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Morocco trip report.

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Old April 27th, 2006, 03:09 PM posted to rec.travel.africa
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Default Morocco trip report.

A short flight from London and I was in Casablanca, the joining point
for the trip. I had arrived a few days before the trip giving me some
spare time to enjoy the city. I spent my time exploring and getting
totally lost on the Moroccan trains, which was not helped by the fact
that my French vocabulary stretches as far as "bonjour" and "merci" --
I knew I should have paid more attention at school! After meeting the
group for breakfast, we set off for the impressive Hasan the 2nd Mosque
before the short train journey to Rabat and the start of my Moroccan

Once in Rabat we set off on a city walking tour, taking in the
highlights and fascinating history of the city. The guide was very
informative and it was here we would have are first experience of the
Moroccan Medina and the hustle and bustle of the evening traders. Next
we headed for Fez stopping at a weekly market (en route) where locals
will travel by donkey to buy and sell goods for the week. We also
stoped at the ruined Roman city of Volubilis, where we had a guided
tour of the ancient site. The city was damaged by a major earthquake
but still is an impressive site.

In Fez we had a full day touring this imperial city, most of which was
spent in its huge Medina -- a fascinating cultural experience for
anyone, especially the famous tanneries (not for the faint hearted --
it stinks). The medina of Fez has to be the world's biggest maze with
street sellers, blacksmiths and carpenters around every corner (the
list is endless).

After some time in the cities it was time to head south and over the
Mid-Atlas Mountains. This is a full day's drive of stunning scenery,
with flowing hills dotted with random Kasbahs. We finally arrived,
covered in dust and sand at Erfoud, our gateway to the dunes of the
Sahara. The following day we had some free time to explore the local
markets before heading off to Erg Chebbi.

That evening we made a caravan of the 4 legged kind plus Omar
at(www.cameltrekking.com), highly recommended, and set off into the
dunes to watch the sunset. Camel riding, for those who have never done
it, is very enjoyable and really good fun. It just all adds to the
experience of being in the Sahara. That night we opted to sleep under
the stars and with a clear sky and no light pollution you could spend
all night gasping at the beautiful sky. The next morning we awoke to
rain and although we missed out on the sunrise not many people can
claim to being rained on in the Sahara!

Another long days drive took us to Todra Gorge. This stunning gorge
with brilliant red cliffs 250 metres high was the highlight of my trip.
Here we spent the day walking in the gorge and just taking in the
brilliant scenery this place has to offer. For those who want to, there
is the option to do some rock climbing here.

We travelled towards the High Atlas mountain stopping en route at the
famous Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou used in the film set of Gladiator. On
arrival at Imlil, a small village in the High Atlas Mountains, we
transfered to our home for the next few days. Here we stayed with a
traditional Berber family and experienced the lifestyle they live. A
full days trek followed in this beautiful region, and led us to a
stunning waterfall and an amazing view over the village. The walk was
most enjoyable. There is also the opportunity to make the ascent to
North Africa's highest mountain, Mt. Toubkal, at 4167 meters -- for
those willing and able.

The following day we had just a short drive to Marrakech here we had a
horse drawn carriage ride around the city taking in the many historic
buildings and monuments, complete with a guide advising us of the
history and answering any of our questions. In the evening
Djemaa-el-fna is a must. The square comes alive at night with snake
charmers, acrobats musicians and more. Another huge attraction of the
square has to be the food stalls, just choose a stall and pull up a
seat to sample a mouthwatering sheeps head. Don't worry as well as the
unusual, there are the usual brilliant Moroccan dishes and you can also
get many European favourites at great value.

Overall this trip has a great mixture of adventure and culture combined
with the stunning scenery Morocco has to offer -- a truly wonderful

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