Blogs from Morocco, Africa

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Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane June 23rd 2019

(Get ready...this one's long!) Today was our first full day in Morocco and many of our group agreed it was the best day yet! Our hotel Diana Park had a wonderful breakfast spread, including watermelon, sliced meats, hard boiled eggs, assorted pastries and croissants, and hot mint tea. While we ate, we all enjoyed watching the male and female peacock with their 3 young ones strutting around the garden. And we looked forward to swimming in the cool blue pool later that afternoon! Mohamed was an exceptional guide throughout the day, always eager to share his love of Morocco, insights into Islam, and information about history or architecture. We started at one of the many palaces where the king and princes stay when they visit Fez. Viewed from the front, we could see all seven golden ... read more
Explorica group! Visiting the secondary school of theological studies
Inside the UNESCO world heritage site for rug merchant demo
Beautiful rugs!

Africa » Morocco June 22nd 2019

It was quite an early morning, as we had many miles to go before we would sleep again. We grabbed our sack breakfasts and loaded the bus under a still-dark sky. Most of our group, along with our Texas and Arizona fellow travelers, went right back to sleep. But a few stayed awake to catch the creamy orange sunrise surrounding the Rock of Gibraltar. Once we reached the port an hour later, we took the ferry into Morocco, receiving a passport stamp in Arabic while still on board the boat. Joe taught us some important words to get us by during our time here: La=No (useful in the Medina to turn away salesmen), shukraun=thank you, salam=hello. The crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar was choppy and blue, passing through veils of mist, and arriving on the ... read more
Arrival in Tangier, Morocco after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar
Walking tour of Tangier
Viewpoint

Africa » Morocco May 5th 2019

April 30th. As our train to Ronda left at 6:45am, it was an early departure from the apartment. Kelly considerately carried his wheelie bag on the 10 minute walk down to Plaza Nueva as it would have been so noisy on the cobblestones otherwise - and the rest of the neighbourhood was still sleeping. Taxis are at the Plaza 24/7 and the short ride to the train station was a lot cheaper than expected - according to the internet, a premium is charged before 7am. Once at the station, it turned out there actually is NO train service from Granada, so instead we travelled by “rail bus”. An hour after departure we reached the isolated train station of Antequera where anyone heading to Madrid did get a train while the rest of us transferred to another ... read more
our room at Ryad Boustane
Ryad Boustane Central courtyard

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 25th 2019

Tomorrow I leave Morocco after 20 days in this beautiful and diverse country. The trip was divided into 2 Intrepid tours: north and south. Both trips differed dramatically in landscape and experience. The north provided a wealth of cultural knowledge with the backdrop of many towns and cities, very very old, from Casablanca the commercial capital to Fes the cultural capital, and the north Tangier where the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet, and the Rif Mountains influenced by Spain. The south was a feast for the eyes with the landscape of the countryside - the Atlas Mountains were magnificent and the contrast as we moved from high to the mesmerising dunes of the Sahara, and then on to the Atlantic Coast and the beautiful Argan tree countryside - incredible. The highlight for me was a night in ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier April 25th 2019

It was a bit soggy when we arrived in Tangier. Once again a taxi from the airport was easy to find and the whole journey from Nador to the url=https://www.booking.com/hotel/ma/rembrandt.en.html?aid=1769628&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2&room1=A%2CAHotel Rembrandt was over in the blink of a bleary eye. Our room wasn't ready though, one of the perils of an early flight, but the cafe opposite had good coffee and croissants, and strong WiFi so we were able to chill for a couple of hours. Once inside the hotel we were pleased with our choice. Yes, there's a lot of faded elegance going on and it's definitely a throwback to the 1970s but it was comfortable enough and the price is great too. Unfortunately, especially for those in need of a siesta after an early flight, there was significant renovation going on somewhere inside the ... read more
Tangier
Tangier
Tangier

Africa » Morocco » Oriental April 19th 2019

The bus ride from El Hoceima to Nador took around three hours. We had expected to go along the coast on the N16 as the guide books say that it is a picturesque route. No doubt if we had travelled by taxi, we would have seen that. Instead we took the scenic route through the mountains on roads that are mostly under construction, although some have not yet been built! It was a beautiful journey but at times a little too breathtaking if you get my gist!! Nador itself will no doubt polarise opinion. Visiting off season like we did, it's a bit desolate in places, but there is a certain charm to the place. In the summer months there are a lot of flights to and from Europe so no doubt the place gets very ... read more
Nador
Nador
Nador

Africa » Morocco » Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate April 18th 2019

Al Houceima is well off the beaten tourist track but coming here gives you first hand insight into Riffian life, as this is the beating heart of the Rif region of Morocco. The bus from Tétouan was supposed to take 8 hours but in the end it was closer to 9. That may sound like a bit of a nightmare but it was reasonably comfortable, not too full, and the driver stopped at appropriate times for toilet breaks! What more could you ask for? The route took us back up to Chefchaouen, but it only skirted the town, then through the dramatic mountains until finally dropping down to the coast. Seeing the sign saying there were only a mere 32km left to go was quite a relief. At Al Houceima the bus station is quite a ... read more
El Houceima
El Houceima
El Houceima

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tétouan April 15th 2019

The journey on a local bus from Chefchaouen back down the hill to Tétouan was uneventful save for the kids needing sick bags after just the first couple of twists and turns! Luckily it didn't become an epidemic and we were soon jumping into a taxi and on our way to the Hotel Al Mandari.Perched on the edge of a cliff, it occupies a spectacular location in itself, but we were not prepared for the spectacle of the city of Tétouan. How this gets left off tourist itineraries is beyond belief. Our first stop was the impressive Place Feddane, an enormous square, gleaming white at the foot of the hill over which spreads the most magnificent display of white houses topped by a crumbling old barracks and kasbah. Where Chefchaouen was a blaze of beautiful blue, ... read more
Tétouan
Tétouan
Tétouan

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Chefchaouen April 13th 2019

Leaving Spain at the Ceuta border you are greeted by a mass of taxis, but they are not all vying for your business. They seem to have a co-ordinator who takes all the hassle out getting a ride, and there’s no haggling for prices – they are fixed no matter how hard you try! It takes about two hours to travel along the pretty coastline, past Tétouan, and up into the beautiful hills to the blue city of Chefchaouen, all for €50. Not cheap, but we couldn’t be doing with getting a taxi to nearby Fnideq, changing on a bus to Tétouan, and then changing onto another bus to our final destination, all to save a few Euros. We were deposited at the base of the medina where an old man led us up through the ... read more
Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca April 7th 2019

This is my second day in Morocco, arriving in Casablanca a few days before my tour commences to acclimatise and get over jet lag. Firstly, the food is delicious and I love sitting in street cafes sipping sweet mint tea, watching the world pass by. I secretly wish I remember more French but it is slowly coming back to me. I don’t have the heart to barter and haggle - these people are poor. Casablanca is rich with vibrancy and beauty and I’m so glad I could start my holiday in this place. ... read more




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