As far as a man cutting in front of you in a line, that is certainly not peculiar to Morocco.

I didn't find the vendors as aggressive as another poster did either. However, I did not go to Tangier and got out of Casablanca after visiting the beautiful mosque. But If you show interest in something they do try hard to make a sale and selling is a game to Moroccon vendors; you have to learn to haggle. I did not find it unpleasant, in fact it was fun.

Morocco is a beautiful and exotic country and you can have a wonderful experience there but you do have to make an effort to understand the culture.

By the way, there are legions of European tourists there, not so many Americans.

I hope you've begun searching the Africa forum for reports.
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 09:09 AM
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Wow....thank you all so much for your generous replies. And I thought I would definitely get some nasty comments about how this "isn't the Africa forum"!

Morocco sounds fabulous. I have traveled quite extensively around Europe and I think I am ready for the change. Although I obviously love Europe, and we've had the extreme good fortune of having visited some amazing places, I am ready for a change and would love to try something a little more exotic.

I have read about the husslers who think all Americans are wealthy. This would annoy me to an extent, no doubt, but its a cultural difference that I would accept and deal with.

jgg, I read your trip report a couple of days ago with great interest and found your details and descriptions very appealing. It sounds like you had a fantastic trip!

Stu, you are always so helpful! Your suggestions helped make our Croatia trip a success, so I value your opinion. Your pictures are wonderful! The town in Dades Canyon looks really neat, and does Ait Benadhou!

I think that what sparks my interest in Morocco is all of the beautiful bold colors. The buildings, the tiles, even the various spices in the market. It looks like sensory overload, and that is exactly what I am after.

I am going to research all of the helpful links and read through the trip reports and suggestions here. I can't thank you all enough for your replies. I really wanted to hear about Morocco from fellow Europe lovers and you all have given me lots of great info.

Best wishes,
Tracy
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 09:21 AM
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I forgot to mention that St.Cirq, it was a post you wrote about Morocco that started my research. Someone had asked a question about cheaper alternatives to Europe and you responded about Morocco and how much you enjoyed it. So thank you, and I'm off to look for your trip report now!

Tracy
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 03:48 PM
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Tracy, I just came across these videos of the d'Jemma El Fna - the main square in Marrakesh. Thought of you when I saw them because they are so true to what it's like there, night and day. The snake guy thing - don't let them do this to you until you say the magic words: "how much?" (just stick with this as a standard rule of thumb).

Daytime, when the snakes and acrobats are out:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=2ejeKg1hZ6c

At night, when the food stalls are rolled in:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=aFFA5hA5WpE


Hey Stu - just saw your note. Good to hear from you again. Hope your travels are going well! Not sure when our next will be as it's not a pleasure trip exactly, but looks like it'll be to Russian Siberia, hopefully sometime this year yet.


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Old Jul 21st, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Tracy: You're in for a great adventure into Maroc..see those
videos in Clifton's post above!

Cifton: Videos show all, tell all! I felt like we were back in the Djem! We ate at some of the stalls and the food we selected was excellent...and el cheapo! Also had fun with the vendors as the video shows. Nothing quite like the Djem , anywhere.


Stu T.
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Old Jul 21st, 2008, 06:20 PM
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Clifton, thank you so much for the links! I just watched the videos with great interest. It looks like a lot of fun...I particularly liked the seemingly chaotic atmosphere where the food stalls were being set up. I am still doing some research, but Morocco sounds and looks fascinating.

Siberian Russia....I would LOVE to read that trip report! I love fodors but it's rare to get trip reports, or even hear about plans, from places outside of the normal tourist destinations. I don't know much about that region, so I would love to read about your adventure.

Tracy
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 02:58 PM
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I'll try to do my best to post something after the trips (we'll go twice) but this is a different kind of trip, so we won't get around much. I've gotten terrible about writing lately. Never did do a report on Morocco. I finally did write one about our trip this past may to Nicaragua (not quite finished), but it's on another site. Not sure if it's ok to post a link but what the heck.. it's on travelerstogo.com . Quite a few reports over there to different places in S. America and Mali and such. We've got a trip report forum specifically so it's under that category.

Hope you all decide to check out Morocco!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 06:04 PM
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dear tcreath,

In February, 2008 my 14-year-old daughter and I spent a fascinating and wonderful week in Morocco.

The "dirt and poverty" comment made me smile as my daughter was housed for part of the trip with a Moroccan family. She basically stayed in a palace with a cook, maid, driver, etc... The family was lovely to her and they owned the local TGIFs so she got to eat American food and was thrilled

But, Morocco is definitely a country of contrasts. There is much poverty and some wealth.

On the Africa thread I started a trip report which I confess I got too busy traveling to finish. Maybe I will someday soon...

I was nervous about this trip at first too esp. as 2 petite western women traveling alone. The more I planned and read the more excited I got. I'm a worrier, a germ-a-phobe, etc. but we never got sick, or into any real sketchy situations, and it is one of those real life changing travel experiences that you just shouldn't miss.

We visited Fes, Meknes, Rabat and stopped for an afternoon at the incredible Roman ruins - Volubilis (a "must see" IMO). We didn't have time for the desert but I hear you can't miss that experience either.

Fes is amazing and authentic and will knock you off your feet. Rabat is the modern contrast to Fes. We spent a day outside Fes in Bahlil and Sefrou but that was my least favorite day I think and I'd skip that next time. I did a lot of research on Fes vs Marrakesh and chose Fes and was very pleased with that decision. You may have time for both. I spent one evening in Casablanca and didn't get to the Blue Mosque but I would have liked to do that if we flew in there. Otherwise, I think you can skip Casablanca.

The weather in February was very pleasant - light jacket and layers - and lots of sunshine. No bare arms, midriffs, or legs...if you care to dress respectfully. I did wear a pashmina over my shoulders in Fes. Not necessary at all in Rabat.

Pick the better Riads as you will be tired and dirty at the end of the day, and will want someplace you know is clean and sanitary. (Well, actually I don't know you, but that was definitely what we wanted!)

I absolutely loved the food in Morocco.

Please look for my trip report and also ask any specific questions you have.

BTW, my daughter is not the museum type, and I would say of all our European travels she was the most engaged in Morocco. Just walking around is interesting. You never have to enter any museum to be surrounded by an amazing culture. She really loved Volubilis too as did I.

Do go!!

gruezi
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 08:16 PM
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tcreth, here is some more information to help you make an informed decission about a trip to Morocco. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...s/cis_975.html
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