Reflections on Morocco

May 25th 2009
Saved: June 29th 2010
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We found Morocco to be not only a photographer's dreamland, but an exotic escape: the sights and sounds of Arabia, legendary souks, medieval alleys, colorful carpets, pungent smells, bold spices, towering ruins, beautiful minarets, spectacular rock formations, camels wandering into the sunset of the Sahara...

But the sparkling allure quickly faded as we grappled with the annoyances Morocco brings: unsolicited help, beggars, haggling, and always feeling ripped off. The entire bargaining process where the initial price is astronomical, then you listen to a lecture on the superb quality of the product, then you eventually agree to a price and walk away having paid too much just sucks. We prefer set prices and hassle-free shopping. But the experience was awesome and contributed to our feeling like we had left our version of reality and visited a foreign land -- exactly what we wanted!

Overall we felt very safe. But people did point and shout "tourist" at us, someone shouted "go back to where we came from," oh, and when the Dutch girl took us to the riad in Fes, she pushed a tout off of her and he threatened to beat and rape her for touching him. But other than that, overall, we felt completely safe during daylight hours. We recommend Morocco to anyone that has read our blog and is still interested. :o)

Quick note about Sahara Expeditions: If you want a "tour" or want a guide to tell you information about the region or what you're seeing, then you need to find another tour company. Some online bloggers have referred to the tour as a two day shopping spree at the driver's cousin's shops with a walk through a muddy field and a two hour carpet sales pitch, followed by eating lunch at the driver's cousin's restaurant. We're not disagreeing with this assessment, but the tour was a great experience and allowed us to see and do things that we otherwise would have never been able to see or do. And the price was un-beatable! We would even recommend it-- but know full well what you're getting into so that your expectations can be lowered.

Morocco: ld! recommended!

Additional photos below
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tea and carpetstea and carpets
tea and carpets

no trip would be complete without them
Fes tanneries.Fes tanneries.
Fes tanneries.

Sight unchanged for hundreds of years.

Comments only available on published blogs

14th October 2009

travel trade-offs
I appreciate the truth in your travels. There are good points and bad in traveling and you do a great service by expanding on both. Keep up the traveling and the blogs!
31st October 2009

I should make this trip....
Never been to Morocco --- cancelled it last minute while I was in Spain and instead went to Portugal. Enjoyed your blog, and am encouraged to visit this exotic place one day. Nice blog, great photos! You write very clearly, even your captions on the pics are easy to understand and imagine. I have also come across some of your very sensible contributions at the forum. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

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