Helen goes to Morocco Day 10 – Azrou to Erg Chebbi

Today, we drove lots. Circa 400 odd km up through the Atlas Mountains and then across the plateau. -> It was very speccy.

They are the exact words written in my travel journal and they seem like a good way to start today’s post.

We drove for a bit short of 6 hrs today. Which in the Australian grand scheme of things isn’t really that bad, however 16 Australians + Brahim & Ibby = 18 people. Our mighty MB Sprinter could sit 19 people when you had 3 across the front seat. Lots of driving, a greater requirement for air conditioning by some travellers and no spare seats to swap between as a breather … Well, I think you can understand why we had a few leg stretching stops along the way 😀

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 9 – Meknes & Azrou

We left Meknes in a heavy fog/mist which eventually cleared as we drove onwards towards Azrou. We drove through lots and lots of grape and apple farms that thrive on the higher altitude that we had driven up on to. The drive this morning was a quite short 1 hour to our hotel (Hotel Dar Maroc Adams), commonly referred to as The Stork Hotel due to the number of stork nests on the roof. This was a hotel that would have been very grand but has slowly declined over the years with the changing tourist market and I expect also decline in the upper more mobile class holidaying domestically.

Once we had found our rooms, and grabbed our day bags, it was back in the bus for a nice short drive of about 25 mins through the town of Azrou and to climb a little further in elevation to the cedar forests/forestry starting at Cedre Gouraud Forest and then to walk through various parts of the forest.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 8 – Fez, Voloubilis & Meknes

Today, we left Fez and headed off to spend some time at Volubilis before having lunch at Moulay Idriss and then on to Meknes for a city tour and accommodation for the night.

First though, let’s talk about Hotel Batha. Yes, it was dated but oh the bones, oh the sheer level of craftsmanship that had gone into building and decorating that hotel. It apparently had a renovation circa 2009 but I feel like that was likely only refreshing the common areas with regards to cleaning plaster work and probably new paint.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 7 – Fez

Today was a a Fez-tastica day in Fez. We started off with a with a quick stop at the Royal Palace to admire the gates and then we headed up to Borj Sud for an overview of the city. From there we headed to a tile and pottery studio before heading into the medina for a walk through where we stopped off at Cherratine Madrasa, a textiles “workshop” before stopping for lunch during Friday prayers and then it was off to Chouara Tannery before we went back to the hotel. One of the great things about today was all the gates that we either drove through or walked through. I quite liked the Gates of Fez.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 6 – Chefchaouen & Fez

Today was an exploring and driving day. We started off with a walking tour of Chefchaouen which saw us walk from our hotel at the top of the hill and meander through the streets down through to the roundabout at the where the old catholic church was where we met Ibby & our bus to start the drive to Fez which would be about 4hrs in total.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 5 – Akchour & Chefchaouen

My 34th birthday, the first of if I recall correctly, 4 birthdays on the trip, or maybe it was 3. I received a lovely card from the group and enjoyed Happy Birthday being sung to me when I walked into breakfast (in English) and then also again on the bus (in English and then in Arabic as well). Today much to the delight of the group at the start of the day, today we had decent little walked planned, of about 10-15km. Like many things in life, what is planned and what happens do not always align and accepting this fact makes living life a lot easier.

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