Today was another day of travel, but first, we enjoyed another yummy breakfast at Riad Meftaha before heading out to catch our train.
The journey to Fes was long, but pretty comfortable because we bought first-class tickets for the train. I recommend always paying the extra money which will get you assigned seats in air-conditioned compartments. And it is only a few dollars more than a second-class ticket. Well worth it in my opinion, especially in the summer!
We arrived in Fes in the afternoon, and unfortunately, there was a problem with the room we had booked at our Riad, but we were offered a room at another Riad (same owners) which turned out great. The hosts at Riad Tahra were friendly and helpful, and when they found out we were only in Fes for half a day, they recommended we hire a guide to take us to the main sights in the Medina, and we agreed to do so.
The guide was an older gentleman and was part of the official tourism group, and the price was set at 250 dirhams (about $25). The Medina in Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage Center and a real maze of winding streets and endless shops. So, the guide was invaluable! Not only did he take us to the top sights (with great explanations and information), but he shielded us from the more aggressive vendors. It was such a pleasant tour that I’d say it was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
After the 3-hour tour, we returned to the Riad to rest, shower (Mariko had a massage and hammam), and have dinner of delicious beef tagine, pastille, and couscous dish.
Even though we only stayed a half-day in Fes, it was a wonderful experience!
Today we left Marrakech by train and headed up to the capital of Morocco, Rabat. After checking into Riad Meftaha, we had an early dinner at Dar Naji.
It’s Ramadan, so only a few places were open before sundown, but Dar Naji was ready for us non-Muslim tourists with a special fixed menu of salad, bread, tagine (beef or chicken) fresh fruit, and of course mint tea. All delicious!
After the sun went down, the restaurant filled with locals ending their daily fasts, and it was like a party atmosphere!
The kids wanted to just relax the rest of the night back at the Riad (and enjoy the Wi-Fi) but Mariko and I strolled around the empty Medina. It was eerily quiet, but really cool. I took plenty of photos! 😀
We finished our evening with a coffee and cake at La Couronne Doree before heading back to the Riad.
Hello! Today started with a 4:50 AM wake up bang on the side of our tent. The sun comes up early here in Morocco and the Berber camp hosts wanted us to see the desert sunrise.
I knew the short climb in the sand was deceptively strenuous so I warned Mariko and she decided to pass on the workout. Of course Koa wanted to just sleep so he stayed behind as well. But I am glad that Bay and I were able to enjoy it together. It was a cool sight!
After a camel trek back to the van and another long ride back to Marrakech, we checked into our next place, Riad Jnane Mogador. It is right next to the square, but pretty small and inexpensive. They also offer a hammam, which is a traditional bath with body scrub. It was so refreshing!
Next was a bit of shopping which was nice because the street the Riad is located on has good prices (many fixed) and the shop keepers were friendlier as compared to the ones in the souks.
We then enjoyed dinner on a rooftop terrace at Naranj before retiring for the night. What a long, but fun, day!
Today was a loooong day. We woke up extra early to eat a 6 AM breakfast (thanks Gilles!) and then met our tour bus for our desert excursion.
I had done a bit of research on the one-day trips with camel ride 🐫 so I knew that we were in for a long drive. We started at around 8 AM and arrived at camp at about 7 PM. But during that time, we did stop for lunch and a tour of a pretty cool area where they filmed such movies as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
But the highlight of the excursion was the camel ride to the Berber camp where we would stay. Riding camels isn’t difficult, but can be uncomfortable, especially towards the end of the journey. It was really fun, though, and sitting so high up and traveling with 14 other people in a mini caravan was pretty dang great. Mariko even wore her newly bought headscarf!
It only seemed like we traveled for 15 minutes, but after an hour in the saddle, we arrived at the camp. It was set up with tents surrounding an open area with carpets, pillows, and low tables. After getting settled into out tents, we relaxed outside and enjoyed mint tea and nuts.
I took the opportunity to run up a nearby sand dune to take a photo of the waning sunset. Just climbing such a small dune was tiring! I was huffing and puffing. 😓
Later on we all gathered in a large dining tent for a traditional meal of Moroccan salad, turkey Tagine, and fresh melon. It was delicious but the heat in the tent was stifling. I wish we could have eaten outside instead.
We finished up the day with traditional music and then time for bed!