spain - with morocco, or with portugal?

Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 06:45 PM
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spain - with morocco, or with portugal?

hi there all -
i have been a lurker for a while, and enjoyed some excellent advice from you all for my trip to paris about a year ago... so here i am, looking for more of your great expertise again! My husband is having a "big" birthday this year, in november. we have decided that for "big" birthdays, we will not sit around and mope, nor will we have parties with too many chuckles at our age, etc. instead, we will (in lieu of gifts) spend the year saving and planning for a lovely and magical trip. he decided on spain - barcelona mostly. then we thought, barcelona and lisbon would be a nice combo - some city and some almost country. then, we came to the realization that morocco seems too close to pass up... so now we are thinking barcelona for a few days, and marrakech for the rest. we will have about 9 days total, including travel time from los angeles. i have been reading and reading, and i can't decide if this is realistic or not. will it be incredibly expensive to fly from barcelona - at the end of november - to marrakech? is royal air maroc the best way to go, or is there any other option? should we fly to southern spain on a cheapie easyjet sort of flight and the take the ferry to tangier and take the 8hr train to marrakech, and just consider the crazy travel all a part of the big experience? and of course, are we not doing either place justice with the amount of time we are spending in either? we just desperately want a taste of both, and only get a trip like this every other year or so. should lisbon still be in the running? any advice would help, thanks in advance!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Marrakech is fascinating. Do it! Yes, it will be expensive. I went to Marrakech for four days during a trip to France for my 50th birthday and it was about the most memorable thing I've ever done (my trip report is on SlowTravel). I paid almost as much to fly from Marseille to Marrakech and back as I did for my flight from DC to France and back, but once there everything is so inexpensive it doesn't matter.

Look into La Maison Arabe. I did the cooking school as well as stayed at the hotel, and that was fabulous. We also hired a private cab to take us to the Atlas mountains one day and to Agadir another (about $30 a day), and those were wonderful trips.

I'm sure Portugal is lovely - been wanting to get there for years - but Morocco is truly exotic.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 07:40 PM
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hi st.cirq - thanks for your comment. actually, by doing a search in the box i found a link to you trip report and printed it out for my husband and i to read - it was definitely insightful and was part of what got us even more excited about marrakech! that hotel, or riad, or whatever you want to call it looks AMAZING. wow. so, i guess we are just wondering whether the ratio of travel time to time spent in either city will be worth it... if the price to fly there is as much as you mention, we may not be able to afford any route other than by train, which would take a solid chunk of time. do you feel like 4 days was enough to dip your toes in?
and by the way, you have a home in france? sounds fabulous! i am wildly jealous!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:15 PM
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By all means go to Marrakesh. I have visited La Mason Arabe but ended up staying at L'Orangerie which was lovely. An evening at Djemma el Fna will be a highlight of your trip and a shopping excursion thru the Souks is a wonder not to be missed. It was the most exotic, interesting place I have ever been! Barb
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:29 AM
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9-days TOTAL?? That's very ambitious!
Marrakech, I mean. Vueling (discount air carrier flies BCN-LIS and Portugalia ( flies several days a week to Casablanca from Lisbon.

I have ridden the Marrakech Exprés (Rabat - Marrakech); I don't recommend it. In Marrakech, I enjoyed a stay at the Hotel Mamounia several years ago. If it's stil in business, I recommend it!
Lisbon is also a very beautiful city. I have read that the sea approaches to Lisbon are among the top-10 most beautiful (along with San Francisco, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro)

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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Nedsireland, your post reminded me of 2 arrivals I experienced in a TWA plane with an pilot obviously enthusiastic about Lisbon, who took down the airplane, while doing a description similar to what a bus city guide would do. Shorter is time but full of details about the interesting points in the left and in the right of the plane. I've never had such a experience with other captains, even Portuguese.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 07:33 AM
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For me, there is no contest. If you can afford the transportation and you are a somewhat adventurous traveler, by all means include Marrakech. A truly fascinating city!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 07:46 AM
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there are many packages from spain to marrakesh all year., will have something to help you compare.
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