When we reflect upon the experience as a whole, we feel strongly that Experience It! Tours delivered exactly what was promised. There were no unpleasant surprises only lovely ones of discovery along the way as our adventure unfolded. All of our needs were met, our requests and preferences honored, resulting in a worry-free vacation.
Driver – Youssef was not only an excellent driver but was flexible and enjoyable to be with during the many hours we spent together in the car. These hours were pleasant interludes because of our interesting conversations and the background information he provided. Youssef is a true professional who is personable, intelligent and speaks excellent English. In short, he is a wonderful representative for your company and Morocco.
Riads – All of them were lovely in different ways. Our favorite was Riad Jaouhara in Fes because of its beauty and its wonderful staff. We felt welcomed and appreciated by the staff and loved our beautiful suite and its location in the medina.
Guides – Ali in Fes was by far and away the best guide we had in Morocco and quite frankly, much better than many we have had on other trips. He is a consummate professional, knowledgeable, articulate but with the right mix of humor, seriousness and consideration for the needs of the clients. As a result, our tour of Fes was truly captivating and the most interesting of all. Rashid at Volubilis made what might have been a heavy subject amusing and interesting. In addition, he had a broad and deep understanding of ancient history and we all learned a lot from him. Noureddine in Marrakech was flexible, friendly and helpful with a good sense of humor. He taught us about Moroccan culture and Islam.
Desert – There is no doubt that our tent compound was one of the highlights of the trip. We were definitely happy that we requested the “deluxe” tent but even so, we were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable we were there. We enjoyed all aspects of this experience from watching the sunset over the desert, to sitting around the campfire with Hamid I, Hamid II and Zahra while listening to them sing Berber songs, to lying on the dunes and looking up at the infinite number of stars overhead, to our sunrise hike. Despite the other tourists who were on the dunes at sunset and sunrise, we still felt that these moments were special. We imagined it to be similar to times past when caravans united large groups of people for safety in order to cross the desert…
Food – We loved the food, ate far too much and especially enjoyed the recommendations of the Youssef, Ali and Noureddine for eating in their favorite local, non-touristy restaurants. The riads all provided sumptuous meals – both dinners and breakfasts.
Reading Material – The written material provided by Experience It! beforehand was thorough and useful. We supplemented it with our own guide book (Fodor’s), CIA Factbook and Wikipedia.
Suggestions – With what we know now, we would have done some things differently:
1. Dusted off our high school French dictionaries and phrase books. The tour company’s list of things to bring mentioned an Arab phrase book but we might have gotten a little farther language-wise had we reminded ourselves of our former French lessons. That being said, we were surprised at how many people spoke English and we learned some Arabic and Berber along the way.
2. We would have stayed one day more in Fes and one day less in Marrakech. We are glad we saw both but going to Marrakech made us appreciate Fes even more and we would most likely not return to Marrakesh but most definitely to Fes.
3. We wished we had done more shopping in Fes and Rabat. We saved a lot of things to buy until the end at Marrakech and regretted that decision. The prices and the atmosphere for shopping were definitely better in Fes and even in Rabat’s souk.
4. Food was delicious but eating the heavy meals at the riads late at night was not so great for our digestion. Next time, we would request bed and breakfast and lunch rather than dinners.
5. Return trip – if we are lucky enough to make one, we would like to return to Fes and tour the coast.
Thanks again for a great trip,
Judith and William