Travelogue: Morocco, Part 2

October 2023
Tour: Insight’s “Best of Morocco”
Tour Hotels:
Grand Mogador City Center (Casablanca)
Marriott Jnan Palace Fes (Fes)
Kasbah Hotel Xaluca Arfoud (Erfoud)
Le Berbère Palace (Ouarzazate)
Kennedy Hospitality Resort (Marrakech; we left the tour and went to the Four Seasons)
Atlas Essaouira & Spa (Essaouira; we left the tour early and did not experience Essaouira)

  • Day 5: Fes
    • Fes… no thank you.
    • We had breakfast at the hotel and then went off for a tour of the city/medina with a local guide. For those that don’t know, the medina is the term for the old, wall-off portions of cities in Morocco (and other countries). The medina is kind of like a maze — narrow streets (no room for cars, just donkeys and people) and filled with markets, retailers, etc.
    • It was approximately 95 degrees on this day and we were to spend 4-5 hours in the medina.  The time duration was never communicated to us, so the majority of us did not have bottled water (we were told we could pick some up on the bus, but that never happened).  It was a long day.
    • The long day included all the sights and smells of the medina (chicken slaughter right out in the open, camel heads hanging from posts, pushy salesmen, pushy men in general, etc). We also took a tour of the local leather tannery. Did I mention it was 95 degrees outside?  They offered us sprigs of mint to sniff but there was no amount of mint in the world that would have made a dent. Many in our group were dry heaving.
    • Our tour guide also told the women in our group that sexual harassment would probably occur.  “If you’re uncomfortable with it, just let me know otherwise just, you know, roll with it.” COOL.
    • I realize and appreciate that everything above is part of the culture of Morocco. But this is the shining example of how our tour guide could have communicated in a more facilitative, respectful way. Give us water. Tell us that we’ll be in this heat for 5 hours. Forewarn us as to what we will be seeing, hearing, and smelling. Give people the choice regarding their level of participation in this day.
    • Jillian and I survived! Then broke free from our tour group when we got back to our hotel — and went for pizza and Coke Zeros. What. A. Day.

I will forever be obsessed with the tile in Morocco.
A view of the medina.
Here we gooooo…
I also loved all the GREEN. Green is a prominent color is Islam.
Did you know that Morocco has a significant Jewish population? Our tour guide said that all in all, the Muslims and the Jews coexist quite peacefully in Morocco.
We visited a rug shop. Pushy salesmen were a real buzzkill.
But the rugs were truly gorgeous. I can understand the appeal!
The tannery. *OOOOooooof* I can still smell the smells.
Casual cow head.
Casual camel head.
We made it. Waiting for our pizza.
“Art” on the walls of the hotel restaurant.