Morocco and Portugal. Part 2
3 weeks after I came back, I finally had muster enough time & motivation to complete this article.
Before I went on this trip, many people ask me how interesting is these places? Why am I going there. And in fact, some friends don’t even know the exact name or location of these countries. Gotcha ha-ha!. Honestly, i simply love it, when people have no idea of where I am going. This only shows those places are really exotic, and I had reach my objective of going to somewhere that few Singaporeans had ever thought of.
As our flight was delayed by 2hrs in Tunisia, we only reach Casablanca in the evening. For the 1st night in Casa, the only thing we did is to go for dinner and take a short walk “in the rain” around the neighborhood after that. My online research shows that Casa is… a messy and unsafe place to get lost in. Therefore the next morning, my group left for Marrakesh immediately.
Marrakesh, been the tourist capital of Morocco. Is a lot more commercialize and crowded. On our way to several tourist destinations, we are approach by some locals offering their services, 1 guy even tell us the mosque we are going is “closed” and offer to bring us to another place. Haha, unfortunately we are smarter then he hope!
Next we are off to Sahara, thanks to a friend who join the group at the last minute. He had arranged for a 3day trip to Sahara. My driver, Mohd is a young Berber who speaks excellent English. Been able to converse fluently with my friends and me. While our tour guide’s English is “ignorable”. Since I can’t understand more then 70% of it, might as well depend on myself rather then wasting time and energy trying to figure out what he is talking!
Actually we only spend less then 1 day in Sahara desert itself. With the rest of the time exploring other places like Tizi N’Tichka Pass, Aït BenHaddou, Ouarzazate, Todra Gorges and Jebel Aachi Mountain.
Its was a great experience, especially on the last day where we traveled from the South(Sahara) to North (Fes) of Morocco. Seeing the change in landforms and weather. Going pass Rose valley and Mid Atlas mountain which looks more like Switzerland then Morocco.
Fes, on the other hand. Just as my adviser (lonely planet) had said, is less crowded. It is also the place where I took the most photos, as we went on a half day guided tour with a guide. Personally 1 of my reasons of going with a group rather then by myself is that we can get a guide and share the cost. Been traveling both solo and with groups many times before, I see the difference! With a guide, it is certainly more efficient. as we will be able to reach those impt tourist places directly, and often able to find some interesting shops that I would not know, even if I am at their door if by myself. But of course. Getting lost is part of the fun in free n easy trips, which I will have to miss out for once 😦
A problem with joining a tour group is that we would have to visit some shops n having the “opportunity” of listening to their sales talk. But is that not part n parcel of the whole game? There is of course, 2 sides to every coin! As in this case, we went to 4 shops. 2, a carpet shop and a embroidery is boring. While the other 2 are simply what makes the trip worth while.
And on our last day, we are back in Casa. 1. our Qatar flight back to Singapore is departing from there, and also we have some unfinished business todo. That is to visit Mohd 2 Mosque and Rick’s cafe. The restaurant that became famous courtesy from the Hollywood movie Casablanca.