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What shouldn't I miss with 2 weeks in Romania?

What shouldn't I miss with 2 weeks in Romania?

Aug 30th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Brahmama is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Thanks everybody for your comments and opinions.

I've just ordered a bookguide of Romania on the Internet. I will check the places that you've all mentioned and make a decision.

When I posted this question, my options were either Romania or Morocco. In the end, I ended up visiting Morocco because I wasn't able to buy a bookguide of Romania where I live.

My options for next year are: Romania, Sicily and Portugal.

Thanks again.
Castellanese is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818

How did you enjoy your Moroccan visit? Both Clifton and I have been there...my second visit was in '99. Clifton certainly found it to be intriguing as we did.

When you're ready for Romania, please contact me..I'd be glad to help in anyway, pix and all. Hope you choose Romania over the others. Rough Guide and LP will tell you most of what you'll want to know.

[email protected]

Stu Tower
tower is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 07:06 PM
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Hi Tower,

Well, I must admit that I had an "interesting" experience in Morocco. I mean, I am pretty sure I will never forget that trip. This is a short trip report I posted on the Morocco Forum under the question "What shouldn't I miss with 2 weeks in Morocco?"

I spent 4 nights in Fez, 3 nights in Marrakech, 3 nights in Essaouira and 1 night in Casablanca.

This is my top 5 list of things I loved while in Morocco:

5. The train ride from Casablanca to Marrakech.

After 4 nights in Fez, I took the 8 hour train down to Marrakech. At some point, right after the train passed by Casablanca, I felt asleep, but when I woke up, I couldn't believe my eyes. The landscape was so arid, deserted and fascinating that it made me forget about the length of the train ride.

4. Saturday morning market in Moulay Idriss.

I did a daytrip to Volubilis and Moulay Idriss from Fez. While Volubilis is worth a visit, I agree that it won't take your breath a away if you've visited roman ruins before. However, visiting the Saturday morning market in Moulay Idriss was fascinating. It was loud and messy and everything about it took me back a hundred years ago. Donkeys everywhere carrying merchandise, fruits and vegetables displayed on the ground, and locals unaware of tourism and the 21st century made it a great experience.

3. Djemaa el-Fna, in Marrakech, at night.

The food stalls, the the noise, the fortune tellers, the chaos and the loud african and moroccan music being played charms you like a cobra. It is like taken out of tale. However, during the day, it's just an ordinary and noisy square. I think it's better to first see it at night than during the day.

2. Watching the sunset on Skala de la Ville in Essaouira.

This experience can't be describe with words. You don't have to be a professional photographer to take National Geographic pictures there. The seagulls, the sound the sea hitting the cliffs, the sea air and the beautiful sunset charges you with calm and serenity.

1. The medina of Fez.

Wow, I have no words to describe this place. It's overwhelming and trapped in the middle ages. Smelly, loud, noisy, dirty, fascinating and chaotic. Those are the words that come to my mind when Fez is mentioned. It's a once in a lifetime experience. I remember when I was visiting the andalusian quarter on a Friday right before noon. The loud and overwhelming "call" urging muslims to go to the mosques in order to pray fills the city in a intoxicating way.

I think that 3 nights was the right amount of time to be spent in each city. I spent 4 nights in Fez because I daytripped to Volubiulis and Moulay Idriss. Marrakech is interesting (not as much as Fez) but a bit commercialized and international, which is why I think that 3 nights are more than enough. Essaouira is small and can easily be visited with two nights, but, with 3 nights, I had the chance to spend a day on the beach resting before visiting Turin and Lake Orta, in Italy, for a week. The water is very cold, but it's very quiet. I stayed in Casablanca only for one night in order to leave Morocco early the following day, so I can't really say anything about it.

However, there were some things that I really, really hate about Morocco. This is my top 5 list of things that got on my nerves while in Morocco (they're all number 1 on the list)

1. Food stalls and non-fancy restaunrants have no kind of health standards. I got so seriously ill that I even had to go to the hospital because, at some point, I thought that I was going to die.

1.2. Being overcharged for almost everything and being asked for money whenever I wanted some orientation. What "enraged" me the most was when people had the nerve to say, right afterwards, "welcome to Morocco".

1.3. Being hassled by false guides who just won't take "no" for an answer unless the word "police" is mentioned.

Fez is terrible in the last two issues. However, I never felt that way in Essaouira.

1.4. Even though riads show on their websites that credit cards are accepted and when a room is booked they confirm it again, they look for ways to get you to pay in cash claiming "the machine is broken". However, whenever I said: "well, I don't know what we're going to do because I have no cash and I still have the e-mail I got from you confirming that credit cards are accepted", a new "machine" magically appeared. This happened in Fez, Marrakech and Essaouira; not in Casablanca, though.

1.5. No "restrooms". Thank God I chose to stay in riads centrally located in the Medina, because there wasn't a single restroom that deserved being called so. On that note I must add that even though I enjoyed the train ride from Casablanca to Marrakech in first class, there's no number to grade the bathroom in it, but believe me, it was very far from belonging to first class.

I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to go to Morocco and I certainly don't regret having visited it, but I don't think I'll ever set foot there again.

Castellanese is offline  
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