As Time Goes By
What visions does Morocco evoke for you? Rick’s Café in Casablanca tops my lists, with the whispered secrets of the enigmatic Bogie and sultry Bacall. What a perfect starting point for our explorations of this mysterious country.
Dramatic deserts, ancient ruins, hand crafted carpets, stunning tile work, delicious tagine cooking, exotic spices, high-walled kasbahs, bustling souks, and the dashing Lawrence of Arabia await us. Well, maybe not Lawrence, but his filming site and all of the rest!
We will take the needed time to get to know Morocco in new ways, and in 4-star style. Did you know Morocco is the source of the argan oil used in many popular beauty products? Typically, coops of women process argan kernels into oil, and we will have the opportunity to observe them at their tasks.
This is a destination well served by the comfort of a small group tour. Our local guide is a rich resource for exposing the character of this country that is relatively unknown to most of us. Traveling in safety and luxury, our eyes will be opened to the deep history and rich culture of this visually beautiful and exotic destination.
12 nights in 4-star hotels
Including 1 night in desert camp
Private local guide
Bottled water in vehicle
Berber village visit
English speaking private guide
All entrance fees to mentioned historical sites
Gratuities to guides, driver, bellmen
Flight should be planned to and from Casablanca.
Luggage allowance – 1 25” checked bag and one small carryon per person for transfers and tours.
Minimum of 8, maximum 20 guests. A nonrefundable $800 deposit secures your space. Itinerary subject to change without notice but with equal value substitutions. No refunds for missed activities. A 3.5% fee for credit card use. Travel insurance is available and recommended to protect your investment. Participants must be able to independently ascend, descend stairs without a railing, walk intermediate distances on uneven surfaces, embark and disembark planes and buses in moderate heat (high70s in the north- high 80s in the south). Final payment due July 15, 2020.
KASBAH - a group of defensive buildings behind a wall where leaders live while under siege
MEDINA - old Arab quarter of a Northern African town
MINARET - the tall tower on a mosque from where a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer
MUEZZIN - the man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque
RIAD- a typical Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard
SOUK- an Arab marketplace or bazaar
$4499 per person based on double
$1595 single supplement
SEP 24-OCT 6, 2020
Arrivals in Casablanca. This is a free day to relax and rest before beginning our touring. This scheduling should alleviate your need to arrive a day early.
Today we begin by just dipping our toes into Casablanca. This is a slow and easy day as we get to know our guide with a city tour including the old medina and lunch at Rick’s Café.
Next stops – Rabat and Meknes as we start to get a feel for all Morocco offers as we make our way to Fes and the romantic riad that will be our home for the next 3 nights.
Explore the walled city. Watch the donkeys carry modern Coca Cola through the old city. Spices are piled high and storehouses are heaped with hand-woven carpets. The muezzin’s haunting call to prayer from the minaret, reminds the community of their religious duties. Potters and tanneries abound in this vibrant city.
Fes offers us a cooking class today after a market visit. Learn about those spices you sense in Moroccan cuisine and have some time left to explore the shopping later in the day.
It is unforgettable to spend the night in a desert camp. We must make our way over the Atlas Mountains, stopping for lunch at Kasbah Asmae as we venture closer to our tented desert camp for the night. A camel ride is the icing on the day today. Tons of surprises await. Consider lighting by torches and antique Moroccan rugs providing the décor of our desert home. Four local entertainers will keep us occupied.
Just when you thought there could not be more fun- we explore the date farm, fossil factory and the rose gardens for Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris fragrance. Great shopping awaits as we make our way to Ouarzazate for the night.
Now we are in the heart of Moroccan Hollywood and film studios. But the Ait Ben Haddou is an impressive 11th century UNESCO site nearby. It is a photographer’s wonderland. Back up over the mountains and dropping down the other side, we find Marrakech.
In Marrakech the story tellers, entertainers and barbeque pits appear at Jemaa e-Fna in the evenings. The market is our must-see during the daytime. The labyrinth of the medina and the landmark minaret of Koutoubia call to us. The botanical garden and Bahia Palace with lush Moorish gardens, are just a part of what makes Marrakesh grand.
A short donkey ride takes us to a local Berber village. But there are panoramic views to savor, and glimpses into the ancient ways of life for these traditional people.
Essaouira is a charming seaside town is home to a small shellfish used to create a purple dye for Roman togas. The craftsmen specialize in marquetry using citron and limewood with ebony, mother of pearl and silver. Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan spend time here. You will see why. This is also the day we observe the women’s argan oil cooperatives.
We will make our way back up the scenic coast for our return to Casablanca. We will enjoy a farewell dinner together tonight.
It is time to return home full of knowledge and with a greater understanding of Morocco and its people.