We had a wonderful trip, in fact, Hannah and I agree it was the best trip we have taken together! That says a lot, because we have gone on a trip together every year for the past 10!
Rachid really took care of us as our driver. His Mercedes SUV was so comfortable and he played great music on our drive. But even more important, he watched after us as we had lunch on the road, and made sure we always had out internal guides before he left us. Even when we went out on our own, he waited patiently with the car and watched for us and greeted us as we returned. I sincerely felt so well taken care of. The internal guides were great. They took us shopping in the Medinas and we bought caftans, 10 pairs of leather slippers, 8 old woven pillow covers, and 6 rugs. I am good at bargaining, and was asked by 3 different proprietors, “Are you a Berber? You bargain like one.” After every sale, the proprietor and I shook hands. He said “Are you happy?”. I said “Yes, are you?”. And we both smiled and agreed the trade was good. I guess some visitors are not that good at bargaining. But if they have a price in mind that they want to spend on a hand made rug or antique pillow covers, they should not stop until they get to that price. I am pretty sure that the vendor and the purchaser will be happy.
On a different note, I want to tell you how impressed we were with the Riads. Hannah and I walked accompanied by a riad emplyee down narrow corridors, completely old and bare, and then were stopped at a large carved door. It opened, and we walked in to the most beautiful, luxurious space we had ever seen. We were overwhelmed as we were seated to drink mint tea and eat cookies as we checked in. Hannah walked over to an open door and said “Mom, is this a room? OMG, look at this. This is incredible.” As it turns out, it was OUR room. It was a museum piece! The door must have been 20 feet high. The blue tiles in the bathroom were so beautiful, the canopy bed, the drapes, everything was from a long ago era. We loved that room.
The whole tour was fantastic.
I do want to give special kudos to Rachid. We told him we wanted to go to the Yves San Laureant garden and museum. The museum just opened a few weeks ago, and he knew that there would be a long queue for tickets. He arranged with a contact of his to purchase tickets in advance. Hannah and I got to walk right in and avoid the queue. Rachid told us, maybe one and a half hours, but because Hannah is in the fashion industry, we were there for 4 hours. I went back to the car and asked Rachid if we could do lunch in the museum cafe. He said “Madame, you should certainly do lunch in the cafe. I will be here when you are ready.” I suspect we had to ditch something because we stayed so long, but Rachid just let us do our thing, and encouraged us.
The Hammam was also quite a great experience. Rachid arranged it for us at a spa in Fes.
There are too many “firsts” to mention, so let me close by thanking you and your staff, and especially Rachid, for a fabulous experience. Please share this with him, will you?
Lynn & Hannah
November of 2017