Education College Tour
19 days / 18 nights – Sample from May 2008
May 13th Tuesday Casablanca Day 1
Upon arrival in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, you will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel to relax as you have time. The tours of the interior of the Hassan II mosque are scheduled at 9, 10, 11am, & 2pm. You may want to take lunch before your tour of the mosque. Dinner will be served at your hotel, Hotel Maamoura.
May 14th Wednesday Casablanca / Fes Day 2
After breakfast, you will leave by train on the Casa Voyager for Fes, the cultural capital of Morocco. You will be on the train for your noon meal. You will be welcomed to Fes and have a quick overview of the city on your way to your hotel, Hotel Batha, on the edge of the medina near the Ba Bou Jeloude. Dinner is in the hotel.
May 15th Thursday Fes Day 3
After breakfast you will begin your guided tour of the medina, one of the world’s largest walled in cities. You will explore the narrow streets lined with fresh fruit, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets and many other art objects of Morocco. A visit to the Kings Palace, the tanneries, and potters are just a few places you will experience. For lunch you will have lunch provided in traditional restaurant in the heart of the medina. After lunch you will complete the tour and in the evening you will meet up with your host families. Dinner will be served at your hotel, Hotel Batha.
May 16th Friday Fes Day 4
Taking a Petit Taxi to the class at the DMG Language School might be the start of your cultural experience in Morocco. You have lunch included at the DMG. Language learning takes on a new meaning when you have the opportunity to use it to greet the taxi driver on the way back to the hotel for the afternoon. In the afternoon you have some formal cultural instruction, with possibly a cup of sweet Moroccan Mint tea. Dinner is at the Hotel Batha.
May 17th Saturday Fes Day 5
After breakfast you will walk down the winding roads in the medina to the Artisan Lecture and see a demonstration of the techniques and the skills involved in transforming artistic ideas into things of beauty and utility. You will better appreciate the plaster moldings and mosaic lined fountains that ornament so many Moroccan homes. After lunch you will have a short lecture on the history of Fes then have some free time to explore the medina and sample the sweets. Dinner is in the Hotel Batha.
May 18th Sunday Fes Day 6
After breakfast you have the opportunity to take the Petit Taxis back to the Nouveau Ville again for free time or you can have this time to fellowship with others at church. You will also have some group time, maybe even enjoying the hospitality at McDonalds just across the street from the church. The decorations in the fast food service won’t be quite as authentic as you saw in the medina, but it is definitely Moroccan, even the flavors. You take the petit taxis back to the medina where you have free time and dinner is in the hotel, Hotel Batha.
May 19th Monday Fes Day 7
In the morning, after breakfast, you have the lecture relating to religion and cultural differences. After lunch you take the local transport back to the DMG for another language class. You may have time to practice a little Arabic in the area near the hotel where you have dinner. Hotel Batha.
May 20th Tuesday Fes Day 8
The morning would be an excellent time to move out into the medina and try your newly learned Arabic phrases as you search out the offerings spread out in front of each small shop. Try your hand at discovering the prices of some of the many items for sale. Go to the meat market to see how things are done where refrigeration and packaging aren’t part of daily life. You move to join your host family in a Home Stay, possibly sharing lunch with them at their home. You can become part of your host family …shopping, cooking, and maybe even going to the hammam. You have dinner and stay the night with them.
May 21st Wednesday Fes / Home Stay Day 9
You are with your host family for the day, getting insight into the way a Moroccan family relates to each other. Some of the host families will be very entertaining while others will spend more time just sitting around. It will be enlightening to learn that the role of women and men are traditionally very well defined, perhaps not as you think ideal, but gave family stability. You will see that some roles are being compromised.You might get them to go with you shopping in the medina. Enjoy your time with the host family: Home Stay.
May 22nd Thursday Fes / Home Stay Day 10
You may have time to get together for more formal discussion of what you have observed as to the different roles you saw in the families, in particular that of a woman in this Muslim Culture. The schedule may need to be adjusted to accommodate those who have the experience and insight to help you understand what you experienced. This day includes free time. You are back at Hotel Batha for dinner tonight.
May 23rd Friday Fes / Erfoud Day 11
After an early breakfast you will begin your ascent across the Middle Atlas Mountains. Most of the day will be spent winding your way through the beautiful forests, jagged rock faces, and Berber villages as you cross the Atlas Mountains and begin to descend towards the Sahara Desert. Half way, you will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. On arrival at the Kasbah Tizimi in Erfoud, a hot shower or dip in the swimming pool (depending on the weather) will be a treat after the drive. Dinner will be served at the Hotel,
May 24th Saturday Sahara Desert Day 12
After breakfast you may wish to explore Rissani, the ruins of Sijilmassa and visit a ksar (fortified village). In the afternoon, you will head off in some 4-wheel drive vehicles across the barren land to the majestic Sahara sand dunes. You will set off by camel for a 2-hour trek out to the Dunes d’Or oasis where you will spend the night in Berber tents (Dinner is included).
May 25th Sunday Sarah Desert/Erfoud Day 13
After breakfast, you will return by camel to the Auberge. You may have time to enjoy the dunes at the back door or perhaps take a swim in their small pool before taking the 4x4s to head back to Erfoud. If you have not had a chance to visit the fossil factory near Erfoud you might find it fascinating to see all the hand work and craftsmanship that is involved in preparing the special items available in their small shop there. You will spend the rest of the day at the hotel, Kasbah Tizimi, where you have your evening meal and some group time.
May 26th Monday Erfoud / Ouarzazate Day 14
From Erfoud you set out behind the High Atlas Mountains en route to Oaurazazate. You first stop at the huge Todra Gorges where you will have a little time explore the beautiful area, maybe even climb up to the small caves in the rocky face. A picnic is scheduled in the gorges.
From there you will continue along the route to Ouarzazate, known as the “Land of 1000 Kasbahs” Perhaps a visit to one of the Kasbahs or a short trip up the Dades Valley would be of interest. You will spend the night Hotel La Vallee, where you will have dinner.
May 27th Tuesday Ouarazate / Marrakech Day 15
After breakfast you will continue your journey on to Marrakech On the way you will stop at Ait Ben Haddou. This famous Kasbah fortress is not too far off the main road and is a very popular place to visit. This setting has been used for more films than any other location in Morocco; films including, Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, and recently The Gladiator.
You will continue on to Marrakech following the winding road with its dizzying switchbacks as you make your way over the High Atlas Mountains through the Titchka pass.
Once in Marrakech, you will check into your hotel and then head off to the Djemaa el-Fna, the center square of the medina. The famous Djemaa el-Fna, is one of the center attractions of Marrakech. Coming alive at night with the local storytellers, entertainers, and mouth-watering barbeque pits, the square is well worth a visit. A quiet cup of tea on the terrace of an adjacent café provides a spectacular aerial view of the bustling square. Dinner will be provided in the hotel.
Riad Mogodor Marrakech.
May 28th Tuesday Marrakech / Berber Village Day 16
After breakfast, the group will set off to a Berber village to enjoy a truly cultural experience…The Day in the Life of a Berber. The students will learn first hand by collecting water from the well, cooking lunch in a clay oven, brewing Berber mint tea, and sleeping in a Berber house.
May 29th Wednesday Life in a Berber village Day 17
Your second day in the Berber village gives you the opportunity to participate in their life and to observe the way they solve the basic family relationships as contrasted to those who live in the medina. Their pace of life may give you an unusual opportunity to interact in a special way. You share the meals together and sleep in a Berber house.
May 30th Thursday Berber Village / Marrakech Day 18
After breakfast, the group will return to Marrakech and will have a guided tour of Marrakech, the southern pearl of Morocco. You will discover the Palace of the Bahia, the Saadian Tombs, and many other hidden treasures. After lunch, you will continue with the tour on to the magnificent Koutoubia Mosque and the famous Djemaa el-Fna, one of the center attractions of Marrakech. The tour will conclude with an exploration of the souk (market) lined with fresh fruit, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets and many other art objects of Morocco. Enjoy the glitter of this city by night as you take a ride in the horse drawn open carriage back to your hotel for dinner.
Riad Mogador Marrakech.
May 31st Thursday Marrakech / Depart Day 19
After breakfast at your hotel you will be taken to the airport for departure.