Independent travel to Arab countries is not very popular among our compatriots. Many are afraid of the unstable political situation, some fear the religious intolerance of Muslims, some simply cannot imagine a vacation without alcohol. Unfortunately, stereotypes are incredibly difficult to break. However, we will try it today.
Given: a young couple without children, a budget of 100,000 rubles, a 12-night vacation, the country of Morocco.
The choice fell on Morocco, because the image of oriental exoticism hovered in their heads, but in comparison with Egypt, Morocco looked more civilized and did not inspire fear.
Tickets were booked here, flew by Moroccan airlines through Moscow. The total cost of tickets Yekaterinburg-Moscow-Casablanca and back was 50 thousand rubles for two.
Morocco is a visa-free country, there are no additional fees for the migration card that you will be issued at the airport.
The hotel was booked through this website, we were looking for the cheapest option – only beds and a bathroom were needed. As a result, such a hotel turned out to be the three-star “De louvre”, which is located in an old building, built in 1925 in the Art Deco style. By the way, in Morocco they love this style in architecture, many buildings were built in Art Deco. The guys paid 16 thousand rubles for the hotel for 12 nights. Once again, this was the cheapest option found.
If, for example, you go to Morocco in the summer and live near the ocean in coastal hotels, then the price per room will increase 2-3 times.
The entire journey from Yekaterinburg to Casablanca took about 9 hours. Therefore, our travelers, tired from the road, ordered a taxi. This pleasure cost them 300 dirhams (1200 rubles for our money), the trip to the hotel took 40 minutes. And then I remembered my trip to Sochi this year, when taxi drivers at the airport asked for 5 thousand rubles for an hour trip. It’s funny.
Local characteristics: food, prices, alcohol, national character
And now I would like to tell you about some local peculiarities. It turns out that it is not customary to eat food in Arab countries until one o’clock in the afternoon. Therefore, our travelers, finding themselves in Morocco early in the morning, with great difficulty found a French cafe, where they could drink coffee and eat a croissant. The Arabs were extremely surprised when they were asked for a menu that contains not only tea and coffee, but also something essential from food.
Therefore, if you are hungry in the morning, then look for American fast foods or French cafes. The Arabs will not feed you. Some pizzerias start working from about 11 am.
And if we are talking about food, then advice: be sure to try caviar soup in Morocco (15-20 dirhams, about 80 rubles). In general, for 400 rubles for two, you can taste an excellent, plentiful dinner or lunch.
If we talk about prices in general, then here they practically do not differ from those we are used to. Something more expensive (for example, cigarettes, which cost about 130 rubles), something cheaper. But we must pay tribute – the tobacco is excellent here.
Things are a little different with alcohol. According to Sharia law, the use of alcohol is strictly prohibited. Nevertheless, in bars and restaurants you can buy a variety of alcoholic drinks, even locally produced ones. Beer costs about 80 rubles, wine (0.5 bottle) – 400 rubles. But the French prefer to drink Black Label whiskey, citing the fact that the wines here do not meet the standard.
You can understand the French with their taste preferences, but the Arabs sometimes caused bewilderment.
If you think that Morocco is an exclusively religious country that does not give any favors to its citizens, then you are wrong. On the streets of cities it is quite possible to meet an Arab woman with a bare head and even in European clothes. At the same time, you may be shocked by the sight of a walking woman, wrapped in all black, who suddenly throws herself to the ground with nothing and begins to pray.
Moroccan Arabs are quite good-natured towards Russians. Many of them know several Russian words – usually in their everyday life there are such words as “Brezhnev”, “Yeltsin”, “Dostoevsky”. Such a good set of words. Almost no one speaks English, they prefer French, which is not surprising – Morocco was a French colony for a long time.
When it comes to electronic communications, Morocco is far from being an advanced country. It is almost impossible to pay with a card anywhere, and Wi-Fi is available only in large cafes and restaurants.
Trips to other cities
Within the framework of this trip, there were only two sorties to neighboring cities. The guys visited Mohammedia and Marrakesh.
Mohammedia is located just 25 km from Casablanca and you can take a taxi there. But keep in mind that taxi drivers are such a special world caste that seeks to deceive, whether you are in France, even in America, or even in Morocco. Our travelers found themselves in the same situation, however, they realized this only when they came back.
In general, the taxi driver took 800 rubles from the guys for the trip from Casablanca to Mohammedia, the return trip for some reason turned out to be much cheaper – only 60 rubles.
Marrakech is one of the largest cities in the Kingdom of Morocco, and one of the oldest cities that have survived to this day. You can get from Casablanca to Marrakech by train. Travel time – 3 hours there, 4 hours back. If you go in first class, then tickets will cost 560 rubles, if you use the second class, then 360 rubles per person.
One day will not be enough to get acquainted with this ancient city. After all, the main life in Jemaa-El-Fna square begins at night. Snake charmers, traders of fragrant dishes, bazaar acrobats, storytellers gather here just after sunset. Of course, this sounds extremely exciting, but in fact, as it seemed to our travelers, Marrakech is a tourist city, spoiled by guests’ money. Here, just like in Egypt, you can come across rudeness if you do not agree to buy anything. There is no such thing in Casablanca.
Casablanca is more like a business center, where palaces and mosques are combined with business centers and modern houses, wealth and luxury with poverty and filth.
grandmother’s slippers – 1000 rubles.
wooden boxes – from 2000 rubles.
magnet – 80 rubles.
key rings – 60 rubles.
leather caps – 480 rubles
carpets – from 2000 rubles.
dry perfume – 1 gr. / 16 rubles.
When traveling around the country, you may need a French phrasebook, paper and a pen so you can write down your question, as well as a navigator.
The article used photographs of Nadezhda Kirilicheva and from the site http://www.globallookpress.com