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

 

 

 

    Pin It

7 responses to “Fez, Morocco 2007”

  1. I’m a tourism student at my local University and I’ve got to tell you that our English teacher couldn’t shut up about Morocco all year long. Now i see why! Too bad she hadn’t showed us such lovely photos as you have here:) thanks for making it clear for me why this place is so amazing!

  2. Thewoodies - Australia says:

    We leave for Morocco in 4 weeks and are still to confirm our internal route. Your trip has given us many ideas and confirmed some others. We hope our trip is as much fun as yours sounded and we can have similar experiences.

    • Judy Gambee replied: — September 19th, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

      Glad the blog was helpful. Have a fabulous trip!!

  3. Malaak says:

    Hi Judy. In addition to planning Jordan/Israel, I am also planning Spain or Spain/Morocco which is why I’m writing. In August 2014, we are joining several families on a week long Disney Cruise (yes the kids talked me into this!) departing out of Barcelona. It goes to France and Italy also, before returning back to Barcelona. We will spend 3 nights in Barcelona for sure after the cruise but need to decide on the rest. The majority of the group only have an additional week after the cruise. I may have a few more days but for the purpose of joint trip planning, I’m dealing with 8 nights. After the first 3 nights in Barcelona and 1 last night before departing, we are talking about 4 nights for somewhere else. So far the choices are:

    3 nights Sevilla and 1 night Granada
    3 nights Marrakech and 1 night somewhere else in Morocco

    I know you loved Morocco and want your opinion if 4 nights is enough time. If so, where else should we go besides Marrakech? Can we do overnight in the desert with just 1 night? I think the group is leaning towards Morocco since we will have docked in Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo, Pompeii with trips to Pisa and a few other places as well. As you know, I’m well traveled in West, East and Southern Africa but gave never been yo Northern Africa and am very keen.

    Let me know your thoughts. With much appreciation,

    Malaak

    • Judy Gambee replied: — December 2nd, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

      Malaak – Sorry for the delay, we were out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday. With only 4 nights you could do Marrakech and a night one other place, but you would definitely not have time for the desert. From Marrakech it is a two day drive to the Sahara. I would consider an overnight in either Essouria (coast) or the HIgh Atlas Mtns. We have not been to Essouria but I have heard such amazing things about it. We did not spend a night in the HIgh Atlas, but did drive through there on our way to the Sahara, and found it quite interesting. I would look into both of those and see which interests everyone the most. They are both easily doable as an overnight from Marrakech. Doing Marrakech would definitely give you a completely different experience than what you would have encountered earlier in the trip – but look at the airfare costs/times to determine whether that or more of Spain would work best. Look at low cost airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair.

      The Sevilla/Granada would also be a great four day trip, and probably easier/cheaper to get to. We loved Andalucia, but we may be in the minority, but enjoyed Granada and Cordoba a bit more than Sevilla, however, I would probably still recommend Sevilla and Granada as the combo. Though in Aug. it will will be VERY hot there, in Morocco too so just keep that in mind. We absolutely LOVE the food in Spain, though we really did like the food in Morocco, though did tire of it a bit, but that shouldn’t be a problem with only 4 nights there.

      Good luck!! it will be an amazing trip no matter which you choose!!

  4. Nelleke van H says:

    Hi
    This was a very useful read as we are planning a week to marocco this Easter with two young adult daughters and a grandfather…
    The wonderful world of the web…
    Thanks

    • Judy Gambee replied: — February 7th, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

      Nelleke – Glad you enjoyed it and found it helpful. Have a wonderful trip!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *