My Moroccan Experience...
Highs: The Fes medina; meeting so many great people - both locals and travelers; the sand dunes
of the Sahara in Merzouga; driving past Kasbah after Kasbah; palmeries; sunrise camel ride; fish
tagines; watching sunsets over Marrakech; watching the action in Place Jamaa el Fna in Marrakech.
Lows: Falling on my butt in the medina in Fes; sales guys constantly trying to talk to you;
surprisingly more expensive than you would think; some places had very lackluster food.
Best Moment: Without a doubt it was my sunrise camel ride. The best part was heading out in
the pitch dark and having a sky full of stars overhead (being able to see shooting stars and the milky
way) while listening to the 4;30 am prayer call in the far distance. Then sitting on top of a dune to
watch the sky lighten up and eventually have the sun appear.
Craziest Moment: Lunch in a Moroccan family's home where nobody spoke any English (or
Spanish or French, for that matter) - only Arabic and Berber; going to The Spice Doctor's home.
Smells: The tannery in Fes (bad...but not as bad as I was expecting); tagines; street food stalls.
Sounds: The prayer call many times a day; donkeys; sales guys trying to get your attention; 'As
you like' (a phrase every Moroccan uses).
Sights: Medinas (i.e. markets/souks); tannery in Fes, riads; mosques; donkeys walking down the
narrow streets in the medina in Fes; the Erg Chebbi sand dunes in Merzouga; Kasbahs, palmeries,
Todra Gorge; Jardin Majorelle (30 Dirham); Musee de Marrakech (40 Dirham); men with monkeys;
snake charmers; guys wearing hats with spinning tassels; storytellers; Palais Badii (10 dirham); Palais
Bahia (10 dirham); women in full burkas.
Tastes: Food cooked in tagines; mint tea (i.e. Moroccan whiskey); assortment of nuts in the
markets; bread to tear off to eat with the tagines; lamb; couscous with vegetables, raisins and
chickpeas; honey cookies; seafood tagine.
Purchases: Small salt and pepper tagines; a vase; a shawl.
Street Food: Nuts; dried fruit; dates; Arabic sweets (cookie-like things completely absorbed with
honey); fresh squeezed orange juice.
Interesting Food Finds: Avocado milkshakes.
Things to Buy in the Markets: Tagines; ceramics; tassles; pointy shoes; jewelry; ornate
jewelry boxes; leather poofs; spices.
Western Companies Out Here: McDonald's; Jamba Juice (I'm still not totally sold that this
ws a 'real' Jamba Juice. My taxi drove by it and the sign was identical to ones at home. But what are
the odds they would have a Jamba Juice in Fes, Morocco and not Atlanta, GA???). ***My friend has
since researched this and it is, indeed, an imposter!
Other General Info...
Visa needed? Not for Americans.
Type of currency? The Moroccan Dinar. One U.S. dollar is equal to about 8 dinars.
Things Morocco Is Known For: Tagines; couscous; rugs; the Sahara desert; Aladdin.
Costs: 6400 MAD
|Ali taking a rest during our camel ride in
the Erg Chebbi dunes.