culture and History Travel Tour to Morocco
Morocco represents the upper lip of this seductive mouth that is the Mediterranean Sea, a Muslim land so full of mysticism that seems to move like a magic carpet for somewhere between myth and reality. Tangier, Casablanca, Marrakech, alone the names of these three cities to evoke the scent of spices in the nose of the most experienced travelers. Many Moroccan destinations have been idolized, and rightly so, but the visitor may regret that the brown that image. However, others praise the country's unique living history, its dazzling light, its art. The reality lies somewhere in between.
Morocco is the ideal starting point for anyone who travels to Africa. It's a leap of Europe and can be a welcoming place, bustling and exciting. In the open-air markets across the country are myriad rugs, wood items and jewelry. With the exception of cannabis, the main raw material is the leather of the country, considered one of the smoothest in the world.
Best time to Travel Morocco
On the coast, the weather is nice almost all year round, although in the north in winter and cooling can increase the humidity. On the plains, the most propitious time for tourism is that which covers the months from October to April, because there are hot days or warm (around 30 º C) and nights are cool and even cold (about 15 º C) . In regions of higher altitude is required to go well prepared for the winter. If you are planning to visit the mountains, the ski season often occurs between December and March. In most devoted to trekking trips in high season (from June 15 to September 15) it is advisable to book accommodation in advance.
Morocco Mean festivals and Holidays
In Morocco the religious and folk customs have found a point of attachment. The veneration of saints is condemned by orthodox Sunni Muslims but Islam is composed of many factions, which maintains such festivities. It is worth asking the details and dates of the holidays because many are not held on set days in advance on the Western calendar.
Towards the month of May takes place m'a Mousseum of Sidi Mohammed al-Anim, an occasion to see the blue men (Tuareg) and the business meeting of tribes. The National Folklore Festival of Marrakech is a tourist mainly ten days worth to attend to meet dancers, musicians and other artists from around the country. In October, in the small northern town of Erfud held a festival in honor of the fruit more typical of the desert, the dates. Independence Day, one of five national holiday calendar, is celebrated on November 18
Morocco Most Attraction Places to Travel
The capital, the fourth imperial city, is a curious mix of historical tradition in a consolidated long history and modernity in the present. Abd al-Mumin was founded in the twelfth century, and used the kasbah ( "Fortress") as a base to fight the Spaniards. During this period built their most famous buildings, such as the Hassan Tower and the Kasbah des Oudaias. Stronghold for the Muslims expelled from Spain in early seventeenth century and the capital city only since the French occupation in 1912, the atmosphere in Rabat receives influences of Islam and Europe in almost identical measure. Few people in Rabat are involved in the tourism business, which means walking through the markets without having to guard against excessive pressure on vendors.
One of the most famous monuments is the Tower Hassan, the incomplete minaret of the great mosque begun by Yacoub al-Mansur. An earthquake interrupted its construction in the year 1755. Beside him stands the mausoleum of Mohammed V, grandfather of the current king. Kasbah des Oudaias, built in the cliff that rises over the Atlantic Ocean, houses a former palace converted into a museum of traditional art. Beyond the walls are the remains of the ancient city of Salé, the Archaeological Museum is one of the most interesting of b.
Among the historic central park (Jardins Triangle de Vue) and the main railway station are located in most hotels and restaurants in Rabat. The abundance of bars and cafes in this area have all the beer, kebabs, pizza, olives and ice cream that one could want. The Mohammed V international airport is located a short distance east of the city and many buses cover the route.
Of all the cities in the world, Hollywood chose to immortalize the Casablanca classic enclave of colonial and exotic flavor. Those who expect to find a sullen Humphrey Bogart in each corner will take a great disappointment. This town can not be defined as a calm: this is the largest city in Morocco and its industrial hub, a great and mighty metropolis where burnouses (traditional garment) Moroccans seem out of place in the presence of the West's own elegant suits and glasses sun brand.
This port city suffered a serious decline until the French, when Morocco became its protectorate in 1912, decided to restore it and built wide avenues, public parks and imposing buildings in Moorish style. The medina or old town is worth a visit to Casablanca and the Hassan II Mosque is one of the largest in the world. Mohammed V in the square are the most impressive examples of Moorish architecture. Casablanca Mohammed V airport shares in Rabat, which are scheduled flights to and from Europe and the Middle East.
Ranked as one of the most important cultural centers in Morocco, Marrakech is a lively city known for its markets and festivals. In its exciting urban core is the Djemaa el Fna. Oral Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in May 2001, this huge open space in the old quarter is home to jugglers, storytellers, snake charmers, magicians, acrobats and a range of harmless lunatics. Its souks (markets) are characterized by being among the best in the country. Marrakech has a wide selection of affordable hotels that facilitate the exploration of the old city.
Among the many attractions of the old quarter is the annex of the mosque Koubba Ba'adiyn, Almoravid a distinctive style, the magnificent Koutoubia mosque and the palace Dar Si Said (where the Museum of Moroccan Arts). Train services and bus routes provide regular reporting to the city of Casablanca and Rabat interior.
The most ancient of the imperial cities, Fez, is perhaps a symbol of Morocco. Its labyrinthine streets and shut down their brilliance and enhance its mysterious air arrogant. The medina of Fez el-Bali (Old Fes) is one of the biggest sites that exist in the medieval world, and the doors and walls that surround it boosts its magnificence. Unlike many people of his time fortified, Fez has not changed its original boundaries. Its population has expanded to the southwest and the slopes, forming an arc that is drawn from north to south of the new area.
In the old part, consisting of 9400 streets and alleys, rises the Medersa Inania Bou, a theological school, built in 1350. Not far from this place is the Henna Souq, a market specializing in hair dyes and tattoo tips for women. Next to the old walled city appears Fez el-Jdid, home of the Jewish community, made up of spectacular buildings. Between the two is located Dar Batha, now called the Batha Museum. The best way to reach it by train from Fez Rabat, Marrakech and Tangier.
Tangier is a popular site irresistible and tourist port of entry, in addition to have become the residence of some of the largest international criminals. Located on the northern tip of Morocco, a cosmopolitan character and retains an established reputation for inspiring shady business and foreign mismatches.
The downtown souk boy is their main attraction. When Tangier was international territory, between 1923-1943 and 1945-1956, in addition to having become the meeting point for intellectuals and artists from around the world, this area served as a squalid scene of life in this still present feature. La Kasbah is one of the most attractive sights in the interior houses the Sultan's palace, Dar el-Makhzen the seventeenth century, become an interesting museum. Tangier short of five hours by train from Rabat and Spain is easily top ferry also from Gibraltar.
Near Tinerhir, a city of the High Atlas, at the end of a lush valley of palms and populated villages made up of mud huts surrounded by a fence of dry and rugged mountains, is one of the natural wonders Moroccan Gorge Todra. Its height is close to 300 m at its narrowest point the width is only 10 m, a river of crystal clear water runs through it.
Although the main gorge can be explored in a few hours, it is recommended that visitors have more time Backtracking towards Tinerhir. Along this route many emerging kasbahs, whose inhabitants are very welcoming. The climbing is becoming a very popular practice in the area and camping in the vicinity is also an attractive alternative.
In the throat and surrounding areas can be chosen among the many hotels that have been built. For the more adventurous, the area has a network of forest tracks that connect the different villages in the mountains of Middle and High Atlas. Buses run regularly by Tinerhir en route between Marrakesh and Er-Rashidi.
Coastal destination is the most popular among independent travelers, and to date, rarely approaching the organized groups. Its beach, beautiful stretches several kilometers to the south. Those who prefer a quiet place to haggling and pushing themselves to large cities, is preferred to Essaouira.
The strengths of the old city are a mixture of military architecture Portuguese, French and Berber, and his strength gives it a powerful mystique. The Skala du Port has good views, and here part of Orson Welles filmed his version of Othello.
About 33 km of Meknès is the site of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. Volubilis dates largely from the ages II and III, although excavations have revealed that this place was originally founded by the Carthaginians to the merchants 150 BC There is only one hotel in the vicinity, but have provided facilities for camping.
This discreet city halfway between the Atlantic coast of Morocco is a good starting point for excursions to discover through the hills that surround it and the various Berber villages. On the outskirts is a curious set of rocks painted in blue in 1984 by Jean Verame. The Belgian artist chose a series of rounded and polished stones, typical of this area.
In Morocco there are endless possibilities for trekking, one of the most popular climbing routes for two days to Jebel Toubkal in the High Atlas mountains. Longer routes included in this enclave between the beautiful hiking and Tacheddirt Imlil, to overcome the snowfall. Once there you can find a place for skiing. Ukaimeden, about 70 km from Marrakech, is one of the favorite ski athletes. Other outdoor activities that can be practiced at least include the height rafting, about the High Atlas and fisheries in the south. The wind that blows in coastal Essaouira is ideal for enjoying the surf, and great for windsurfing. In fact, this is often mentioned as the place to practice this sport.
Unlike other North African nations, Morocco has been inhabited since time immemorial. The Berbers, or imasighen ( "men on earth"), have settled thousands of years ago and came to control all the territory between Morocco and Egypt. Divided into clans and tribes, have always jealously guards its independence and it is this feature has helped to preserve one of the most fascinating cultures of the continent.
The early Berbers remained undaunted before the invasion of settlers Phoenicians, Romans and even failed to alter his lifestyle after the sacking of Carthage in the year 146 BC They brought with them a long period of peace during which many cities were founded, and the natives of the coastal plains became residents. Christianity made its appearance in the third century, and again the Berbers asserted their traditional opposition to centralized power becoming followers Donato (a sectarian Christian leader who claimed that the donations were the only true Church).
Islam burst onto the world scene in the seventh century when Arab armies crossed the border. Conquered Egypt and quickly came to control the entire north of Africa towards the end of the eighth century. After this invasion were the Almoravids, who occupied Muslim Andalusia and Morocco, Marrakech was founded, which was designated as its capital, but soon were replaced by the Almohads.
Under these new rulers established a professional corps of officials and the cities of Fez, Marrakesh, Tlemcen and Rabat reached the zenith of its cultural splendor, but, finally, weakened by its defeat in Spain to the Christians, the Muslim government began to waver . In its place came the meronitas of the hinterland and the Moroccan resurface again until the completion of the Christian reconquest in Spain in 1492 sparked riots that erased the new dynasty in less than one hundred years.
Following the establishment of several dynasties and fall short, in the decade from 1630 Alaouite dynasty imposed a domain that remains strong today. With his pragmatism and despite difficulties, has managed to maintain for over three years of the independence of Morocco.
In the late nineteenth century European traders were introduced, and with them a long period of colonial renovations. Then arose the interest of France, Spain and Germany to invade it because of its strategic location and its wealth of marketing resources. The French conquered and occupied almost the entire country in 1912, Spain remained a small coastal protectorate and Tangier was declared an international territory.
French Marshal Lyautey respected Arab culture. Rather than destroy the existing Moroccan cities built new towns in its vicinity. Rabat became the capital and increased the port of Casablanca. The sultan remained, but only as a symbolic figure. Lyautey's successors were not so sensitive: its efforts to accelerate the domain led to the French people of the Rif Mountains, led by the Berber scholar Abd el-Krim, to rise up against the occupation forces. Only the union of the 25,000 Spanish-soldiers could finally force Abd el-Krim to surrender in 1926. By the 1930s more than two hundred thousand French had made his home in Morocco. During World War II, Allied forces used the country as a base from which to expel the Germans from North Africa.
After the war, the sultan Mohammed V created an independence party that finally secured Moroccan independence in 1956. During the process called Tangier, but Spain refused to hand over the northern cities of Ceuta and Melilla, which until today remains as the last Spanish stronghold in Africa.
Mohammed V appointed himself king in 1957 and was succeeded five years later by his son, Hassan II. The popular leader has consolidated his charisma among Moroccan Green March to organize the Western Sahara, formerly occupied by Spain. With a force of 350,000 volunteers, Hassan's followers bowed to Saharans to claim the area, rich in minerals as their own.
The approximately one hundred thousand inhabitants of the Sahara did not accept the invasion and demanded their independence. The Western Sahara's Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia al-Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario) launched a war of independence. In 1991, the United Nations intervened in a ceasefire agreement and more recently have decided to stay in the area. While the population in general applauded the invasion of the south, is contrary both to the residents themselves as Algerian Saharan West. Since then, relations with Algeria in Morocco are very precarious.
In July 1999 King Hassan II, who had reigned as absolute monarch (although some semi-changes in the constitution) for 38 years, his death was succeeded on the throne by his son, King Mohammed VI, who promised eliminate government corruption, press freedom facilitate and institutionalize democratic reforms as soon as possible. Indeed, a few members belonging to the government of his predecessor was sacked, and Muhammad pardoned two journalists jailed for having questioned the policy of the prime minister, although seven newspapers were closed for having misinterpreted the limited severity of the monarch by the press as much freedom .
The long-awaited democratic reforms collide against a wall in this country is still rooted in its feudal roots. Nevertheless, Mohamed VI is more innovative social policy and particularly in the fight for women's rights. In 2002 he married Salma Bennani, a computer engineer. In 2004 the government adopted changes to the Family Law, granting more rights to women in terms of marriage, divorce and child custody.
Morocco culture and people
Morocco is composed of an elaborate patchwork of artistic traditions. The link is of the Moroccan art of music, from classical style that developed in Muslim Spain and the storytelling traditions of the Berbers to the fusion of contemporary African music, French chanson, pop and rock. Rai music, more identified with Algeria, is an emerging trend that, despite their clearly Afro rhythms (it is a stream of music inspired by the Bedouin), is probably the most western-style and combines a series of electronic tools to create a hypnotic effect.
In Morocco the dance is a discipline that is more discreet (theoretically Moroccan women should not dance). The most interesting is the dance move known as ahidous and comes from an ancient tradition and symbolic of the Berbers.
The craft is another staple of the country. The leather is appreciated by traders since the sixteenth century. An equally rich heritage and is held in growth is the production of carpets, pottery, jewelry, articles of bronze and wood carvings.
Also typical are the carved and painted panels for decoration. The tiles with elaborate friezes adorn the interior of many madrasas and other religious buildings, plus a few mansions. The mashrabiyya, lattices allowing Muslim women to see what happens on the street without being seen, yet is built. While these elements are not usually purchased as tourist souvenirs, serve to show that the Moroccan crafts are not totally dependent on the masses of visitors.
Morocco has inspired all kinds of foreign artists. French painter Eugène Delacroix spent much time and material portraying imagery Morocco after his visit to the country in the 1830s. The scenes of markets, harems and lion hunts were the central theme of her paintings from that time. Delacroix in his day was considered a bit daring. A century later, Hollywood joined the fashion of this country. First with Marlene Dietrich in Morocco, followed in the 1942 classic Casablanca. And when Peter O'Toole was walking in the area embodies the protagonist of Lawrence of Arabia that had already become an unreal space for countless young Westerners.
The Darija, the Arabic spoken in Morocco is very different from that used in the Middle East. In rural areas communicate through several Berber dialects, especially in the mountains. With regard to customs and lifestyle, Morocco tends to follow its own pace Islamic, but men continue to make the rules. The strict segregation of sexes in public life can embarrass more than a visitor, but in the big cities there are greater and more daring mix of trends.
Moroccan food is good and consistent, the national dish is couscous, a fine meal which usually accompanies the lamb stew with vegetables. The drink is mint tea, but this does not mean they are abstemious there is no law prohibiting alcohol