Culture shock. Morocco is both old and new. I have been proposed to twice but neither man could afford my pricey dowry.
Turkey had been a nice preparation for Morocco and comparatively so easy to travel in.
We waffled back and forth about booking a tour or traveling on our own. Although I’m sure we could have figured it out, the ease of traveling in a group has been totally worth it. Our local guide is an invaluable resource – a private translator to local culture. We’ve been traveling with the group for about 4 6 days now. There are 14 of us, 2 Canadians (us!), one American, 3 Brits, and the balance Aussies.
Daily we see a new Medina. The Fes Medina is the oldest with 10,000 alleyways. I imagine us on our own being lost for days, among the donkeys, the sewage, being sold endless handicrafts (very good price of course.) Unfortunately as with any tour you must make the obligatory visit to local factories to buy local goods. All day. We saw pottery, leather goods (we were given mint to hold near our noses for the awful smell), beautiful tin and silver goods, carpets (nowhere near as nice as Turkish, but much cheaper) and finally fabric. By the time I got to fabric I was completely done. This is a major downside of a guided tour.
While driving between Rabat and Fes we came upon what appeared to be a fairground. There were large white tents and so many horses. Our guide (Abdou) was very excited and suggested we stop. So half of us crossed the highway, running between traffic, jumped a ditch, and through a barren field. The earth was brown, cracked and dry, but had plenty of thistles. We stood right along the edge and Abdou described doing this as a child. Different Berber tribes in traditional dress would stampede down the concourse on their horses in a straight line. At the end they would shoot a gun.
Another great experience we would not have otherwise experienced if we were on our own.
Photos to come.