Notebook travel : Morocco 2012

garden Majorelle (residence Yves the St. Lawrence) minaret of Koutoubia, Dar museum If Saïd ramparts of the old woman ville(médina) Saadiens tombs, palate of Bahia

souks et karaoké


Sunday February 15:

Especially do not go to the hotel "the marrakech" they are vultures!!
The day: Marrakech; arrived at Marrakech 15 H, a bus came to seek us direction the hotel "the marrakech", Installation one needs continuation to give a pourboir.Small meeting of come good! in made one us the extra presente quickly all paying one! the ping pong is free
but it is necessary to rent the ball and to have its rackets!

In fact we do not represent can be for them that a door money and the play is to make us open it quickly and to make us leave the tickets of préference. then small exit for Koutoubia, minaret-headlight of the imposing town of Marrakech.Tour of the large mosque, it's emblem of the city. No construction in Marrakech not exceeding the 6 stages, the city horizontally and Koutoubia briskly dominates the whole with its 70 meters meal each one has its table, one is looked in the eyes (but good at the end of 5 minutes!) and harms.

Blow of heart for:
...unspoilable view on Gibraltar by the port-hole of the fly. Fixed well in the medium of the "allée" central of fly, far from any port-hole, the voyage did not promise anything very exciting. But flight being held under perfect climatic conditions. What a vision! Clear time without a cloud, two grounds face to face separated by an arm of the sea. With my left, spanish. On my line, the African continent, Moroccan coasts, An exceptional sight on Gibraltar, nodelivers geography ever shown under this angle!

Does the scene occur to the descent from the fly, on airport of Marrakech. "In a few moments, we will land in Marrakech, it is 15 H standard time, time is clear and the outside temperature is of 38°C"isarange of speed the sweater slipped on for l?avion and we spring on the footbridge, ready to press the Moroccan ground. Heat takes to us then with the face, j?ai l?impression to boil of everywhere. Not Isa, this n?est not the heat of the engine of the fly, it's Morocco, and that will be like that during fifteen days! I have impression to get into my car which was parked any after midday in full sun, without being able to open the least small window. Unpleasant limit, this feeling to have a hair drier connected permanently on the figure!

Monday February 2: Marrakech

The day In morning, turn of the basin of Menara then guided tour of the principal monuments of the médina: Saadiens tombs, palate of Bahia, Dar museum If Saïd (Moroccan art). L?après-midday, crossing of the souks of Marrakech at the beginning d?une carries ramparts with halt at l?apothicaire (pharmacist herbalist) and its 2000 extracts of plants; new crossing d?une left more animated souks jusqu?à the place Jemaa el Fna, joined with laying down sun. We dine with a young strong couple sympathetic nerve this third evening: Isabelle: she returns to l?IUFM of Brest to be a teacher? schools? As for the hôtel "Marrakech"qui lodges us, it is easy d?imaginer qu?avec a similar name this n?est not to the hôtel most typical of the Moroccan culture! it's an establishment 4 stars, except for those which are to place in the part in restoration, swimming pool of rêve( if you want to bathe water is icy) nobody will not bathe during all the week, "luxurious" room one finally gave us a seal for the water leakage under the sink of the bathroom and the detail which gives the seal to all : tasks on the marble giving a "dirty" aspect.

The trick to be seen The shop and the show of the apothicaire, in the souks of Marrakech. it's one of the essential advantages of the organized voyage: accompanied a local guide which knows the good addresses and the places which are worth displacement, a group can profit d?un reception looked after in certain shops, where the tradesmen yield into four front an unhoped-for surge prospective customers. Ali thus takes us along to "the apothicaire", sign mysterious which indicates in fact greatest pharmacy herb trade of Marrakech. We are 48 to take seat in l?une of the five small rooms where the groups of tourists are accomodated. On are the walls, the racks furnished with multicoloured bottles, filled d?herbes, of powders, rocks? During one hour and half, we attend a true spectacle in odorama. the "herborist" presents to us with much humour spices, medicinal plants and other perfumes. Caro is used as guinea-pig to test essential oils while benefitting a very appreciated massage from cervical.

And by praise the merits of all its product-miracle, our catch manages to convince more the skeptics and each one admits suffering from such or such evil, requiring a natural treatment by grasses such an amount of and so that the "herborist" carries out good bargains by organizing its sale by auction: "Which interess by slimming herb tea? Mister? Who's interess by essential oils of massage?". On our side, Caro and me let us express once more our leaning commun run for puffs out by buying a mixture of 35 spices and mint tea.

The blow of heart for the place Jemaa el Fna with the crepuscule. After our visit prolonged at the apothicaire, we join by the souks the town of Marrakech, rocked by the last sunbeams the day. the alignement of the juice of orange salesmen, the multiples gargotes which invite to instal to eat a skewer, the storytellers, entertainers and other snake charmers who dispute the assemblies. It reigns a great animation which makes place an extraordinary place of life where people come to meet in a festive and cordial environment


As many splendid sites of which we will keep the images engraved in our reports, Portraits: Drivers of barouches in front of the Majorelle garden. We leave the garden pertaining to Yves the St. Lawrence after a small turn in the alleys bordered of cactus and other rather aggressive thorny plants. With the first step on the pavement the first requests of the autochtones reach us: "Barouche?". Do the drivers challenge and in of course French - each person who resembles closely or by far to a tourist, and their mountings piaffent of impatience of trotter. But with the strange charm of a small turn of horse-gear through Marrakech, we prefer the comfort of our not air-conditioned feet.

…and population of the souks. There is also this incredible human gathering with l'interior of the souks, which saw and gigotte as in an anthill Primarily male, all the population pyramid of Morocco is represented there, of young person with oldest. The craftsmen work under conditions inouïes, sitted on one will fatras incredible of sheets, wood or paperboards in a workshop of 5 m2. People circulate there with foot, with Mobylette, by sometimes trailing a carriage or a mule overloaded in very narrow alleys often. During this first incursion, we are solicited relatively little by the tradesmen, undoubtedly impressed by the size of our group. Moreover, Ali had recalled us the instruction of this day: to cross without to arrive in times on the place Jemaa el Fna.

anecdote :The scene occurs in the beautiful medium from the souks from Marrakech. Isa, wishing to buy a pair of sandals, gets information auprès Ali: Isa? Is this possible to make a small stop in the shops to make some purchases? I would like to find sandals. Ali - Oh! not, time today will not be not. Isa - Yes I include/understand, it must take 20 minutes for negotiating well the price of the pair and to have his Ali shoes - Not, in 20 minutes, you will not obtained one only foot.

Landscapes of the Average Atlas, successions of postcards natural size. Great spaces, semi-desert arid vastnesses, rock tops and stony plates. Each turn is occasion a new table surprising, us showing an inhospitable nature but d?une insane and wild beauty. With such a decoration in background through the large panes of the bus, one much more easily agrees to spend the day wedged between two lines of armchairs for a way of more than 500 kilometers!



Do not forget your passport and check its validity. If your trip is organised by a travel agent, groups of more than three people from some countries require no more than an identity card. Some nationalities need to have a visa. Ask the Moroccan Consulate for information. A "tourist" visit is limited to three months. If you take your pet with you, obtain a health certificate no more than 10 days old, as well as an anti rabies certificate less than 6 months old.


The Moroccan currency is the Dirham (DH) divided into 100 centimes. There are 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 DH notes, 1, 5 and 10 DH coins and 5, 10, 20 and 50 centime coins. You can only obtain Dirhams in Morocco. Do not change money in the streets, it is illegal. The best place to change it is at a bank or approved change office (indicated by a golden sign). No commission is charged and you will be given a slip which will be required at the end of your stay to change any remaining Dirhams back into the original currency. You can withdraw money in banks with a credit card and a cheque book, or directly from a cash dispenser in some large towns. Credit cards are generally accepted in major hotels, shops and restaurants, and sometimes even in the souks!


No vaccination certificate is required for visitors coming from Europe or America. An anti- cholera vaccination certificate may be required of visitors coming from areas where this disease is prevalent. Anti-malarial treatment is not necessary.


Morocco is a healthy country, however a certain number of minimal precautions should be taken, particularly in the south: avoid water from oueds (rivers) and itinerant water sellers. Refresh yourself with the excellent bottled spring water: Sidi Harazem, Imouzzer and Sidi Ali are still waters, while Oulmès is sparkling. If you are prone to intestinal problems, take an appropriate medicine with you. Make enquiries before swimming in a oued (river) or a lake. Take precautions against insect bites and sunburn. If necessary, tourist offices and major hotels can put you in touch with doctors who speak English, French or other languages.


220 volts in new buildings, 110 in older ones, sometimes both - make enquiries. Power points are of the French type. The frequency used is 50 Hz


Avenue Louise 402
1050 Bruxelles - Belgique
Tél. : (02) 646 63 20
Fax : (02) 646 73 76.

59 Graf Adolf Strasse - 40210 Dusseldorf - Germany
Tél. : 49211 370551 / 52 - Fax : 49211 374048.

Adhan Center
P-O- Box 15216 Medina Road
Jeddah 21444 Saudi Arabia
Tél. : 9662 6513181 - Fax : 9662 6513181.

Rua Artilharia Um, n°79 / 85
1200 Lisboa - Portugal
Tél. : 35 11 3885871 - Fax : 35 11 3880077.

205 Regent Street - London WIR 7 DE
United Kingdom
Tél. : 44171 4370073
Fax : 44171 7348172.

Ventura Rodriguez N°24 1°ezq
28008 Madrid - Espagne
Tél. : 341 5427431

23 Via Larga - 20122 Milano - Italie
Tél. : 392 58303633 /392 58303756
Fax : 395 283033970.

Place Montréal - Trust 1800 Rue Mac Gill - Suite 2450
Montréal - Canada H3A-3J6
Tél. : 151 48428111
Fax : 151 48425316.

20 East 46th - Suite 1201
New York 10017 - USA
Tél. : 1212 5572520 - Fax : 1212 9498148.

P.O BOX 22663
Lake Buena Vista Orlando FL 32830 - USA
Tél. : 1407 8275337 - Fax : 1407 8270146.

161, rue Saint Honoré
Place du Théatre Français
75001 Paris - France
Tél. : Serveur vocal 331 42604724 / 42606350
Fax : 331 40159734.


8 rue des Cèdres - 12 070 - Alger
Tél. : 60 74 08 / 69 17 37
Fax : 69 29 00

Gotenstrasse, 7 - 9 - 5300 - Bonn 2
Tél. : 35 50 44 / 45 / 46 - Fax : 35 78 94

29 boulevard Saint Michel - 1040 Bruxelles
Tél. : 732 65 45 / 732 69 08 - Fax: 734 64 68

Calle Serrano 179 - 28002 Madrid
Tél. : 563 10 90 / 563 12 10 - Fax : 561 78 87

1601 21 St Street - NW-Washington DC 20009
Tél : 462 79 79 - Fax : 462 76 43
767, Third Avenue 30th floor New York 10017
Tél. : 421 15 80 - Fax : 980 15 12

5, rue Le Tasse - 75 II 6 Paris
Tél. : 45 20 69 35 - Fax : 45 20 22 58


1, rue Tiris
Tél. : 048 898 228.

Immeuble A. Place Prince Héritier Sidi Mohamed
Tél. : 048 846 377 - Fax : 048 846 378

avenue de Marrakech. Tel. : 039 981 185

Rue Tarik Ibn Ziad
Tél. : 023 458 334.

Avenue Hassan II - Immeuble Chichaoua
Tél. : 023 488 663 - Fax : 023 488 727.

55, rue Omar Slaoui
Tél. : 022 271 177
Fax : 022 205 929

Chambre de Commerce 33 place Mohammed V
Tél. : 023 344 788 - Fax : 023 344 789.

Boulevard Moulay Ali Cherif
TéI. : 055 570 944

Place de la Résistance - Immeuble Bennani
Tél. : 055 623 460
Fax : 055 654 370.

17 rue Lahbab.
Tel. : 048 872 911. - Fax : 048 873 185

Syndicat d'initiative et du Tourisme :
Place du Syndicat
Tél. : 055 566 821 - Fax : 055 566 822.

Rue de l'Islam - BP 471
Tél. : 048 891 694 - Fax : 048 891 695.

Place Abdelmoumen Ben Ali
Tél. : 044 436 239/ 044 436 131
Fax : 044 436 057.

Place Administrative
Tél. : 055 524 426 - Fax : 055 516 046.

80, bd Ibn Roch
Tél. : 056 330 348

Avenue Mohamed V. BP 297
Tél. : 044 882 485 - Fax : 044 885 290.

Place du 16 Août - BP 516
Tél. : 056 684 329 - Fax : 056 689 089

22, avenue d'Alger
Tél. : 037 730 562 - 037 727 917.

Rue Imam Malek
Tél. : 044 464 553 - Fax : 044 462 496.

avenue Hassan II
Immeuble El Haram
Tél. : 023 405 807 - Fax : 023 405 805.

29, boulevard Pasteur
Tél. : 039 948 661 - Fax : 039 948 050.

30, avenue Mohamed V. B-P. 62
Tél. : 039 961 915 - Fax : 039 961 914


Some facts & figures

Area: 710,850 sq km (274,461 sq miles)

Population: 26,069,000 (1993 estimate)

Population density: 36,7 per sq km

Capital: Rabat - population : 1,397,000 (1993 estimate)

Geography: Morocco is located on the westernmost tip of north Africa, bordering Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the west. Running through the middle of the country is the Atlas mountains range, which leads to the fertile plains and sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast. The Middle Atlas range sweeps up from the south, rising to over 3000 m (9850 ft), covered with woodlands of pine, oak and cedar, open pastureland and small lakes. The Rif Mountains run along the north coast. The ports of Ceuta and Melilla on the north coast are administered by Spain.

Language: The official language is Arabic, Berber and French are widely spoken throughout the country, while Spanish is more predominant in the northern regions. English is also understood particularly in the north and around Agadir.

Religion: Predominantly Muslim with Jewish and Christian minorities. Morocco's population and culture stems from a cross section of origins including Berbers, Arabs, Moors and Jews.

Time: GMT


The coast as a warm, Mediterranean climate tempered on the eastern coast by southwest trade winds. Inland areas have a hotter, drier, continental climate. In the South of the country, the weather is very hot and dry throughout most of the year, with the nights coolest in the months of December and January. Rain falls from November to March in coastal areas. Mostly dry with high temperatures in summer. Cooler climate in the mountains. Marrakech and Agadir enjoy an average temperature of 21 C the winter.


Moroccan Dirham (DH) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denomination of DH 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denomination of DHS 5 and 1 and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes. Credit cards: Major credit cards are accepted (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Eurocard, Amex, Diners Club...).

Travel: How can I travel to and in Morocco ?

AIR: Royal Air Maroc (RAM), the national company provides many international and domestic flights between cities in Morocco, using Boeing , ATR. and Airbus. A new private company, Regional Airlines (RAL) is also operating in Morocco, Spain, Portugal and Balearic Island with a Beechcraft fleet (19 seats per plane). But for clients who wish to hire a private plane, there are private companies with small planes and experienced pilots. Unfortunately, there is no helicopter rental services for the moment. Airlines serving Morocco include : Air France, British Airways, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Sabena, Iberia, KLM, Swissair, Tunis Air, Saudi Airlines, Aeroflot, Kuwait Airways and Gulf Air..

SEA: Principal ports are Tangier, Casablanca and Ceuta. Lines serving these ports are Comarit, Comanav, Trasmediterranea, Isnasa, Limadet. Car and passenger ferry links Tangier and Ceuta in the north of Morocco to Algeciras, Tariffa and Gibraltar in the South of Spain.

RAIL: The Moroccan rail system is all standard gauge and, though limited, provides regular and cheap services with first-class available. The network runs from Oujda in the northeast to Casablanca on the west coast, Tangier on the north coast and Marrakech in the interior.

The main routes include : -Marrakech -Casablanca -Rabat -Meknes -Fes -Oujda, Marrakech- Casablanca -Rabat, Marrakech-Casablanca-Meknes-Fes and Casablanca-Rabat-Tangier. Fares are among the cheapest in the world.

LAND : Morocco has recently improved its road network by constructing some motorways. All the main cities will be connected by 2002 by motorway. Otherwise good national roads allow you to go almost everywhere and comfortably in Morocco, except in the deep south where you may need a 4X4 vehicle.

Food and Drinks In Morocco

Morocco' s traditional haute cuisine dishes are excellent and good value for money. They are often exceedingly elaborate. Typical specialties include : harira, a rich soup, bastella, a pastry stuffed with pigeon and almonds, couscous, a complete dish with semola, meat and vegetables, a range variety of Tagine, meat, fish or poultry combined with vegetables and other flavors, stewed in a terracotta on a charcoal fire, mechoui is a whole piece of lamb roasted, pastries are delicious : kab el ghzal, briouats, beghrir, with almonds and honey. Restaurants - traditional, French or other European specialties, offer a good quality at good rates. The national drink is mint tea. Coffee is prepared very strong.


The cooperative shops of Moroccan craftsmen, Coopartim, operate under state control selling local handicraft at fixed prices and issue an authenticity receipt or a certificate of origin for customs when exporting. Souks are worthwhile places to visit for local products. Special buys are leather, tanned and dyed in Fez or Marrakesh, copperware, silver, silk or cotton garments, wool, cotton and silk rugs, carpets and blankets, wooden articles, embroidery, silver and gold jewels. Bargaining is essential. In traditional medinas, some shops may close on Friday (religious holiday of the week) and stay open on Saturday and Sunday.
Leisure and sport activities
Water sports: swimming in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean sea or in swimming pools, Windsurf in Essaouira or Oualidia.
Fishing (permits are sometimes necessary)
Hunting in the region of Arbaoua (permits necessary) are some of the main pleasure Morocco may offer you.
Golf: there are marvelous golf courses (18 holes, 9 holes) at Rabat, Casablanca, Mohammedia, Marrakech, El Jadida, Agadir, Tangier, Tetuan.
Winter sports: Ifrane in the Middle Atlas and Oukaimeden in the High Atlas offer skiing facilities.

Horse-riding: there are horse riding clubs in all major towns, notably Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, Fes and Agadir.

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