Morocco travel tips

1
May
2013

For those of you considering a trip to Morocco, here are a few random tips:

– DO get a Maroc Telecom SIM and 200 (or 100 or 50) dirham card for unlimited Internet while here. Maroc Telecom has excellent coverage and this deal can’t be beat. I paid the equivalent of 25 dollars for unlimited calling, texting, and Internet for a month. (And DON’T go to the Maroc Telecom office for this, go to a market vendor. I wasted useless hours at MT office)

– DON’T take a ferry from Tanger MED port, it is nowhere near Tangier. If you need to get to Algeciras, take the ferry from the actual port in Tangier to Tarifa, then take the free bus.

– if you visit Fez, DO stay at Riad Al Bartal

– If you visit Tetouan, DON’T stay at El Reducto

– if you are visiting Fez, be aware that most things are closed on Friday. You may want to give yourself another day

– DON’T convert money, just take out from ATMs

– DO hoard as many small bills and coins as you can. Large bills can be hard to use and get change for. You need the small bills especially for taxis

– Speaking of taxis, it seems near universal that a 20 dirham note (about $2.50) will get you just about anywhere in Tangier or Marrakech. DON’T argue with a taxi driver, just give them 20 and walk away.

– Google maps are best in Fez, still quite useful in Tangier and Marrakech, less so in Tetouan and Chefchaouen

– DO speak or learn to speak French, it is very useful

Out of Africa

1
May
2013

Marites and I did our level best to recreate the magic of old Tangier and its expats yesterday, with visits to Cafe Hafa overlooking the sea, and a fabulous lunch at El Morocco Club (highly recommended, one of the best meals of the trip) as well as dinner at the moroccan restaurant at the El Minzah hotel. In between we wandered the medina and souks and sea-face  walking all the way.  We have not had great internet while here which is why there have been so few pics uploaded, I will try to upload them all in the next few days. We leave in an hour or so for the boat to Tarifa, where my friends Jose and Andres will meet us. We will spend a few days with them in the south before getting on the train for Madrid and flying out on Saturday. With the lone exception of my terrible back pain, Morocco has been a total delight, and I would definitely come back. I would spend more time in Fez especially, and explore Marrakech in greater detail. I would also visit more small towns and kasbahs I think, but overall I am thrilled and grateful for all the amazing experiences and discovery. The hospitality of friends old and new really made this trip something special, and I won’t soon forget it. So goodbye for now, Africa. I have a feeling I will be back.