Trip Planning: Barcelona and Morocco 2007

In March 2007 we spent two weeks in Barcelona and Morocco. We had a wonderful time on our trip.   I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Barcelona and would go back in a heartbeat.  I definitely want to explore more of Spain on another trip.  The food was fabulous and all the Gaudi architecture was fascinating to see.  A very easy city to get around in.  We had a great hotel in a fabulous location.

Morocco was INCREDIBLE!  Not just the sights, but the sounds and the smells. Zaid, our driver, was great – we really enjoyed him.  The camel ride and night in the Berber tent were fantastic.  You just sort of sit on the back of this camel thinking – Wow!  I am actually riding a camel in the Sahara desert right now.  Tons of great shopping in Marakkech and Fez – the medinas are like nothing you have ever seen

The most often asked question of us before we left was “why are you going to Morocco??”  It was a good question, as when we started thinking about where to go for spring break, it certainly wasn’t on my list of places to go.  However, our trip to London/Paris the previous March was quite cold and windy.  We were hoping for someplace a bit warmer – it didn’t have to be hot beach weather – just someplace where we didn’t need coat, hat, gloves and scarf every moment.  Stephen had a friend who was in Morocco at the same time we were in London/Paris and came home raving about it – Stephen’s ears particularly perked up at the above 70 degree weather every day.  My first thought was Morocco – are you crazy??  We had never been to a non-Western, Muslim country, nor anything quite that exotic.  But as I started to research it, I began to learn that while not many American tourists go, it is a major European holiday destination, and it is extremely safe.  I  decided that I wasn’t quite ready to spend our whole 2 weeks there (although I knew that we could) but decided to start in Barcelona for 5 nights, which for us, was an excellent idea.

I did most of my research on Fodors and Trip Advisor with a few guide books thrown in.  I planned Barcelona and Marakkech on our own, but used Blue Men of Morocco (http://www.bluemenofmorocco.com/pt/en/) for our private trip to the desert and Fez (great organization – more details to follow).  Thanks in particular to a friendly fodorite whose comments about the desert trip got me committed and to a fodorite friend, Andrea, whose excellent trip report got me counting down the days to our own trip.  I was excited and no longer worried, until the Monday before we were to leave on Friday, I read on Trip Advisor that there was a suicide bombing in Casablanca – YIKES!  Here is a link to a brief story about it:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6440661.stm.

I told my husband about it, and we just decided to continue monitoring it – we would be spending our first 5 nights in Barcelona and if things ratcheted up we could just stay in Spain.  Well, the next day they made a wave of arrests and after that there was apparently very little additional info. on the story.  Morocco does have a reputation for swiftly dealing with terrorists as they did after the 2003 Casablanca bombings.  We figured we could have been in London during the tube bombings or Madrid during the night club bombings…..so we decided to keep with our plans.  We were very glad we did.  We felt very safe and welcome the whole time we were there and I would not hesitate to return.

Read more about our adventures by clicking on the links below:

5 Nights in Barcelona
Marrakech, Morocco
Ouarzazate, Merzouga, Camel Trek in Sahara
Fez, Morocco

 

 

 

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11 responses to “Seville, Spain 2012”

  1. This brought back plenty of memories for me. Thanks! Can’t wait to visit Seville again. I am currently writing up the story of my two visits to Andalucia. It was a fabulous part of Spain.

  2. Sounds like you’re having a good adventure, even if the hotel wasn’t ideal. I’d personally love to visit Spain.

  3. Tony Statham says:

    That was a great account of your stay.. `i’ll be visiting Sevilla again next April for the Feria.. Flamenco Week! I took my Philippine girlfriend to it last April and I’ve had my arm twisted to take her again. I’d bought her a lovely dress for 190 euros and she was hooked.. especially when she was asked to stop several times so her photo could be taken.. But Sevilla is a lovely city anyway and there is still so much to see and do there.

  4. Leah Shindelman says:

    This was great to read about as my husband and I will be there in October and I am still planning it. Have you written about your trip to San Remy de Provence? We will be there before Spain and I would like to read about your stay there.

    • Judy Gambee says:

      Leah – For some reason I never did get that written and posted, but you have inspired me to get that done!! I still have all my notes and pics. If you have any specific questions I can answer, you can email me at judy@fromhometoroam.com. We stayed in St. Remy and visited Les Beaux, Avignon, Pont du Gard, Aix, Gordes, Roussilon, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Menerbes, Cassis and did a wine tour with Olivier Hickman of Wine Uncovered in the region of Chateauneuf de Pape.

  5. Stephanie Le says:

    Hi Judy,

    Thank you very much for sharing! I very much enjoy reading your blog. BTW, I am from Vietnam but have not been back since I left my country in 1975. I do plan to go one day but my heart is in Europe. I have been to England, France, and Italy but wanting to go to Spain next. My thoughts are Barcelona, Granada, Seville, and Madrid. However, the more I read about the Andalucia area, the more I’m thinking about extending in this area and skipping Barcelona perhaps?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks Judy!

    • Judy Gambee says:

      Stephanie – Glad you enjoyed the blog. We absolutely loved your country, Vietnam. Hope to go back again some day. I have not been to Madrid yet so hard to comment on that. I absolutely loved Barcelona – probably my favorite European city after Rome! I think a lot would depend on how much time you have. Barcelona is a little further away than Madrid from Andalucia. As you saw we did our time in Andalucia in a week (Granada, Cordoba and Sevilla). If we had more time there is much more we would have liked to have seen. If you have two weeks you could skip Madrid and do Barcelona and Andalucia. If less than two weeks then probably would be best to do madrid and Andalucia.

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