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    • Morocco Camel Trekking in Merzouga Desert , You need advice .?

      Morocco Mar 27, 2015 at 7:15 AM

      We started our Moroccan trip from Fes, after visiting the most important places, we left the Fes Medina mid-day to roam and explore the nouville, French for the new city part of Fes. Our bus was not departing till 9 at night so we had time to chill out in the city center. While the others went to re-up on some supplies, I stayed to watch the bags. A few kids came on bikes and I filmed them with my gopro. We quickly made friends despite the language barrier. They were eager to share their tricks for the camera. I gave them some graffiti stickers and share facebook information. Facebook, Everyone in Morocco has it.

      A few mint teas, coffees and getting lost, we found ourselves at the CTM bus station.. There was a German trio playing a guitar, where Thanecha immediately took to join. New friends were instantly made by the love for music, but we never knew how good of friends they would soon become. We had a nine hour, overnight bus ride to Rissani, a stop over to Merzouga, where the Sahara meets Morocco.

      After a long, sleepless and sometimes painful 9 hours, we arrived in Rissani, at 6am, before the sun broke the horizon. A man named Mohammed approached us and asked if we wanted some food and drink at his cafe, which he claimed was open, warm and just down the street. It sounded good to us as the Germans joined us. Immediately, this man gave some negative vibes, one of those gut feelings you get when you know something is not right.

      His cafe, Panorama Cafe, was not open or even his and took 10 minutes for someone to unlock it. I called him out on it, and he was quick to be on defense. "Why would I lie to you, my friend?" I dismissed him as we entered with the Germans.

      One of the German girl's boyfriend was coming from Merzouga to come get them, so they hung out with us until then. Mohammed's odd demeanor continued, as he pushed his services on me. I repeatedly said I had an excursion booked and I did not need his assistance in getting to Merzouga. All I or anyone of my group was interested was some tea and coffee. He persisted and was desperate, showing me pictures and videos of his resort and 4x4. He exclaimed that the boyfriend coming to pick them up was total BS because it took jobs away. He mumbled on in Arabic as we figured him out. He knew we figured him out and called his friends to come to his rescue.

      He offered all sorts of BS answers to our questions, and would shout Africa! or USA USA! AMERICA!!! when he didnt know what to say. He eventually brought out tea for all of us, when Ryan said, I am not drinking anything this man gives us. Apparently Mohammed touched a member of our group inappropriately up on the roof terrace moments before. When the tea came out, he switched Thanechas cup with another. It was deliberate and we saw it. Something is going on and not in a good way. His desperation continues as we fight off his advances.

      Finally having enough, we all left to wait with the Germans outside, as their ride was near by. We walked down the road back towards the bus stop, where he gets in his 4x4 chases us, threatening to call the police if we catch a ride with the Germans. We had no intentions to catch a ride with them, it was just an alibi. Just then, a big blue caravan appears around the corner, to the jumping Germans delight and Mohammed's despair. By now he was yelling at us to take his offer, yet we continue to thank him and refuse while walking away. He calls his friend to come help him not let this caravan get away by boxing it in, one car in the front and Mohammed in the back. We attempted to block his efforts to block the caravan by standing in front of his car, almost running over Ryan and Thanecha in the process. He was literally pressing the gas with two people in front of him. He threatened to call the police on us and the Germans if we got in. Tempers were high as shouting matches began, in the middle of town. What is going on?

      The Germans get in drove off leaving us trying to find a taxi, which apparently can only be found in front of his cafe. There is no way that was going to happen. We continue to walk in the opposite direction, repeatedly getting out of his car, claiming he is sorry and asks for forgiveness. By now, everyone in our group is just as hostile, all shouting at him to just leave us alone. I remained calm, thanked him and explained that there was no way we would be accepting any services from him. We walked down another street as far away as possible, cooling our tempers in the process. Did we just screw ourselves? He is probably in cahoots with every cab here, how are we getting to Merzouga?

      About a kilometer down the road, around the bend and out of sight of his cafe, the blue caravan appears. The Germans! They circled back around town unbeknownst to everyone in town, including ourselves. They quickly turned the caravan around and tell us to get in, and make it quick!

      We frantically pile in, lay on the floor in a small space, and drove away. These people were searching for us and came to our rescue. I can't thank them enough.

      We escaped to Merzouga and was greeted with massive sand dunes as soon as we stepped out from the big blue steed.

      After saying bye to our German saviors, we walked over to the hotel next door. At the gate, I saw a young man who looked like he just woke up, but he looked familiar, "Hassan Mouhou?" I asked. "Yeah," he replied. He looked just like the avatar he had on the emails we had exchanged earlier in the year. Short curly black hair, a young round friendly face and dark olive skin colored by the desert sun. I booked a camel excursion through his company ( Morocco Excursions Company => www.Morocco-Excursion.com) ------ (and they come highly recommended as you will read why). We exchanged hellos and he brought us the traditional Berber whiskey (tea - sans the alcohol) out on the sky terrace of the hotel. Hassan was very welcoming and just wanted to hang out, which caught me by surprise. He didn't try to push anything on us or sell us more junk, he just want to talk story and show us a good time. He even knew of Mr. Mohammed from Rissani. He showed us around Center of Merzouga just for fun until he had to prepare for our desert excursion.

      After a light meal, we returned to the hotel packed our bags and went out back to the hotel. There sat eight, single-humped dromedaries, snorting and farting away, ready to trek to camp. I know this is about as touristy as it gets, but hopping on one of those living desert cars and headed towards nothing but orange sand, lit by the low desert sun was surreal. Our former nomad guides, Youssef and Said, lead us and the camels by foot, towards the dunes. Our mini caravan of 6 camels trekked over 7km, across dunes as far as the eye could see. Some dunes were taller than 300 meters, simply incredible. None of us could get over the fact that we were riding dromedaries, into the Saharan desert, in Africa, on Christmas eve.

      Our guides dropped us off at a tall dune just short of camp, leaving us to hike to the top to catch our first Saharan sunset. It felt like we were children again, running up and down the dunes, laughter drifting in the quiet desert air. Was this really happening? We were in the Sahara Desert! After an obligatory mini photo shoot, we dug in and sat on the edge of a sand dune, boots off and toes in the sand, and watched the sun disappear in the distance. Perfect, simply perfect.

      Christmas night was even better. Camp was full, nearly 25 total fellow tourist, some of them wasted, singing and dancing around the fire. It was amazing to say the least. People from all over the world all having a good time around the camp fire in the Sahara. The Berber nomads encouraged every one to join in, all while having an even better time themselves. We danced and sang the night away, with drums and even a guitar for Thanecha. When our turn to sing a song came up, we rapped the fresh prince of Bellair, naturally. All the English speakers joined in about a story all about how my life got twisted upside down.... We told jokes and riddles again, under the stars that seemed to be so bright that they could cast shadows. We partied the night away, having the time our of lives. Not your typical Christmas, but definitely one to remember.

      You can read more about our Moroccan experience by visiting our blog : http://www.marcuscoania.com/blog/

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    • Good budget hotel

      Marrakesh Mar 27, 2015 at 1:38 AM

      Can you tell me of a well placed clean budget hotel just for breakfast. I have found Ryad Mogador at bab doukkala very good as it's twixt gueliz and la place - jemma el fyna. Please not a hotel/riad in Medina as it's scary at 4am in the dark.

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    • budget hotel

      Marrakesh Mar 27, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Does anyone know a clean budget hotel like Ryad mogador at bab doukkala. Just for nice breakfast. It must be placed safely for late night returning and not in the spooky Medina.i say bab doukala because its twixt guelis and la place jemma el fynaa.

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    • Marrakesh to Chefchaouen (Blue City)

      Marrakesh Mar 11, 2015 at 5:48 AM

      Hi, Does anyone know the easiest and cheapest way to get from Marrakesh to Chefchaouen? preferably if there is a night bus and if so how much?

      Thanks!

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    • Grazia54's Profile Photo

      Two old girls traveling to Morocco

      Morocco Mar 17, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      Hi, My friend and I would like to find a tour to Morocco, that's reliable, affordable, but on the nicer side... about 10-14 days.. the basic cities Fes, Marrakesh, Essaouira. A camel ride out to spend the night in the desert... tents with bathrooms would be nice... and a group that is on the smallish side, around16, max. We're mature women, so access to a good bed, good meals, and hot water would also be quite appreciated. I've heard of a few companies, but don't know anything about them. Anyone have suggestions for us? I'd like to hear from those of you who had a great tour and you'd recommend it to a friend.... Thanks in advance for all your tips & suggestions... Grazia54

       

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    • Money exchange

      Marrakesh Mar 1, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      I'm in London and will be headed for Marrakech soon. Can someone tell me the best place to get the dirham. I'm getting conflicting stories!

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    • csuresh's Profile Photo

      Marrakesh - query

      Marrakesh Mar 9, 2015 at 4:28 AM

      We have finalized our trip for next month having full 3 days in Marrakech. First day we want to visit part of the top 10 attractions that Google throws for Marrakech - Menara Gardens, Majorelle Garden, El Badi palace, Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech museum and around Jemma El fna. We will be using paper maps - any other tips. What is the best way to navigate from one place to another? Day 2 - we plan to use guided Atlas mountains and trip. Day 3 - we have a late night flight so have full day with us - is there any tours that one can recommend where we can spend around 5-6 hours including travel and visit? I will be travelling with my wife and 2 daughters aged 9 and 6. I have asked a general query earlier and with plans getting firm - wanted to goto next level to check-up

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    • abs87's Profile Photo

      General Advice Required!

      Morocco Mar 14, 2015 at 6:17 PM

      Hi all,

      Just looking on some advice and guidance on a trip I am planning for myself (28) and my mum (51) at the end of this year.
      As first time visit to Morocco I was wondering whether Casablanca is worth the visit? We were thinking of just visiting Marrakech and Fez, then heading up and taking the ferry to Spain... I am conflicted as to whether we should fly into London and take a cheaper flight to Morocco or just fly direct into Casablanca (which would be the more expensive option). We plan on visiting Spain and Italy also so any suggestions as to an itinerary around those destinations would be helpful, so many places to see its becoming slightly overwhelming picking just a few!

      Any tips on the best way to travel around Morocco would be great also, we are mainly looking at Air BnB accommodation and are happy to take trains/buses to get around and see more of the countryside

      Thanks for your help!
      abbie

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    • nice people

      Marrakesh Mar 15, 2015 at 12:05 PM

      Hello,I would like to meet some interesting mature local people,interested in culture,art and nature , next week in M.Any body know somebody there.??I can imagine a nice intercultural chat over a cup of mint tea.
      Thank you

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    Near Casablanca

    • Changing of US currency at Casablanca Airport !!

      by carlos501b Online Now Feb 14, 2015 at 5:57 AM

      Will I be able to change US 100$ bills into local currency at the Airport ?

      Or will I have to lug around US $ bills in smaller denominations ?

      Many thanks for any help offered.

      Cheers,
      Carlos.

      14 Answers Feb 16, 2015 at 8:12 PM
    • Syvde's Profile Photo

      How much luggage can you take on a train?

      by Syvde Online Now Dec 27, 2014 at 7:38 AM

      My wife and I are planning a train trip from Casablanca to Rabat. We will travel first class, in order to have reserved seats. We will have one medium-sized suitcase each, but too big for an overhead rack. Are there spaces in the cars for luggage, or do we have to look into checking the luggage for this short journey?

      4 Answers Dec 29, 2014 at 6:07 AM
    • Hotels in Casa

      by John_Cash Online Now Oct 25, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      Which are the best hotels in Casa to stay in for a three-days business trip?

      5 Answers Nov 1, 2014 at 8:07 AM
    • From ship to medina

      by glugglug Online Now Sep 23, 2014 at 3:26 AM

      how to get from the docks to the medina?

      2 Answers Sep 23, 2014 at 8:07 AM
    • mvp2ny's Profile Photo

      Spa/Massage Casablanca

      by mvp2ny Online Now Apr 25, 2014 at 5:19 AM

      Good morning all,

      Any recommendation on local massage places to look forward to after long travel. Any rates/local currency for those who are challenged non-french/arabic speakers.

      Thanks.

      3 Answers Jul 16, 2014 at 4:43 AM
    • Move to Casablanca

      by Irishguy30 Online Now Apr 20, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      I am a young Irish gay guy offered a good job in Casablanca managing a salon. I do not know anything about culture here so am having second thought because of stories I'm being told , any advice personal experiences or tips would realy be appreciated

      10 Answers May 17, 2014 at 5:43 AM
    • DaveRowley's Profile Photo

      one day off a cruise in 2 weeks time

      by DaveRowley Online Now Mar 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      best things to do and see????

      7 Answers May 2, 2014 at 3:58 AM
    • casablanca in a day

      by jasinghe Online Now Jan 13, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      I am arriving in casablanca on a cruise ship.what is the best way to get to the city? is once in the city are most attractions within walking distance? is there a tourist information scentre?where can I get a city map? can I change euros or brit pounds to dirhams at the port visinity.Is it possible to hire a taxi for the day and what is the likely cost for that?

      4 Answers Jan 20, 2014 at 9:44 AM
    • casablanca to nador

      by deidrejanetmoss Online Now Jan 6, 2014 at 3:42 AM

      does a train run from casbalanca airport train station to nador?? and if they do what are the timings??

      4 Answers Jan 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM
    • Eucalyptus / wind

      by japancatz Online Now Nov 12, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      I'd love to visit Casablanca, but I see there is a large forest planted about 30 miles outside of town, which includes many eucalyptus tree. I am allergic to eucalyptus. Has anyone with the same allergy traveled to Casablanca and had problems? Also, does the wind mainly blow west, inward from the sea? Thanks!

      3 Answers Nov 12, 2013 at 5:49 AM
    • Casablanca-where is he best location to stay

      by Simoneta Online Now Oct 30, 2013 at 5:24 AM

      Hi,
      For those who already saw Maroc I would like to know which is the new part and which is the old one. I would like to plan a vacation there next year in March and I would like to choose a hotel in the new part of Casablanca...
      Secondly, I would like to know if there is a local transportation from the Airport Mohammed V to the Port/harbour?
      What is your advice for their hotels? Where is best to stay?
      Can someone help me, please?

      Thank you in advance,
      Simona

      7 Answers Oct 30, 2013 at 9:49 AM
    • hotel in casablanca

      by jjs6636 Online Now Oct 21, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      what is best and good price hotel to stay in Casablanca?

      5 Answers Oct 24, 2013 at 4:40 AM
    • Is easy and safe to find a taxi in Morrocco?

      by jjs6636 Online Now Oct 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Our tour end at Marrakech, Dellarosa Hotel on January 5 ,2014 in the morning.
      My airplane is January 6 ,2014 at 10am on Casablanca mohammed V CMN airport. What will be the easy way from Marrakech to Casablanca,by airplane? Taxi?tour guy?
      I also need book hotel in Casablanca for January 5. Any suggestion?Please....
      Can they speak English?Is easy and safe to call a taxi? Is taxi very expensive?Should I bring travel check or exchange Morocco money?
      Any suggestion will be big help. Thanks

      8 Answers Nov 18, 2014 at 1:25 AM
    • I like find a car with a guide to me a tour in Casablanca. How Can I find?

      by jjs6636 Online Now Oct 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      How do I find a guide or company to give a tour in Casblanca

      6 Answers Nov 3, 2013 at 4:47 AM
    • Casablanca to Chefchouen

      by rosenirit Online Now Oct 10, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      Would a grand taxi be able to drive us ( 2 adults ) from Casablanca airport to Chefchouen ? Is there a better way of getting there ? The bus leaves once a day and it is before we arrive . any suggestions ?

      2 Answers Oct 11, 2013 at 8:24 AM
    • BaliBased's Profile Photo

      Fine Dining in Casa

      by BaliBased Online Now Sep 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Can u tell me what the hot tables in town are? I like French, Italian and of course Moroccan food especially

      5 Answers Sep 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM
    • crystalman's Profile Photo

      about people

      by crystalman Online Now Aug 31, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      how can i meet with moroccon people on the net? can you help me? thanks.

      1 Answer Oct 11, 2014 at 1:27 AM
    • numaan's Profile Photo

      Anyone Recommend a decent budget hotel in Casa city centre? (Max 30euro per night)

      by numaan Online Now Mar 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      I am looking for a budget hotel in Casablanca with just a few basic requirements: Central safe location, hot running shower, clean bed and some wi-fi access. I have researched so many hotels and looked up so many reviews but I cannot find a single hotel which travelers recommend. I am looking to stay just two nights in two weeks time and with a budget of 30euro max per night. Does anyone recommend a good budget place to stay? The reviews most hotels seems to be terrible unless its an expensive chain one, help!

      2 Answers Sep 8, 2013 at 11:24 PM
    • Buy wine on Sunday near Stade Laabi Bem Mubarak, Casablanca

      by girlwithearring Online Now Mar 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      I will want to buy a bottle of wine on Sunday. My hotel is near Stade Laarbi ben Mubarak. Where is the nearest place? What are Sunday hours like?

      1 Answer Sep 8, 2013 at 11:24 PM
    • Train to International Airport

      by kathswans Online Now Feb 28, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Does the train from Casa Voyages Station to the airport run 24/7 and if not, what is the earliest it begins each day?

      1 Answer Mar 1, 2013 at 2:12 AM
    • trains

      by Denisehurst Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Can anyone help me with how to get from Casablanca airport on the train to
      100 reviews
      85 Boulevard d'Anfa, Casablanca, 20000, MA
      Do I have to transfer any trains? Or does it come close enough to walk to hotel from the final station? Help..

      2 Answers Feb 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM
    • jlanza29's Profile Photo

      Train tickets any info would help

      by jlanza29 Online Now Jan 18, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Hey everyone ..... Making my way to Morocco finally .... Got a question ..... Can I purchase train tickets to go to Marrekech at the airport train station, for the next morning ??????? And can I get to the Casa Port train station from the airport or must I go to Casa-Voyageurs and then take a petit taxi ride to my hotel ?????

      Thanks as always

      4 Answers Jan 21, 2013 at 6:43 PM
    • mvp2ny's Profile Photo

      Le Royal Mansour (Le Meridien)

      by mvp2ny Online Now Jan 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Hi everyone,

      My trip got changed and now I am staying at Le Royal Mansour (Le Meridien). Not by my choice but I will have to make the best of it. Any info on taxi fares from the airport and also any good restaurants/nightlife in the area.

      Also is there any local markets to get souvenirs. What would be good souveniers from Morocco?

      Thanks to all.

      4 Answers Jan 14, 2013 at 9:36 PM
    • mvp2ny's Profile Photo

      Casablanca Hyatt Regency

      by mvp2ny Online Now Dec 18, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      Hi All,

      What is the avg cost for taxi from airport to Hyatt Regency Casablanca? Is it easier to exchange rates at the aiport, hotel, or local currency exhcanges in city? How's the nightlife in Casablanca close to the hotel.

      Thanks!

      2 Answers Dec 25, 2012 at 6:53 AM
    • Sharonov's Profile Photo

      Casablanca to Rabat

      by Sharonov Online Now Dec 8, 2012 at 7:41 AM

      Is there a train from Casablanca to Rabat? Bus? What's the most scenic and interesting? I'm meeting a travel group in R and they want to charge me100 for the trip. Is this excessive?

      13 Answers Dec 19, 2012 at 9:42 PM
    • Hotel Recs near airport

      by dpbrownlee Online Now Sep 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      We will have one night in Casablance before our flight the next morning during our trip in November. Any recommendations on a great hotel. Since it's only one night in Casablanca, I'd probably be willing to splurge on something nicer, but I'm always interested in something that provides a more authentic Moroccan experience (not a chain hotel). We need to get to the airport the following morning so proximity is a consideration. Thanks in afvance!

    • Sunday Shopping

      by Frendt1 Online Now Aug 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      We will be in Casablanca on Sunday from 8am to 3pm. Is the old medina open on Sunday? What about the new medina? We would like to find somewhere to shop for local items. Thank you.

      3 Answers Aug 22, 2012 at 4:54 AM
    • Taxi to casablanca international airport

      by AnnPeter Online Now Aug 3, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      Hi
      Is it ok to take a local taxi to the airport or would it be best to book a transfer via the net prior to beginning our holidays.
      Unfortunately still not sure which hotel we will book to stay at in Casablanca.
      Thanks in advance

      3 Answers Aug 11, 2012 at 8:19 AM
    • Mohammedia

      by losham Online Now May 22, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Is there enough to see and do in Mohammedia to go for the day? We don't want the beaches but just to see the area.

      Thanks
      Losham

      1 Answer May 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM
    • matjung's Profile Photo

      Casablanca Hotel Reservation Website

      by matjung Online Now May 18, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      I would like to ask which website would your recommend for booking a place to stay in Casablanca.

      I have the feeling that all international booking websites offer expensive 5 star hotels. Staying in a 3 star hotel in Germany seems to be cheaper than in Casablanca.

      What website would a local person use to book a hotel?

      16 Answers May 20, 2012 at 10:28 PM