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Morroco trip: what I've learned

Portland, OR
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Morroco trip: what I've learned

As my short 11 day trip comes to an end I tho9ught I'd share what I've learned traveling n Morocco.

Medinas are noisy. Sound bounces off those cement/plaster wall, but they tend to be shady and very photogenic.

Muslim women (well the Moroccan women who were veiled with whom I was able to have in depth conversations with—2) believe they are the ones who have the power in the family, inside the home they feel they rule.

Riads offer little to no privacy. As beautifully decorated as they are you will hear your fellow guests brush their teeth, snore, flush, sex. Earplugs are necessary.

Most of the Moroccans with whom I spoke had university degrees and cannot find jobs so they tend to work the tourist trade. They are interesting and love to share what they know.

Four of the university educated men I spoke with say they cannot afford to marry so there is a large sector of Morrocan young men who are single. Marriages can be week long events, expensive. And Morrocan women expect to not have to work—according to those I spoke with.

Two guys I spoke with indicated that the marriage issue is so bad that they were contacted by banks—one directly the other in the square in Marrakesh—offering loans to get married—the equivalent of thousands of Euros, (one told me 20,000 E) that could be paid back at 500 dirham a month.

When I expressed frustration to 2 hoteliers, males, about the way men bother you in Marrakesh they said it's because there are women who come to Morocco looking to have sex with Moroccan boys/men. They claim to have seen these sites and because I travel by myself they say men assume that's what I came for. However one woman, covered Muslim, told me Moroccan men harrass covered local women also.

Don't take the local buses if you are a tourist over 30, they seemed to me crowded dirty,, I ended up with all kinds of bites from my 14 hours in two days traveling from Er Rachida to Chfouchouen.. With that said I also had some very sweet interactions. People did look after me even though most of the time we shared no common language besides expressions and hand gestures.

In Arabic Morrocans address each other as brother and sister, I loved it. Made me understand why a few women called me sister in English/Spanish.

All the books and forums said as a woman traveling alone to avoid eye contact and ignore those trying to hassle you. I wish I had been more discerning and not ignored so many. The times I did talk to people they really did want to know about me or ask questions and then said bye with their hand on their hearts and warm sincerity in their eyes—and of course this is men because not many woman accosted me. I would have had more conversations and been able to try kif sooner—smile.

If traveling by yourself and you want to meet people it seems better to stay in lower priced places. This trip I stayed in higher quality places because I traveled by frequent flier miles and I felt pretty isolated. When I stayed in places that were more like hotel/hostels I was able to meet people and have people to hang out with.

The desert in July seemed no hotter than any other place in Morocco--besides the coast. Rather than sleep in my hotel room I slept on the roof and actually got chilly at night and needed a blanket. Very glad I went though didn't do camel ttrip because I stayed in a hotel on the dunes and having a 13 year old boy walk a camel while i rode made me feel like a fat ole tourist so I got off and walked through the dunes on my own. So amazing,

I had no experiences that made me feel unsafe. Never had any real problems, never got sick. Take it slow and enjoy.

Buen viajes

Stockholm, Sweden
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for Morocco
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1. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

Hi, it was one interest report from your trip. You are good observant. Pity that you not come and stayed longer there in the desert, you should learn more than you learned you. About riding the camel, I feel the same and because that I never took some camel trip. I am more happy to go in the sand dunes. But I like camels very much, they are funny to look at.

Merzouga, Morocco
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2. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

Great observations, can very much identify with the majority of your comments. Thanks for sharing.

marrakech
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for Morocco
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3. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

Great report and should reassure nervous travellers and women.

Cheshire, UK
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4. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

A great review - thank you for sharing :-)

idaho
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for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
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5. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

wonderfully written review...with such depth. thank you, so nice to read

Castril De La Pena...
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for Morocco
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6. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

Interesting read. I agree about the temperatures in the sand dunes, many people think that because it's sand the temperature should be higher than the rocky/stony areas, which of course doesn't make sense.

University education is not as widespread in Morocco due to lack of places and the associated costs, so I suspect the guys you met working the tourist trade were just trying to impress you. Sorry ;)

In just 40 years--the time I've been visting Morocco--the population has increased three-fold (nothing to do with my activities) and unemployment is a big problem, but this is also the case in Spain and Greece where more than 50% of the under 25s are out of work.

And yes, local women are harassed as well--some carry and use needles against the men who touch them up.

Glad you got on well and didn't have any problems.

norfolk
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7. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

what an interesting report. also, tim's remarks are interesting too. it's ok to stick pins in frotters, but not to tell them to go away, apparently.

ho hum.

pam

Castril De La Pena...
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for Morocco
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8. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

Well I've learnt a new word today! Frotter: To gain erotic pleasure from rubbing up against random strangers in crowded public areas. Sounds like it can be both a verb and a noun, so two for the price of one.

I wasn't actually advocating the procedure, but if Moroccan women want to stick pins in Moroccan men, that's up to them. LOL.

Boston...
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9. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

Great post thanks!

Stockholm, Sweden
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for Morocco
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10. Re: Morroco trip: what I've learned

uch what disgusting they are!