1 Until Getting to Morrocco 6 Fez
2 Marrakech 7 Volubilis, Meknes, Rabat
3 Ait Benhaddou 8 Casablanca
4 Todgha Gorge 9 Returning to Japan
5 Erfoud, Sahara Desert 10 Ala Carte
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Part 1 Until Getting to Morocco
After observing the sunrise at Sahara Desert
(Nov. 16, 2010)
This year, in my 70th year, I paid attention to the "Tour around Morocco for 10 Days" planned by Hankyu Trapics 2 months ago.
The desire to experience a different culture welled up to my mind. But I had decided to finish traveling to the African Continent after the tour around Egypt 2 years ago. Therefore, Morocco is beyond my idea.

Emiko, my wife, did not object to join this plan, contrary to my worry. We applied for it on the assumption that we may cancel, thinking to put off the travels to Poland and the Benelux Countries to the next year.

The itinerary delivered one week before the start was as follows.

The Itinerary of the Tour
around Morocco for 10 Days
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The Outline of Morocco
Kingdom of Morocco
National Flag Coat of Arms
Area
 459,000 square km (1.2 times of Japan)
Population
 30,860,000 (the year of 2007)
Capital
 Rabat
Government
 Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
 King: Mohammed Y
Ethnic Groups
 Arab-Berber 99%, Other 1%
Religion
 Sunni Islam
Language
 Arabic, Berber, French
Currency
 Moroccan Dirham (DH) 1DH=12.2 yen (2009)
Electricity and Plug
 Mostly 220V. The plugs are C type of 2 round holes and SE type of 3 holes.
Time Difference
 9 hours later than Japan
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Until Getting to Morocco

We are now easily able to see any scenery, historic spots and most of everything the world over through TV screen.
I would say Morocco is not an exception, but shamefully only Casablanca is familiar to me there. So, Morocco has the least to do with me, compared to the others where I have ever traveled overseas.
Even Casablanca itself is the movie name I might have ever seen, which must have been starred by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. However, it is the American movie made in 1942 two years after my birth and is said that the filming was done in the studio of Hollywood, though the scene was in Casablanca.
I don't forget about the name of "Casablanca", because of the music "As Time Goes By"in the movie. I sometimes hum it even now. Nice song!

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A couple of days ago, NHK-BS3 introduced the labyrinths in the city of Fez. I was surprised and at the same time got interested in the coming travel, thinking that I would visit it, too.
Morocco must not be full of such strange climate or different culture all right, but I thought I would be able to experience some other different things
Thinking of it, we prepared our clothes doubling for the winter, heading for Morocco called "the cold country with the hot sun".

On Thursday, November 11, 2010, our jumbo jet of Emirates Airline took off from Narita Airport midnight at 22:00.
It landed at Dubai Airport of United Arab Emirates along the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula after the 11-hour boring flight. This airport was my first time to stop over.
Though I did not go out of the airport because of the prohibition, I felt some clearly different culture by the looks and clothes of the people around inside.
I bought a 3-CD set of "Cafe Arabia".
Catching the connecting flight, we had to be confined in tight seats for another 7 hours, and finally arrived at Casablanca Airport, the front door of Morocco. It was already a little after noon on Friday, the 12th, local time.

Our group, 30 people, gathered together and got on a large bus of 45-people capacity with Mr. Abdelilah, a guide, and Ms. Karimai, an attendant.
After 4 hours in the bus, we finally made it to Pickalbatros Hotel in Marrakech, the first hotel of this trip. It was 5:30 pm.

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Back to the plane from Narita for Dubai, our couple sat on the triple-passenger window seats. The man next seat with us was Mr. Kamiya, a young architect. He says he has just got married, but is going to join the project in Dubai, leaving his wife in Japan. Then he cheerfully says he will welcome her in one year here. He handed out his name card to me, saying "Dubai is worth visiting, so come to see me if you have a chance."

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1. Until Getting to Morocco 2. Marrakech >
1 Until Getting to Morrocco 6 Fez
2 Marrakech 7 Volubilis, Meknes, Rabat
3 Ait Benhaddou 8 Casablanca
4 Todgha Gorge 9 Returning to Japan
5 Erfoud, Sahara Desert 10 Ala Carte
Back to "English Edition"
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