Our tour was wonderful!! It was definitely a memorable experience… We learned a lot and the country is so beautiful and diverse. It was a lot of time in the car, but worth it to go out into the dunes of the Sahara Desert. I wish we would have had more time to spend in Fes and Marrakech!!
First and foremost, Mohammed (our driver) simply made the trip for us. I cannot say enough wonderful things about him… Truthfully, he is one of the best people I have ever met in my life. He made sure we felt safe and comfortable throughout the whole trip. He was honest about recommendations for activities, schedules, restaurants, shopping… everything. He taught us so much about the culture, religion, and history of Morocco and was polite and professional and so funny!! We sort of felt like locals despite a huge language and cultural barrier because he included us in so much and kept us involved in the interactions he had with people we met while driving, walking, waiting… everywhere!! He is a real asset to your company. We felt like family by the end of the week and have kept in touch since we’ve been home. He’s even offered his assistance in dealing with a situation where some lamps we had shipped back from Marrakech arrived broken the other day.
As far as highlights, there are quite a few for us:
We really enjoyed the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. What a beautiful, amazing structure! And it was great to learn about Islam from someone other than CNN 🙂
In Fes, I liked seeing the Naji ceramics factory. I enjoyed seeing all of the artisans working in the souks as well, but I had been admiring the mosaics since we arrived and it was incredible to see how they are handmade. I got to make a tajine on the pottery wheel too, and that was fun!
Also in Fes, our riad was INCREDIBLE. It was beautiful, the restaurant was one of the best of the trip, and the location was excellent. The first night we were there we had drinks on the roof with some other guests and all of a sudden, the minarets around us were all sounding the adhan. It seems like a little thing but it seemed so surreal at the time… we hadn’t heard it before and looking out over the medina and seeing the dozens of minarets and the mountains in the distance was just amazing.
When we were in Fes, we ate dinner in a restaurant that was basically a family’s home and the wife and mother-in-law cooked and the husband took us to/from the riad in a van. It was awesome. We raved about it to Mohammed and he told us about a Berber man based in some town in the High Atlas mountains I think who travels from Berber village to village collecting handmade goods to sell in his shop. He happened to be in town and Mohammed arranged for us to have lunch there. The man’s wife made a “Berber pizza” and we sat on the floor and ate with our hands and talked with the man, who told us all about the Berber tribes, and it was a really beautiful experience.
Overall, your company’s service was excellent. Everyone we interacted with was incredibly informative, helpful, and prompt in addressing our needs. I felt confident that our travel arrangements would be safe and comfortable and had no fears about any of our activities… which is very important when traveling abroad. Our lodgings were excellent and the staff at all of the hotels were really nice as well. All of our guides spoke English very well and seemed eager to make sure we saw and experienced the things that we wanted to everywhere we went. And obviously you know our thoughts on our driver :-). I would absolutely recommend your company to other people, in fact I already have!
The only thing we kind of disliked about the trip was that it seemed like almost everything was a sales pitch… And that might just be that we aren’t really big shoppers or souvenir people. But, we would be asked “do you want to see how __ is made?” or “do you want to learn about __?” and we’d have like a 5 or 10 minute tour or explanation of things and then be shown a bunch of things to buy… rugs, fossils, apothecary products, handicrafts, etc. Somewhere, we were asked if we were interested in history and then we were taken to an antique shop. I wasn’t expecting to be constantly shown goods to buy and it seemed to take away from the experience of being in another culture.
Also, it was A LOT of time in the car. I understand it is necessary to get to the desert but I would have loved to spend more time in Fes and Marrakech versus days of driving. Mohammed did a good job of breaking up the drive time with interesting stops and keeping us entertained with interesting conversation, but I don’t know that I would recommend someone to do that whole tour with the amount of time that we had.
Thanks for all of your help and setting up a wonderful trip for us! We really enjoyed Morocco and will certainly send all of our interested friends and family your way!!
Shelby & David, USA (May 2016)