Now to actually write about Morocco.
I am sure the kids will blog about our trips here, so I will focus on a bit of a travelogue. The first day in Casablanca I had my last (of four) field labs, which are academic experiential learning days with my students. The day went well, and Dan and the kids did a tour of the city while I was away.
The following day we did a very long day trip to Marrakesh. Although I had already decided that these SAS trips would be my first and last experience with “tour bus” travel, this trip, and the overnight one we took to Fez the following two days, solidified that decision. We just do not enjoy travelling in a pack. In both Marrakesh and Fez we were in groups of about 25, and shepherded through souks/medinas/markets like we were on some sort of military manoeuvres. Although we saw more than we would have alone, we never got to spend quality time anywhere. We felt over-scheduled, over-crowded, and just sort of over-everything. We are very much looking forward to the next phase of our travel, where we scale back to a family of four. Of course, then we have to make all our plans ourselves…
Morocco is a gorgeous country, and some of these Arabic and Islamic sites are simply outstandingly beautiful. But honestly, it was more difficult to travel here than it was in India. The old city section of Fez, for example, has over 9500 small winding streets, with many dead ends. Some are so narrow it becomes dark. And although it is (thankfully) the largest car-free area in the world, the donkeys have free reign. Being a little more reflective on the experience, I think our difficulties mainly came from the tour aspect. I would have loved to just find a lovely place in Marrakesh and stay there a few days, as some of our friends did. We would have seen far less, but enjoyed far more. At any rate, here are some final images of this complex place.