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Who has been to Morocco?

If you can't tell, I am beginning our travel plans for the next year.  It turns out that you can fly from Geneva to Marrakech on Easyjet for under $100 USD round trip.  Is it worth a visit or should I focus somewhere else?  Where else in the country would you recommend?  

I am thinking about making our way up to Tangier (although I have no idea how one would go about getting from Marrakech to Tangier) and taking a ferry to Gibraltar and then heading into Spain and maybe flying back from Barcelona.

I am very intrigued by Morocco and have always wanted to go but I keep hearing about unwanted harassment.  I am assuming that this something that can be avoided entirely by dressing conservatively, would that be correct?

Re: Who has been to Morocco?

  • DH and I went on a surf holiday for about 2 weeks a few years ago (DH surfed, I tried, failed, and watched from the beach). We were in Agadir. It was interesting . . . but I think part of that was that we were staying in a surf-hostel/B&B type place outside of town and not a hotel.  

    We didn't make it to Marrakech, but I wish we had because it sounds amazing. Great markets (souks?), architecture, art . . . it would have been fun.

    Agadir wasn't much to talk about - it had been completely leveled by an earhquake in the 60s and so it was rebuilt with ugly 60s architecture. It would have been nice to see some true old Moroccan architecture and mosaics - Marrakech has lots of that.

    As for safety - well, the drivers have a death wish, so beware! DH liked to refer to the "imaginary middle lane" that people wove in and out of. It was terrifying!  Personally, I don't remember anything too awful about safety - I didn't wear my e-ring and a lot of men were flirting with me (at least DH thought so), and so he bought me a simple silver ring to wear at some market - not sure if it helped, but it reassured DH.

    Beyond that, I don't remember experiencing any harassment - but we dressed relatively conservative (shoulders/knees covered) and didn't really go into the city too often. When we did, I thought people were very friendly - if maybe a bit pushy.

    In general, I found people to be very nice, friendly and helpful - we got invited into many homes to have a cup of mint-tea - and sometimes more (shanty-town on the beach was veeeery interesting!). They were very proud and always wanted to show us their homes and goods (in the Souk) and of course, try to persuade us to buy something.

    No problems except for a camel guy on the beach. He insisted that I take a picture with his camel, then insisted that I get on the camel . .. and then made the camel walk down the beach while he took pictures of me. All the the while I was begging him in broken French to let me down and take me back. When we did get back, he started yelling at me that I had to pay him. I told him I only had a few GBP and no Euros or other currency. He kept yelling at me until our surf-guide came to my rescue and paid him off. That was a bit frightening, but makes for a fun story in hindsight.

    If flights are that inexpensive, I would definitely try it - it would be really fun!

     

  • DH and I went to Marrakech for our honeymoon. It was a great trip, we did a day in the mountains as well. Saying that, we were definitely harassed, everytime we were in a touristy area, which is most of Marrakech. People wanting to sell us stuff, wanting to take our pics with monkeys and snakes and do henna on me. It got old quickly. But I would definitely recommend it, you just have to ignore it!

    DS 02.10.2008 * DD 04.05.2011

    [IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/jhzsar.jpg[/IMG]
  • Andrea- Do you think that hiring a Moroccan guide would have helped at all with the harassment? 
  • imageKatie_F:
    Andrea- Do you think that hiring a Moroccan guide would have helped at all with the harassment? 

    Hmm. We did a guided tour when we went to the mountains and I think all that happened with that is we ended up in this guys family house where they tried to ply us with tea and make us buy their rugs. Somehow everyone in Morocco seems related, so I am not sure it helps entirely. Truly the worst places were the souks and Djemaa el Fna Square. We just pretended not to speak any language they were harassing us with. I don't think a guide could hurt in any way!

    DS 02.10.2008 * DD 04.05.2011

    [IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/jhzsar.jpg[/IMG]
  • We were just in Marrakesh in May and had a great time. It's a really interesting, hectic, city with a ton to see. The food is delicious. Yes, people always want to show you the new market, or give you directions, but just ignore it and keep walking.

    The highlight of our trip was a Moroccan cooking class we took. It's run through the Maison Arabe. I highly recommend it. Also, splurge on a mid-high end riad if you go. Their standards are lower than western standards and its not a place you want to go cheap. 

    imageBabyFruit Ticker
  • I was in Morocco after 15 years ago with my family, and I thought it was one of the most amazing places in the world! But my father is Moroccan so it was also a personally touching trip (seeing where he grew up, his grandmother's house, his elementary school, etc.).

    Make sure to have a good guide, dress very modestly (and be prepared for a bit of harrassment anyway) and definitely be in a group with more men than women (very important!).

    Have fun wherever you go!!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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