I wanted to report back on what a great trip we had in Morocco. Despite a bad case of “Mohammad’s Revenge” that afflicted my husband and which necessitated some rearranging, everything was great.
Younes was a delight. He was not just a good driver, he was very good company. He was always on time, always helpful, always cheerful. He seemed effortless in accommodating our preferences, although I know he was rearranging things behind the scenes. I think the sound I will remember most from Morocco is the call of the muezzin but the ring of Younes’s cell phone is a very close second!
Especially when Billy got sick in Erfoud, he was invaluable. We were very sad about the possibility of missing out on the desert experience but Billy was not capable of a 2 hour camel ride or a night without facilities. But Younes immediately came up with a perfect solution to do the sunset ride and then come back to the hotel. He rearranged the 4 x 4 driver, the Kasbah in Erfoud, the Dunes d’Or and our Sahara experience was salvaged. More than salvaged, it was fantastic, one of the highest points of the trip.
I also commend Younes on his choices of “subcontractors.” Our guide in Fes, Hicham, was fantastic. His English was excellent (how can someone speak idiomatically fluent English when they’ve never been to an English speaking country?? Mind-blowing.) His knowledge of history and geography in Fes was impressive. We were in Fes on Friday which wasn’t bad because, while some shops were closed, the streets were a little less crowded, a little less overwhelming. Plus it was nice to witness life in the quartiers as folks prepared for and attended the mosque. The Riad Jouahara was lovely (as you know, Jeff, since you are right across the street!) The location was good, the property was absolutely beautiful. Evidently, we were the only guests in the whole Riad for two of our three nights, which felt a little surreal. The staff was very friendly, although no one speaks English well. Fortunately, we were able to communicate fine in French.
By far the best place we stayed was the Riad Kniza in Marrakech. A fabulous property with absolutely impeccable service. Breakfast on the rooftop terrace was a delight. The caliber of the service at Kniza was truly five star. In addition, we really enjoyed the company of the other guests at Riad Kniza, a very international group. It was also a nice touch that all non-alcoholic drinks were included, no extra charges for bottles of water, afternoon juices or tea. We didn’t get to try the spa services at the Hammam but they looked wonderful.
Overall the itinerary was very good. It was a lot of driving and I wished we had more time in Fes and a chance to visit Essouira but I don’t know what I would’ve given up or if I’d have been willing to stay longer. I might have done the itinerary in counter-clockwise fashion, going to Marrakech first and ending in Fes. I was still jet-lagged when we got to Fes and it was so different, it was a little overwhelming. I might have been better prepared to appreciate it if it had come at the end of the trip. I don’t know but it’s something to consider.
We really enjoyed the Berber town of Tinghrir and Younes found a wonderful guide Abdul who showed me around the oasis. I really enjoyed seeing how the people lived in and used the oasis. Kasbah Lamrami was lovely, the pool especially was beautiful and the staff was very solicitous of us and of “le monsieur qui fait mal,” bringing me dishes of rice, cumin and containers of yogurt for him.
Thanks for great job you did putting the trip together. I’ve got some great photos that I can send if you want. I can send several as lower res files and if you think you’d like to use any of them, I can resend them at high res (they are very big.) Let me know if you want me to send them.
I would absolutely recommend Experience It tours to anyone traveling to Morocco. It is a fantastically rich and diverse country with so much to see. The guides and itineraries that you put together let us appreciate as many aspects of Morocco’s amazing culture as possible in 10 days time. Thanks again.