Sunday, December 19, 2010

Itinerary: Morocco

Some of the destinations on this trip are decided upon, and some are not. Since we are not getting RTW tickets, in which all destinations must be chosen ahead of time, we have more flexibility. This is how it begins:

On January 10, we fly to Marakesh, Morocco. We bought three one-way tickets, very cheaply. We're staying in Marrakesh (spelled Marrakech by some) for four nights. We're here to enjoy the souks, the gardens, the food, the baths, the massages. Everybody we've consulted agrees that Marrakesh is the most interesting city to visit in Morocco. We have a riad (traditional Moroccan lodging) reserved. It does not include breakfast, but breakfast should cost about 40 dirham, about $5 (or so we hear).

We intend to have some food at the stalls at Djemaa el Fna, and also a tagine somewhere. We've also read that pigeon (squab) is a local delicacy, and perhaps we'll try that. We want to visit the Majorelle gardens.

After that, we take a bus to Essaouira, which is on the coast. The mom of a friend of ours lives in Essaouira and she helped us find lodging there. Some people on the lonely planet forum say Essaouira will be cold and windy at this time of year, but it will be warmer than here in Madrid, so we're OK with that. We stay in Essaouira for three nights.

We've heard there's excellent food in Essaouira.

After the three nights on the coast, we get on the bus to El Jadida. We know nothing about El Jadida, but our friend's mom recommended it as a "nice town to break things up and see something different." We stay one night here (not yet booked).

We considered taking a one-night trip to the dessert, but it's a long way to go given that we're in Morocco for only one week. At least, this is the advice we're received. Also, it will be very cold in the dessert this time of year.

After El Jadida, we get on a bus to Casablanca. According to friends, guide books and forums online, Casablanca is a dump. This was a bit disappointing to hear, after watching Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman's escapades so many times. So we're just going to Casablanca to catch our flight to Cairo, not to hang out at Rick's Cafe Americain. We depart for Cairo on January 18.
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  1. have to ask-- are you at all concerned about picking up and food borne illness? I'd want to try everything too, but I've also had some nasty bugs from eating in other countries. Any worries?
    Please do post many pics of Cairo! I can't wait to see it through your eyes and all of these years later. I'm sure you're aware-- it's terribly dirty and smells, but wow-- it is vital. Just thrumming with life and energy.

    December 19, 2010 9:32 AM

  2. Michelle, I'm a bit of a germaphobe, so of course I'm concerned about all kinds of possible illness. We won't drink the water where there are issues with the water, and we'll follow advice about where (and whether) it's OK to eat food from street vendors (in case of doubt, we'll skip it). I traveled to Mexico twice and the first time I got horribly ill from the ice in cocktails. The second time I was more careful and did not get sick.

    I'll take lots of pics in Cairo to show you. Do you still have friends living there? (Did I ask you this already?).