My first and only visit to Morocco till now was almost 50 years ago and it consisted of a short visit of 2 days with a couple of my friends to Tangier. We were holidaying in southern Spain at the time and the short ferry trip was quite enticing.
Back to nowadays. We have been looking at locations for holidays early in the year to escape the winter chills and in our case February which tends to be between two commercial seasons meaning that many shops and restaurants actually close down.
Where to go though? No longer that keen on the long haul journeys to Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines etc) Morocco came up as a possibility. A couple of searches regarding flights and hotels and we booked 9 days away starting on February 9th.
I have tried to capture some of the moments on a daily basis which I am now making into one single blog entry.
Making the most of a connection time in Casablanca airport to start this blog entry.
We had decided to get away this February and most likely future ones as well. As a rule this is the time when many shop and bar/restaurant owners close down for the month. After Xmas and the January sales and before Easter is a very popular time to take the yearly vacation. Time to look for a bit of sun.
One of the nearest places from our part of south of France is Morocco and we are actually on our way to Agadir right now.
The flight from Toulouse to Casablanca was fairly quick and lasted approximately 90 minutes.
In the meantime Toulouse airport has been revamped and the duty free area has a fair amount to offer especially if you are a chocolate fan or indeed Gin. Saw this new Pink Gin for sale.
Casablanca airport is quite pleasant with a typical architecture.
The views flying south from Casablanca to Agadir are simply stunning.
A mixture of mountain ranges with flurries of snow and desert. My small mobile phone camera cannot capture the beauty of it all.
The only black stop of the journey was immigration in Agadir. More than an hour to go through passport control. The immigration officers were pleasant and friendly enough though.
It took 40 minutes to drive to the hotel. It did not take long to enjoy my first local beer,
and dinner at home of the 4 restaurants at the hotel.
A short walk outside to explore the grounds and surrounding.
Followed by a nightcap
Quite a busy and successful day I would say.
No set big breakfast, a strong coffee will suffice first thing in the morning.
We have daylight so we can now inspect the grounds properly
Tea break. Quite refreshing in fact.
And further we go
Back at the hôtel in the afternoon to enjoy a bit of sunshine.
Each location has a service button to call a member of the staff. Very useful to order a couple of beers.
On the way to the room, had to stop for another of this local beer which I am beginning to enjoy.
Went to the hotel next door which happens to be another Sofitel
and a rather expensive dinner in The Morocco restaurant.
Not a too early start via the hotel grounds to the seafront.
Found a nice little place round the corner from the hotel and on the seafront for a spot of breakfast.
Went for a fairly long walk through the town.
Came across one of these fake palm tree as I use to see in Asia a lot and which are in fact telephone masts.
This main avenue parallel to the sea front is basically a long row of hotels. There were quite a few vans and buses picking up golfers to take them to the local course.
Walked past the Royal residence and was told off by one of the guards for taking photos.
A few hundred yards further we found “Fontaine” which is where we are supposed to meet tomorrow lunch time our 2 friends from Carcassonne who are also holidaying here. Time for a cup of tea…
As it happens Brent walked past and we could have a chat.
Time to make it back to the hotel via the seafront
I had a second telling off for taking a photo of the police officer on his quad. Do I care?
Back the hotel to get changed
and hit the pool for a relax and some late lunch.
Followed of course by a walk by the sea
And finally sunset on the Atlantic
After a pleasant cup of coffee for breakfast, we made our way to the town centre. A brisk 5 kilometers walk but this time on the beach itself.
I can assure everyone that the water is fairly cold.
Had to stop for the obligatory mint tea. I love the stuff. Very refreshing.
Walked up through town
This weird contraption was registered in Spain. I wonder if it made the trip all the way from there.
Met up with our Canadien friends Bryan and Brent also from Carcassonne but enjoying a few weeks in Morocco.
We all went to a small restaurant very near their holiday appartement
and the best couscous so far on this trip. The owner although Moroccan used to live in Paris.
The walk back to the hotel via the beach did a lot to help the digestion.
Nothing much was planned for the evening apart from the invitation to a cocktail party.
It was quite pleasant. Met a few people and in particular a couple from the UK. We might meet up tomorrow for lunch.
And a final nightcap to finish the day.
7am and I have just been woken up by the sound of the call for morning prayer at the local mosque. What a racket.
After yesterday’s long walks, nothing too strenuous is planned for today. I think a relaxing pool and beach day is in order.
We met a nice couple from the UK at the cocktail evening yesterday and lunch together might be on the cards.
Just read my emails and caught up with the news so I might as well try and close my eyes for another couple of hours.
Breakfast coffee as planned. Thinking about lunch already.
But before that, time to take positions by the pool.
Listening to April (Deep Purple) and trying to choose what to eat for lunch.
But first a cool beer
Finger food lunch. It has been a long time since I have had a pizza.
Afternoon nap was certainly in order. Went out next door for a quick dinner. Apart from the view and the sunset, I would not recommend and will not go back to that place.
22:00 Time for a nightcap I guess
3 am and I am awake. Not sure why. Nothing better to do than surf the web for a while. Twitter is fairly quiet at this time of the night.
First objective today is to walk into town and get some supplies.
Went back to the supermarket Brent and Bryan showed us so that we could stock up on the local wine and a bottle of scotch.
Time for the daily mint tea I am beginning to really appreciate.
Heading back to the seafront
Lunchtime and we must try a new restaurant
Then head back to our hotel
for a relaxing afternoon
Just about to crack open the bottle of scotch purchased earlier.
Good morning world
a lazy and very windy morning. Late breakfast and a walk through the grounds before taking position by the pool. Hardly anyone around this morning.
After a couple of hours basking in the sun listening to some of my favorite music and playing around with some apps on my phone,
the weather turned fairly cloudy but still warm. Time to go in and get ready for the evening.
A brisk 20 minutes walk to one of the restaurants on the seafront for a pleasant dinner.
Penultimate day here. Just gone 7am which seems to be my natural waking up time.
It has been very windy during the night. It is still dark so I cannot see what the weather looks like.
The plan is to go into town and in the souk for some last minute shopping. But that will be later. I am not up yet.
Still grey and windy outside. Time for the morning coffee in the lobby before heading to town on foot as planned.
And off we go
Beaches are quite deserted today. No sun but it is nevertheless quite warm.
The obligatory late morning stop, this at “Le Dome”
for one of my daily mint tea break
Setting off again direction the “Souk”
Another few kilometers on foot and we are home. Time for a beer and a rest before going out later on to meet our friends Brent & Bryan for apéritif & dîner
Last day unfortunately, on top of that the weather is fairly grey by the looks of it but supposed to clear up by 11am according to my phone.
So I guess the best thing to do is go down for my coffee, try to get the boarding passes for tomorrow’s flights printed.
Should get dressed first.
Enjoying a bit of sunshine and catching up with my “todo” lists.
But I think it is time for a beer and a bite to eat. The very lazy day.
From pool to the beach
and to the other side of the pool
Not many things left to do on this last day but walk back into town
and have a nice dinner
Got to pack now…
For the first time in the past 9 days the alarm clock went off a short while ago.
We are being picked up in 2 hours to go to the airport.
I am all packed since yesterday evening, I just need to “jump” under the shower, get dressed, pay my bill.
In the lobby waiting for a coffee
At the airport, all checked in and through immigration. A couple of hours wait till departure so it is coffee first and then hit the duty free shops.
Bra for sale in the duty free
I am going to miss the flowers and trees in full bloom. Spring is not due for a few weeks back home.
Not many people in the departure lounge
Not a single plane to be seen either…
In any case both flights were on time and quite pleasant. The weather in Casablanca was terrible, cold with only 12°c and very wet.
Next to us also boarding but direction Dubai was this little bird
You know you are close to home when you fly across the Pyrenees
Landed on time in Toulouse and reached rush hour on the ring road. Nonetheless we reached home as planned at 19:30 on the dot.
It has been a good holiday at a new destination for us. We shall go back and do some more exploring now that we begin to know our way round there.