Monday, May 31, 2010

Morocco & Tunisia: Summary Thoughts

I recently spent 11 days in Morocco and 3 days in Tunisia with Neilesh Patel. In Morocco we visited Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fez, Marrakesh, El Jedida, and Oualidia. In Tunisia we visited Tunis (Sousse), El Jem, Matmata, and Zafran (Sahara). Though I'll post specifics on my travels in future postings, here are my final thoughts on the trip:

  • The Sahara is magnificent and worth exploring in more detail
  • The Moroccans I met were more jovial than the Tunisians I met
  • The highlight of Morocco was surfing (Rabat 1x, Oualidia 2x)
  • French is a beautiful language
  • The veil is disappearing in Morocco, maybe in Tunisia too
  • The souk in Fez was the best and most authentic
  • You must hold you nose through Souk Dajaj (the chicken souq)
  • I love mint tea
  • Pomme de Pain was my favorite restaurant in Morocco
  • Royal Air Morocco is to be avoided

Royal Air Morocco

Royal Air Morocco, let me the count the ways in which you are the worst airlines I have ever flown (including American Airlines).

1) At JFK before departing for Casablanca, we were stuck on the tarmac for 3 hours. While this was JFK's fault for closing down most of their runways for maintenance, RAM didn't tell us what was going on; they only said that it would be our turn every 15 minutes. The crowd became very unruly and one elderly passenger became ill. Isn't there a law against being held on the tarmac for so long?

2) RAM changed the time of our flight from Casablanca to Tunis and I only found out because I called them.

3) RAM mis-entered Neilesh's passport number so they made us wait for 1.5 hours in Casablanca before we could board the plane for NYC. Even though it was RAM's error, no one apologized to us. While the air hostesses are nice, the ticketing agents are beyond rude.

4) RAM sent the wrong airplane for the Casablanca - JFK flight. As a result, people had tickets to seats that didn't exist on the airplane. For example, people had tickets in rows 8, 9, and 1o which didn't exist on the airplane. Someone was illegally sitting in my seat and he refused to move; but karma got him back when the baby next to him threw up on him.

RAM is inept, but I guess they operate somewhat of a monopoly in Morocco. Still, if you have the option of choosing another airlines for your Morocco travels, I highly recommend it.
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