Morocco in my rearview mirror

I’ve been back at home for a couple days now, and I’m rewinding past my time in the UK, France, and Spain to reminisce on my Morocco experiences.

Before I left, I had read a lot of different posts on Morocco and was getting increasingly worried as I read over and over again how horrible the country is for female travellers.  I’m going to have my voice as contrast, because with a little bit of prep and sensitivity this is the kind of place that any adventurer should aim to see.  What prep do I mean? Simple things like expecting to have shopkeepers, taxi drivers, and guides vying for your attention because that’s the way they know how to earn their living.   And knowing it’s best to be polite because a quick smile will make your decline that much easier for them to accept.  Think ahead about what you’re going to be wearing while you’re there and do your best to fit within some of the local custom.  I doubt you’ll fool anyone into thinking you were born there, but the effort to show respect in this regard will end up making your experience so much better.

This is one of my more ‘revealing’ Morocco outfits, and I still generally covered my shoulders with the scarf when I was in town.  I definitely got more propositions wearing this than when I had on a long loose dress with sleeves.

Arriving in Marrakech is a breeze, the airport is small and easy to navigate.  If you have a ride pre-arranged you’ll find them just outside the door after you pick up you luggage (assuming it arrives! :S)  I chose to take the city bus and I’d recommend that for anyone wanting to travel cheaply. Assuming your accommodation is near the main plaza get on bus #19 across the parking lot of the airport, and it will drop you off right across from Koutoubia Mosque and the Jemaa el fna plaza.  Expect to pay 30 Moroccan Dirhams (MAD) or 50 for a round trip if you’ll be back to the airport within 2 weeks.

Wander the courtyards
Sharpen your bargaining skills with locals
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Go explore the colourful market stalls
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Visit a women’s collective for pure Argan oil products and a glimpse of how it’s made.
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Spend the afternoon browsing artisan markets

Rooftop patios and mint tea are a couple more things I’ll forever associate with Morocco now, as both factored into every single day I was in the country – generally more than once a day.  Soooooo good!IMG_1367

The landscapes in this country are much more diverse than I had expected, so that’s an enticing bonus for anyone that gets bored easily (like me!) as there’s always something new to see.  Desert sand dunes, stunning beaches, lush forests, arid mountains, and more. IMG_1370

A stunning place with generous and friendly people, great food, rich history, vibrant colours, and so much to do.   Morocco is a great place to explore for a while!   I have so much more I could say and share, so if you’re planning on going there yourself please send me a message.  It’s fun for me to relive my travels by passing on suggestions!

Find fun ways to beat the heat
Watch the sunset from a hilltop
Explore the ancient city of Fez ( also spelled Fes)
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Walk the blue streets of Chefchaouen

Let me know your favourite Morocco experience – I’d love to hear about it!

– Ali


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