Morocco Journals

Magical, Mysterious Morocco

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A March 1999 trip to Morocco by Beth

Henna Tattoos Photo, Morocco, Africa More Photos
Quote: Having no idea what to expect, I was thoroughly delighted with Morocco. Just a few miles off the coast of Spain, Morocco is its own world.

Magical, Mysterious Morocco

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Overview

Moroccan market Photo, Morocco, Africa
Quote:
Medinas, mosques, mint tea, and rugs, rugs, rugs! I didn't know what to expect when I was planning my trip but I was delighted with the country and so glad I went. I half expected people covered in fabrics, blocking the blowing sands of the desert. Turns out you have to go pretty far inland or south to hit the Sahara. The coast is lush -- very green with lots of palm trees. Further in, the ground is red and the snow-capped Atlas Mountains can be seen in the distance. Quick Tips: I was in Morocco in March -- the weather was perfect -- sunny, breezy and mild temperatures. Although there is a strong western influence, it is still a Muslim country. Attitudes toward women can be a little unc...Read More

Regal Rabat

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Story/Tip

Mausoleum Photo, Morocco, Africa
Quote:
The capital of Morocco is definitely worth a visit. This is where the royal family's main palace/residence is. You can't see much but it's worth a stop bcause the size of the place is incredible. You're not allowed to get very close at all but I tried to snap a picture getting as much as possible in. Tour guides can tell you a little about the family and their wealth.

Another interesting stop was the mausoleum. I was there before King Hassan II died, and so it was just his father's casket in the mausoleum. The building is all carved plaster and wood inside. It is surrounded by guards and this is the only place I know of that you can actually photograph a guard.

Marvelous Marrakesh

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Story/Tip

Traditional water seller. Photo, Morocco, Africa
Quote:
Marrakesh has all the things you think of when you think of Morocco -- particularly the snake charmers. The main square in Marrakesh is a huge market with performers. Be sure to have small change -- you are expected to pay to see their show and to take their picture. Another classic Moroccan sight is the water seller. Water was so scarce that people would buy a laleful of water from these vendors. Now they are just for show. Moroccans can drink their water but don't try it yourself unless you want to get to know your hotel room a lot better. Another typical Moroccan view is belly dancers. We went to more than one restaurant that included a show with dancers, traditional music and one...Read More

Casablanca -- the white city

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Story/Tip

Hassan II Mosque Photo, Morocco, Africa
Quote:
While the French influence is strong, so is Muslim tradition. Casablanca is a big, busy city on the Atlantic coast. The old medina -- the former Jewish section -- is an interesting walk. Beware if you are there when school is out of session! A mob of kids surrounded us and we weren't sure what they wanted! While Western influence is strong, walking past a school we hear a class reciting their Arabic. Women fully covered in Muslim tradition walk beside teenagers in Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger clothing. Have a visit to the food markets -- seeing whole plucked chickens is a bit unsettling. Everything you can imagine is for sale, as unappetizing as that may be to some. Wome...Read More

Fascinating Fes

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Story/Tip

Rugs, rugs, rugs! Photo, Morocco, Africa
Quote:
The oldest of the imperial capitals, Fes was my favorite town. The old medina is a wonderful old maze -- you definitely need a guide to make your way through. The cramped, narrow walkways make way to tiled, marbled or carved-wooded buildings, many surprisingly spacious. You name it, it's for sale. I got a great buy on leather -- be prepared to haggle. Your guide will probably take you to all of his friends' shops but don't let this deter you. I have heard that your goal price should be as low as one-third of what the salesman originally says. My mom wanted to buy three dolls but a man just selling his goods out of a bag in the medina only had two. He promised to find us again with the...Read More