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Old 05-13-2006, 12:17 PM   #1
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I know, its not technically western europe, but I figured it would get more traffic in here. Im heading to Morocco from 30 May to 12 June. Im going alone, but Im a bit intimidated, and my family doesn't like it. Any advice?
Is anyone else gonna be traveling there at this time by chance? I would love to have a travel buddy to ease some of the tension. I want to be able to fully enjoy my trip, but Im scared it will be a big hassle by myself...

Let me know!

Ciao
Tiffany
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:24 PM   #2
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Morroco? NICE!

I hope you get some hits on this cause I would love to see some pics!
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Old 05-13-2006, 02:20 PM   #3
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There are many people here who know a lot more about it, but I'll take a stab. We're planning on to Europe next spring and then taking a tour down there. From what people here said, Tangiers isn't the greatest, os if you ferry in, take a train out right away. We're planning on flying Ryanair from Frankfurt/Hahn into Marrakech and visiting Casablanca and some other out of the way places.

As for safety, I wouldn't be too concerned. I think it's pretty safe, aside from pick pockets and other petty crime that you'll find everywhere. I wouldn't be too worried about traveling alone either - tons of people do it safely. You'll meet people on the road!
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:43 PM   #4
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I'm heading there for a few days in October, sorry! I'll look some information up in a few minutes for you *eating popcorn*
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #5
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I read Frances Mayes new travel book A Year in the World and she visits Fes. It is centrally located and if your interested in shopping and picking up goods at markets this may be a good place. If I understand correctly t's a preserved medieval city and culturally rich. I heard Marrakesh is a can't miss city as well and a dreamy place. There's a fortress built there that was in a guidebook if your interested in that.

Theres another thread on here about Tangiers..

I'm trying to choose whether to go to Greece or Morrocco where I haven't been or Italy where I love in late August or September. I would definitely meetup with you.

A couple positive ideas:
Travelling solo makes it easy to meet locals and you can do things your way. Just pray for God to take care of everything and it sounds like this trip is important to you. Know that you are doing what's important to you. Go for it!
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Old 05-14-2006, 12:50 AM   #6
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Morocco is the coolest destination! Be prepared for hard conditions - heat, poverty, mosquitos, heckling and accomodation that has cold showers and bad ventilation. The rewards far outweigh the tiring conditions but!

As for some of the cities and sightseeing:

Tangiers - It's an overcrowded and polluted city where everyone is trying to make a buck. I agree it's only real purpose is to serve as a travel hub from Spain.

Casablanca - Also a very busy and polluted city. I would recommend you go here only to see the Hassan II Mosque.

Rabat - The capital has much French influence and I found it a quieter and relaxing city. The old medina has rather nice blue and white washed buildings.

Fes and Marrakech - Seems you're only going to be there for a short time these are probably the highest priority sights. There's the utterly confusing Medina in Fes and then the Djemma el-Fna square in Marrakech. They are both awesome!

From Marrakech you can head out towards the Sahara and the Erg Chebbi dunes (I have a picture of these posted in the Travelpunk gallery)

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Old 05-14-2006, 06:15 AM   #7
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Tangier is pretty scuzzy, so get away as fast as you can!

I was traveling with some friends and we stayed at the home of a friend of theirs in Casablanca, so our experience was pretty luxurious (no accommodation worries, awesome home cooked meals and locals to show us around), so I can't help much with the specifics of when/where/how etc. But we took an overnight train from Tangier to Casa and didn't lose anything or die, so that was okay.

Personally, I'd like to see Fez and Marrakesh, and with the time you have, I think you could easily do this at a comfortable pace.

We met one of our traveling companions on the boat across, that's a great time to hook up with someone else, if you haven't met anyone heading that way before you get on board.

I did talk to a Spanish girl I met in the souq in Casa, she commented that she'd had no troubles being a girl on her own. Personally, I'd opt for modest dress (avoid spaghetti straps, tank tops and bare midriffs) to draw less attention to myself.

We went in June and it was hot, but a long cotton skirt and loose shirt were comfortable enough.

Beware, though - everyone I've ever met who has been to Morocco has had it remain in their soul the rest of their life...it's got a special magic, and you may find yourself wanting to head back...

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Old 05-14-2006, 12:10 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for all the advice guys !! I know I will be safe, Im more worried that all the hassling/heckling sort of thing will get to me, and I dont want to let it make my trip less enjoyable. But I am super excited and if I end up doing it on my own, Im sure I wont regret it.
Im flying into Marrakech, so I wont go through Tangier till the end of the trip. Im hoping to get out to Zagora and also to Essaouira/Agadir for some surfing. Fes is definitely on the list and I would like to see Volubilis... sooo, if I make it to all these places, I will report back with pictures I promise !!

Ciao

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Old 05-15-2006, 09:48 AM   #9
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Sounds awesome! We await your reports.

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Old 05-15-2006, 06:17 PM   #10
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Alright, I'm now officially digging this thread. I'm going to Spain in the winter and am now determined to hit Morocco, just because it's there. And I think it'd be fun. So I'm gonna follow this with a sharp eye.

In the meantime, along w/ general tips, does anyone have any advice/ideas for a 1-3 day trip from Spain (Tarifa or Malaga or wherever) or know of a good backpacker-oriented tour operator that does it? The more I read about the hassle that it can be, the more I'm feeling inclined to ditch my anti-tour leanings and find one, especially since time is of the essence. I know it won't be a proper trip, but I just want a taste. Any experts on that? Tumble? Oz? Bueller? Bueller?
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by happytravels@May 13 2006, 12:17 PM
I know, its not technically western europe, but I figured it would get more traffic in here. Im heading to Morocco from 30 May to 12 June. Im going alone, but Im a bit intimidated, and my family doesn't like it. Any advice?
Is anyone else gonna be traveling there at this time by chance? I would love to have a travel buddy to ease some of the tension. I want to be able to fully enjoy my trip, but Im scared it will be a big hassle by myself...
[snapback]120416[/snapback]
you wanna explore some on our parisian school holidays? i'm totally in. or i suppose i should start thinking in the right language...on y va!! p.s. would you teach me how to surf? i can teach you how to say ya'll there arent really waves in texas.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:41 AM   #12
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I don't know about any tours of the backpacker variety, and if you only went for 1-3 days you probably wouldn't get far beyond Tangier. A lot of people do daytrip just to Tangier, which gives you a taste if you don't have time beyond that. You can easily walk to the medina/souq from the port, though it's not so easy to shake a "guide".

We tried setting off on our own, and this guy just dogged us the whole way, talking about how he just wanted to be friends, practice his English, etc. etc. Because of the distraction, we weren't able to concentrate on where we were going, and we did end up pretty confused in the middle of the souq. When he realized that, he persisted, "I'll take you back, just come into this store of a friend of mine..." Kind of thing. I turned and started demanding, loud and clear in French (because everyone around could understand) that he take us back to the port. Up til then we'd only spoken in English, so he was a bit put out, but he led us back down in about half the time it took to go up.

Bottom line, if you get into the medina on your own, or want to get out of it on your own, stick to the biggest, busiest lanes you can find, and head down hill. Of course, if you speak Arabic, you'll be all good.

If you want to see more of the country, try to swing four or five days, then you'll have time to catch a train from Tangier (the station is just outside the entrance of the port), and you can spend a couple of days somewhere nicer.

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