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Sonia Footprints

'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all'

Sahara Desert

Planning a trip to Morocco, Africa

I was supposed to travel in the land of Europe only. But I heard flights from London to Marrakech is pretty cheap. So…I flew to Marrakech from London after I traveled to Iceland.

Everyone thought that Morocco should be warmer than Europe in November as it is in A-F-R-I-C-A.

YOU ARE W-R-O-N-G. So wrong. Yes, it’s warmer but doesn’t mean you can wear your t-shirts and shorts! I was wearing my down jacket at night…

Getting there

There are different means to arrive at Morocco. My plane touched down at Marrakech from London. London also has direct flights to Casablanca. Going from Gibraltar by ferry is also an option. From what I understand, there are more direct flights from Lisbon, Portugal.

Morocco Itinerary

I only had a week and I planned to explore the country to the fullest which was so tight.

Day 1 – Marrakech

Day 2 – Marrakech

Day 3 – Sahara Tour

Day 4 – Sahara Tour

Day 5 – End of Sahara tour – Merzouga to Fes

Day 6 – Fes to Chefchaouen

Day 7 – Chefchaouen to Casablanca

Day 8 – Casablanca to London

I would suggest extending it to 10 or 12 days to make your life easier. Chefchaouen is definitely worth one more day to do a hike in the town, overlooking the blue pearl city. Trekking (Atlas Mountain) is also very popular in Morocco, that would take another extra few days more.

Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen is known as the blue pearl city.

What to bring to Morocco in November/December

All your usual travel necessities, plus, a scarf/bandana for Sahara, sunglasses, windbreaker, down jacket, thermal layers and beanie.

Currency

Cash (Moroccan dirham) is king, period. Change only a small amount of dirham which is enough for you to go to the center from the money exchange in the airport because their rate is the worst.

Bathrooms in Morocco

My go-to-hotel-for-bathroom trick doesn’t work in Morocco. Most public toilets charge around MAD 5 to MAD 10…They will give you a few pieces of toilet paper…I always think that paid toilets are cleaner but this is not guaranteed in Morocco. However, I just walked straight into the toilet without making eye contact with whoever was standing in front of the toilets and they didn’t stop me so…It is a way for them to make money from tourists! Good news is that both Chinese and Western toilets are available!

Women’s Safety

Morocco is notorious for its gender inequality. I hardly see any women on the streets nor shops for some unknown reasons. My Asian face did not attract any unwanted attention luckily. I was often mistaken as Japanese. From what I observed in the medina, blonde women attract much more men’s attention, mostly verbal. Anything more than verbal I would see it as unacceptable.

During day time, wandering around the streets are fine, don’t expose any valuables. Men would often come and greet us, saying that he can show us around, FOR FREE. No, don’t believe them. Say no thank you and leave. Even if it is free, he will then take you to the next man, saying that this man will bring you to a place where only he has access to, it’s basically an organized scam. Faux guides are just too many in Morocco.

And I don’t like dishonesty.

At night, I become more cautious. I would not wander in the alleys and stay in the medina for too long time.

Marrakech

I always wonder how they stack up the food against the gravity!

Transportation within cities

It is just too ridiculous that I have to blog about this in a separate article which will be up next!

Sonia • March 23, 2017


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