Overall our experience was great – lots of learning about Moroccan history, culture, geography.
Food – we expanded our appreciation of Moroccan food- we had a fair amount of understanding as we are avid cooks and had made preserved lemons and tajines for many years. However we had no knowledge of the wide variety of cooked Moroccan salads (we are still trying to track down a good recipe for the aubergine salad). Also every morning for breakfast the wide variety of freshly made breads and confitures. We loved the freshly squeezed juices and the tangerines often offered at the end of the meal.
Our deluxe ‘camping’ adventure on the Sahara-Who knew we would have a full moon to accompany the stars. It felt amazingly decadent to have our own enclave with roaring fire, a glass of local wine while watching the other sunset watchers return over the dunes by camel and by foot. Our camel driver was terrific in taking photos of us as well as tying my scarf into a head dress. His english was quite good. The absolute highlight was the 7 Sengalese musicians who came into our camp and entertained us with music.
The Riad Moucharabieh in Marrakesh was a dream- beautifully appointed (art work, furniture, painting…) and maintained, our room was gorgeous with a wonderful bathroom with rose petals scattered and a great shower. Our fire place was lit after dinner and we enjoyed reading and appreciating the beautiful architecture. One afternoon after our full day guided tour, we retreated to the roof terrace which was laid out with many chairs, and cushions enabling us to enjoy the sun, shade and view of the snow topped High Atlas Mountains. They asked us what we would like for dinner – it was great to make the choice. We would highly recommend this accommodation. It was a bit tricky to identify the street.
The sights – the people, the tannery at Fes, some of the historical architecture -tiling, painted ceilings, The souks (photo) & square in Marrakesh, the garden in Marrakesh. I love seeing the camels, donkeys and sheep -as a city girl. See photo of baby camels
Youness -our driver – he was an excellent driver, confident and thoughtful about our safety – given some of the driving through the High Atlas – we really appreciated this -as drivers, it is not easy to be passengers -we had no problem with that role -he understood what we wanted to see and accommodated us -ensuring we stopped at good places for purchases of argan oil, recommending trying a hammam and suggesting we buy our spices at an apothecary. The car was spotless. We were very happy with his recommendations of where to eat in Fez, and Marrakech
We were mostly happy with the accommodations – the Novotel, albiet not a great intro to Morocco had surprisingly good food. The Riad Jouhara has the potential to be outstanding- but suffers from too few staff. Our room was ok – could have been better -a bit cold. The bathroom had seen better days. The dining room furniture was not comfortable sitting on couches to eat. The staff did work to be accommodating -it is a bit annoying to be charged for coffee and water with your meals. We were happy to arrive at the Xaluca in Erfoud after the long drive- we enjoyed sitting outside by the pool after having had a few full days. The second Xaluca seemed to be a place to split up the long drive -not really much to do and not the place to do it in. The hotel was ok.
Experience It – was excellent from initial contact until our departure -very prompt feedback to inquiries, full packet of information that provided comprehensive responses to any questions we might have. We have already started recommending you.
(March of 2013)