Subject: Re: Morocco

We have been in Morocco just recently. We were amazed at the beauty there, still there was a lot of poverty as well.

Morocco was our biggest surprise as we really thought we would hate it there and we found it such a different place. It was our last port and I wanted our last port to be truly amazing, and it was.

We were with a large group--Semester at Sea--and we chose our own field trips. We chose Marrakech and Essouira, traveling by bus. The Souks were very interesting; the national dress colorful and unusual. However, there was a lot of poverty. The countryside was beautiful and there were herds of camels alongsde the road.

It was a country of contrasts--the bus driver and the guide had cell phones and we drove through villages with neither electricity nor phone service. We saw how they made olive oil, dates and other fruits for sale along the roadside, men cleaning fish to sell in the villages, spice markets, fruit and vegetable stands.

The hotel in Essouira was very poor--no springs under the mattress (though we did sleep well) and I was disturbed that we did not have a shower curtain until I realixed we had no connection to water in the shower head. We slept well and ate very well. Excellent food. The hotel in Marrakech was much better and very beautiful.

As we had been traveling in third world countries for two months, we all had a routine for preventing germs, eating food safely, etc. For a 10 day vacation your could easly take certain foods for your daughter, such as cartons of milk. Bottled water was everywhere amd that is all we ever drank off the ship.

There were two faculty children age 3 who were in Marrakech as well and none of them got sick. We have thought of doing a family vasation in Morocco with our whole family--grandchildren included--ages 2, 6. and 10.

Students and faculty went on their own to Fez and Rabat, and had great times. You can see some of these experiences on a faculty website by looking for Morocco. They had two children with them--ages 9 and 17. Frankly, the children 9 year old learned a lot, but she also had 3.5 months of experiences.

We have not been to the Canaries, but that is more of a vacation spot, I think. I picture that being hotel heaven.

Don't hesitate to ask specific questions. I know the parents of the 3 year olds and can ask them questions for you or ask them to email you.