Istanbul or Moracco??

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Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:18 AM
  #1
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Istanbul or Moracco??

I have traveled through much of Europe, including Prague and Budapest, and am not ready to start on other parts of the world. However, I am now trying to decide whether to travel to Morocco or Istanbul for one last trip in the general area of Europe before starting off on South America and Asia. I'm looking for advice on which place to visit, for an experience that would be culturally different. I've always gotten great advice from this forum; any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Bluelark is offline  
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:00 AM
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Well, Morocco cannot be counted as part of Europe, not even "general area" of Europe. So I guess that answers your question.
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Istanbul can be a good transition for city for you.

It was the capital of the Roman Empire for many years and then the capital of the Ottoman Empire which believed itself to be the continuation of the Roman Empire.
It also straddles both Europe and Asia, separated by the Bosphorus , a very scenic waterway between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

The people are very confused with trying to figure out who and where they are.

We have excellent food, good cafes, bars, night clubs, Turkish music and jazz, rock and pop and classical. There are more Greek and Roman ruins than in Greece and Italy in Turkey. Plus there are a large number of biblical sites. There are also some ancient synagogues and beautiful mosques.
We have neolithic remains, Hittite cities, over a thousand year old monasteries some still operating, cave hotels, canyons, skiing, white water rafting, mountain climbing to look for Noah's Ark, lush forests, high mountains and pastures where festivals are held, very tasty fresh fruit and vegetables, excellent lamb, farm eggs, sour cherry and fresh pomegranate juice, wild salad greens, and very friendly and helpful people in addition to restaurant and carpet shop tauts at touristy areas.

there are also weekly street markets, the grand bazaar and the spice bazaar in Istanbul, the Tahtakale area where everything you may imagine is being sold and the Carsamba, Fatih, Eyup areas where very conservative moslems walk around wearing what they believe to be traditional clothing.

A city of 15 million or more people busily doing things that they think they should be doing in a setting which is historic and modern and mixed by districts. There are palaces and minarets and baths and bridges and high-rises and shopping malls and office blocks and residential blocks and wooden houses with no rhyme or reason.
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 12:43 PM
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"Well, Morocco cannot be counted as part of Europe, not even "general area" of Europe. So I guess that answers your question."

Last time I looked at a map, Morrocco was next to Spain, seperated only by a narrow straight - so yeah, I'd call it "in the general area".
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:23 PM
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Well, Istanbul is a city, and a wonderful one at that. Morocco is a country, with lots of possibilities, so it would depend on where you planned to go in Morocco. If, for example, you were thinking about Tangiers, fuggedaboutit and stick with Istanbul.
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:42 PM
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Istanbul is more European than Morocco. In Istanbul we were not bothered by sales persons and "helpful" people who then insist on being paid for "guiding" you 100 yards. This is was mainly true for the souks for Fez, Meknès and Marrakech.
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Oct 4th, 2011, 03:51 AM
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I have been to both places and I greatly enjoyed both. Morocco often gets a bad rap on this forum, but I thought it was one of the most fascinating places I have ever visited. Like you, I had been to Europe many times and was looking to venture a bit further afield, and Morocco did not disappoint.

I agree that you should not limit your visit to Tangier. IMO Tangier is to Morocco what Tijuana is to Mexico. There are certainly interesting things to see and do there, but be sure to visit other cities to get a real feel for the country.

I think that Morocco is a bit more distinctive from your previous travels than Istanbul, but you can't go wrong with either place. otherchelebi described Istanbul better than I ever could. It is an amazing city. If you go to Turkey I suggest that you not limit yourself to Istanbul. Consider Cappadocia, Izmir, Selcuk, Kusadasi, Antalya, and/or Pamakkale, as well. Happy travels!
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Oct 4th, 2011, 06:03 AM
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I much preferred Istanbul, but I was in Casablanca. I've heard that Fez is nicer (and Marrakesh?)

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