Blogs from Morocco, Africa - page 9

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Africa » Morocco » Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer » Rabat April 21st 2014

2014-04-20 - We finally have arrived in Casablanca, Morocco after 21 hours of travelling (Calgary-Montreal-Paris-Casablanca). We took the train from the Casablanca Airport to Casa Voyagers station. The infrastructure here is quite shocking. You see some places that are nice and livable but you also see others that you think are condemned, as they look like they are going to fall down with the slightest breeze but people are still living in them. We got off the train and we were going to walk to our house we rented but could not get our orientation so we decide to take a taxi. It was even a bit tricky for our driver as not one street (that I seen) had signs identifying what road you are on or crossing...not sure how they do it here but man, ... read more
Kasbah des Oudayas
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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Volubilis April 19th 2014

Volubilis is Morocco’s foremost Roman site, and conveniently for me on this trip it is located not far from Moulay Idriss. Now, one can take a taxi, bus or one of three walking routes to reach Volubilis from Moulay. Being pristine mountain scenery dotted with little villages and great views, and being me, we (jointly!) decided that of the three routes (very short (3km), short (5km) and long (7km - apparently) to Volubilis a longish day hike would be rather nice……at least before we went to bed yesterday evening. This morning was also market day in Moulay, and seemingly the entire of the surrounding villages were descending on the town that morning, so we decided that combining a visit to this spectacle with a visit to the ancient ruins, whilst taking in some scenery in the ... read more
Villagers Emerge from the Fog
Day of the Triffids?
Forum Arches (and Storks), Volubilis

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Mohammédia April 19th 2014

Nice drive up to the camp site from Ouzoud, with Dad's truck able to go along at 60 without issue, we made the camp site by 3pm. Though unfortunately the co-ordinates in the book put us in the middle of a building site, and no they wouldn't let us camp there, but they knew where we should be and told us how to get there. At Marrakesh, the reception could order taxis for us and organise tours if need be, but not this place. We had to walk up to the main road and hail one Moroccan style. Attempt number one failed due to a large language barrier, attempt number two involved a local security guard, two passers by and the Lonely planet travel guide, but we got our taxi. The next problem was I miss ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes April 18th 2014

Back on my travels, and thankful for budget flights, I braved the world of Ryanair once again and have joined up with my travel buddy from Tunisia for Easter, this time in in Fes-El-Bali (that’s the old quarter of Fes, as in famous for the hats), Morocco. Well, aside from bright red, tasselled headgear it appears what Fes-El-Bali should be famous for is that it is the world’s most well preserved medieval Arab city. This is a vast labyrinth of ancient streets, a real city, a working city, where donkeys and horses ply the streets in place of cars with the call of “bekel” hollered at anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way (all pedestrians, the streets are narrow!). “Bekel” roughly translates as “get out of the way or I will run you down”, not ... read more
Detail on the Doorstep of Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
A Deserted Tala'a Kebira
Door Detail

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Moulay Idriss April 18th 2014

Moulay Idriss Zerhoun lies in the hills, around 20km north of the former royal city of Meknes, itself around 100km east of Fes, and is a holy city, a pilgrimage site, centred on the tomb of the cities founder, and whom lends his name. Moulay Idriss the man, had a bit of a cult following by all accounts and when he died, a great mausoleum was built in the hills, a visit to which these days is worth 1/5thof that to Mecca in the Muslim world. Now, if you are building a religious pilgrimage site, one pre-requisite is that the site itself must have a special feel, and a very a special setting, and since the Muslim world keeps Muslim monuments for Muslims only, this is precisely the reason we travelled out to this remarkable corner ... read more
Shopping in La Grand Place
Cooking Kefta
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, Morocco

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 17th 2014

Well even though we had an early start, thanks to a damn chicken that had been squawking since 4am, we were still second to last to leave the campsite. Once under way it all went quite smooth, even when the mountain pass started climbing up ridiculously high. With 30 miles left we stopped at a small cafe for lunch, which had the most amazing view from the rear terrace. Once in Marakesh we hit traffic almost as bad as Fes, only this time round it was still daylight so you could at least see everyone. Got to the campsite in one piece, but my god it was busy, I have never seen so many campervans. Next day we set about camouflaging the trucks in wet laundry which I think went pretty well. By then our taxi ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Todra Gorge April 14th 2014

Well today went as well as yesterday, even if I feel like we pushed a bit too far at the end, it does mean we have gained another day. The morning started of ok and we started our accent of the Dades gorge in search of the off road crossing that goes between the two gorges. The first time I thought we had reached the turning, we came to a dead end within 200 meters. The turning didn't seem right when we took it, but because they were constructing a new road crossing, I just assumed this was the reason, not that it was wrong. Luckly a local guy had seen us and told us we hadn't reached the turning and that it was actually another 2km further up the road. This time it seemed more ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud April 12th 2014

Once we were all set up we went to a local restaurant for an evening meal, which was brochettes, with mixed salad for starters. All of which was excellent. The next day we had a bit of a boring day. It started off nice with a small tour of the village and then a look at Benny, our guide’s, house. Inside was a real difference, to the outside which was just a simple mud hut look, but obviously made of concrete, but inside was a small garden of palm trees surrounded by a shaded walk way. Upstairs was a work in progress still as he is building some small rooms for tourists to stay. At the end of the tour we all sat down next to the garden and had tea with small cakes, dates and ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Midelt April 10th 2014

Fes was an amazing experience and a very long day, as our guide was ready for us at 10 and continued to show us around until 6. But it was worth it as there is no way we would have found all those things alone. The next day we took a short country route to Ifrane to see the town and also sort our internet out. After a long time in the phone shop we then headed to a campsite near Azrou. Last time we camped at Amazigh as the original campsite we headed for at euro camping, had a crowd of touts outside. This time round there wasn’t a single person, so we headed in and dumped Dads truck. We then headed back up the road to find the Barbary Apes that live in the ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Azrou April 8th 2014

Apologizes, this could be a long one as our internet decided to block us out till we could get to a shop, and a lot has happened in the mean time. Day started off fine with a slow easy morning and then a walk into Chefchauoen. The walk took us in to the top of the medina and not a single person batted an eyelid, as in not one “hello my friend, welcome to Morocco” which, a bit like the port, threw me. Last time we barely made it out of the campsite before we had a local who became our unwanted guide and every shop owner giving us the default tourist script as above (read 2012’s blog). Once we had walked around the main part of the medina, we went down into the newer part ... read more
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