We have returned to Australia from Morocco and wish to thank you all for giving us an experience which was personal and memorable. Our expectations of Morocco were well wide of the mark where every turn was a surprise and enjoyable. I have read many of the testimonials which show what a wonderful country Morocco is to visit. This has been the most rewarding trip. Our son said, “this is a holiday within a holiday” as we had been away 6 weeks in Europe before hand.
From our point of view we arrived in the country with mixed feelings having seen the troubles in North Africa and the Middle East. They were centre stage in our mind. Our friends were advising caution and felt they should look elsewhere. We ignored there advice as we also relied on the statements coming out of the USA State department, the UK Foreign Service and most important of all the Australian DFAT travel advice. Here the advice had not changed since November 2010 so we felt we should proceed. Our trip was safe, felt safe and we did not have cause at any point even to consider this issue. We did see a small demonstration in Casablanca but it was orderly and we were milling around Casablanca’s town centre square as if nothing was happening.
One major reason why we enjoyed out trip was because we had an excellent driver/guide in Youssef Maamri. One would expect from “Experience It Tours” a driver who would be good, but to have one which not only was good at his English, history, driving schools, empathy and manners is rare. Youssef is a comedian with wonderful personality. He can read peoples emotions and knows when and how act. I wrote to my family of Youssef where I said “Our driver speaks good English, Youssef, has a sense of humour and has given us an introduction to Morocco which most people never see. The personal side of his country. We met so many locals. He is so proud of his country. We must have visited many of his friends to eat Berber Pizzas and buy their goods. I am an expert bargainer and they (the retailers) believe I have Berber blood in me.”
Youssef did say that on us leaving we “had changed his life”. He found our way, the Australian family way, very different to what he would have expected. We are traditionally and culturally egalitarian so he was an integral part of our team / family. He would eat with us at lunch and it was through our appreciation that he responded to with visits to private homes and farms, would support us in the bargaining when buying, and helped us be respectful to the locals so that we received the optimal reward a low price, a smile and a wonderful welcome. We found Youssef sincere, and his values were similar to us.
With best regards and thank you