|Subject: Morocco/Ireland/Midwest GTG|
Part 1: MOROCCO
There have been a few questions here lately about traveling in Morocco. About clothing: it is best if foreign travelers dress modestly and with respect to the dress code followed by Moroccans. Most women wear the long jelabbah or the black chaudiour (sp?), and most faces are veiled. I traveled all over Morocco last spring and female visitors from abroad pretty much wore skirts or dresses, and tops that weren't skimpy. The men and women wearing shorts looked quite out of place.
One of the purposes of my trip was to take pictures of food--in the markets, restaurants, homes, etc. I always asked if I could take a picture. It is very important! Many people do not want their pictures taken and let you know in no uncertain terms! Others hide their face with their hands or move out of range. And then there were many others who were delighted to have themselves and their produce photographed.
The food was very delicious in Morocco, but travelers spending a good deal of time there and dining only in restaurants will begin to find the same dishes repeated over and over. The dishes served for tourists are generally special occasion dishes--and impress they do! Travelers, however, don't get much of a chance to enjoy so many others, simply because they aren't considered exceptional. That's why it's so advantageous to try to eat in homes if at all possible. We never once got sick over food.
Lastly: about guides that latch on to you. The situation is very much better than it was 10 years ago. Apparently the gov't has cracked down on unofficial guides. At least that was our experience.
Part 2: IRELAND
We tried to cancel our trip to Ireland because so much has been closed to tourists there on account of the awful hoof and mouth disease problem. At first the travel agent said we could cancel without forfeit, and today we were told no. National parks and forests are closed, heritage sights closed, B&B's closed---and on and on. So we're going to make lemonade with whatever lemons we can find. Maybe we'll have to stay in urban areas, who knows. Then, we're heading over to England. Had planned to do some walking in the Cotswolds. We love that area so. But, you guessed it: we can't. So this should be some really different trip! Anyone else in this bind??
Part 3: Midwest GTG
I hope I saved all the messages about folks living here in the Midwest. If not, I'll put out a call sometime again. There are a lot of us, and Chicago seems pretty central.
Joan Peterson http://www.ginkgopress.com