Highlights of Morocco - Chapter 1: Preparing for departure


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Morocco was not on my list of places to visit, but having been offered the opportunity to review this holiday as a single, lone traveller, I am delighted to say that I accepted, and I am really looking forward to 10 days of travel around a country of many traditions, changing scenery, beautiful architecture and a strong history linking the past to the present, visiting the five Imperial cities.

Highlights of MoroccoMy holiday is a coach tour with Archers Holidays, flying to Marrakesh then visiting Casablanca, Rabat and Meknes before arriving at Fez for a two night stop over; then through the Atlas Mountains and Ziz valley towards Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara Desert for another two night stay; on for a night at Ouarzazate; our final coach drive goes through Ait-Benhaddou the setting of Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator plus several others, another route through the Atlas Mountains and back to Marrakesh for the last two nights. Five hotels! How would they compare with the standards we have here? Would their star grading match ours so I would have an idea of the facilities provided?

The itinerary looked amazing with such a variety from busy towns to snow-capped Atlas Mountains to oases on the edge of the Sahara Desert!

Marrakesh where I will meet my travelling companions, will be my first introduction to famous souks and market places and the days punctuated by the regular call to prayer; Casablanca, famous as the meeting place of Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart – who can forget “of all the joints in all the world” or “play it again Sam”, although we know the film wasn’t filmed there. Skirting the Sahara Desert whilst looking towards the snow-capped Atlas Mountains will seem unreal – I still find it difficult that countries which have always been very hot countries can still have snow while we will be very warm near the sand dunes! The drive through the Atlas Mountains will be a photographer’s paradise as we visit villages unchanged by progress and reach the snow level. Fez, which has always meant a red hat with a tassel.

Souks in Marrakesh - Archers HolidaysI have always travelled with friends or family so having to be totally responsible for all the pieces of luggage travel to the airport and documentation, was quite different but I was quite capable of doing that. I’ve not done a touring coach holiday before so not sure how I will enjoy packing and unpacking or spending so much time on the coach: I’m also a little concerned about dress code so will pack several pashminas and longer dresses plus cropped trousers rather than shorts. No idea how I will cope with the currency - fortunately my phone has a calculator -but I’m sure my plastic friend will be acceptable and fortunately my card does not incur overseas charges. 

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Other Members' Thoughts - 7 Comment(s)

  • SilverTravelUser_1145
    4 months ago
    I was not a lone traveller venturing into the unknown but travelling by myself
  • LostInAmerica
    4 months ago
    As with other reviews here - how is traveling with a group coach tour considered "solo" travel?
  • coolonespa
    about 7 years ago
    I've just added a link to these articles within a discussion on the Forum titled Destination Focus: Morocco. Perhaps you'd like to join the discussion.
  • baroncols
    almost 8 years ago
    Really looking forward to hearing about more your trip. Enjoy
  • ESW
    about 8 years ago
    Your comments about dressing dressing conservatively are very important. We were in Tunisia a couple of years ago - another Muslim country. In the deep south we came across a school trip and were horridfied that the girls had not been warned about dress code. They were wandering around in the shortest of shorts and skimpy tops. Our guide's eyes were out on stalks when he saw them and his comments were equally so. It is so easy to cause offence.
  • daydreamer
    about 8 years ago
    Diana, having lived, worked and travelled in a number of Moslem countries, I would say you are quite right to plan to dress modestly. It doesn't matter what your fellow tourists wear, err on the side of caution. Believe me, you will be seen in a more respectful light by the locals. Have a lovely time!
  • JennieSilver
    about 8 years ago
    Diana, I think you are very brave. it's a big decision to go off on holiday by yourself, I really admire you. I'm very excited to hear how everything goes, especially in such an exotic destination. The desert will be amazing. Tell all about the Atlas mountains. Your photos should be great.
    have fun.