Our big fat Moroccan Adventure (The very skinny version)
Just picture this, The whole family… a bus… 2 toddlers, one grandma, one uncle… one aunt, Dad, Mom and 9 DAYS IN MOROCCO!!! It was a truly magical trip. We take many adventures but this one excited me. My mother was born in Casablanca and I have heard so many stories and lived a big fat Moroccan childhood so now I could connect the dots. The foods we ate as children and clothing that were normal to me, a culture I was proud to call my own.
We arrived from JFK into Casablanca (Mohamed V International) and I was immediately IN LOVE! The exotic air immediately caught my attention (Not my first class seat on Royal Air Maroc BTW great value for the money!) We checked into the Hyatt Regency Casablanca and the service and LEGIT red carpet welcome were amazing. We decided to explore the city.
Some places I want to point out that were kid friendly in Casablanca to consider when planning your visit:
Great for kids and the freshest local seafood in a small area with out cars so the kids can roam
- Espace Du Professeur
This is a cute restaraunt with a play ground and gated area. The food is OK nothing too write home about and the play area was great while we enjoyed tea & this for a mom of three year old boys was priceless. Across the street is a local playground that was in great condition and the kids LOVED making friends. Everyone was so nice to the boys, kids and adults. They CLEARLY were strangers to this area from their ginger & blonde heads of hair and obvious language difference but treated as friends.
- The Souk
Amazing colors, spices & finds. We found this area cheaper than Marrakech & Fes so shop wisely!
Great play area for the kids!!! Open late and awesome giant fish tank. The kids loved it and Auntie Natalie Loved the Starbs!
I want to add we did not feel unsafe in anyway! We roamed the streets with our double stroller, asked for directions, Ate street food & enjoyed our time.
We seamlessly got in our Beyonce van for the next segment and headed to FES! Stopping in Meknes on the way and to see the Royal Palace (Both not must see stops but with kids we needed to break up the trip). Fes was everything I pictured Morocco to be having heard the stories of my mothers childhood. We stayed at Riad Fes. The joint was phenomenal, architecture with tiled walls and floors, beautiful plush furniture; It was everything you would picture a Moroccan mansion to look like. Amazing tea was served when we arrived and aside from the douche bag manager it was breathtaking. Arriving late with two exhausted toddlers was enough to get his panties in a bunch, He was not welcoming and did not help us with our stroller, he was also SO very annoyed we had so many things (We were 7 people in our defense).
Fes looked like this for us:
- The Souk
The food AMAZING, street vendors, restaurants, shops and though they try and sell you their goods its no more aggressive than any other tourist destination. This Souk was my favorite of the trip. The smells, the colors and feel of Morocco came alive here for me (Don’t forget to go to the main blue gate, very pretty).
- Jardin Nan Sbil
We walked here on our way to see the palace. It was perfect. Though no actual playground but the gardens were spacious and manicured so the boys could run and play.
- Dinner and a show! Though touristy there are many places to get a tagine and hear live music or see a show. None to specific report but something on the to do list.
NEXT STOP MARRAKECH
On our way from Fes to Marrakech we detoured into the Azrou Mountains to visit the Azrou monkeys. The drive was amazing. Passing through an area where the Berbers live we were able to see beautiful landscape and arrived at an extremely interactive experience. This wasn’t a chartered tour rather monkeys on the side of the road and people selling food to feed them. They come right up and eat from your hand and interact as if old friends.
Over the hills and through the mountains to Marrakech we went! We stopped along the way at road stops, gas stations and rest stops with the most delicious treats. The rest stops had what I can only describe as a “Deli Counter” with moroccan snacks. DELICIOUS fresh cooked treats as well as the usual chips and soda products.
We arrived at the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa and checked in! It was beautiful, Pink and luxurious and everyone was so friendly and after the Riad Fes welcome this was very much appreciated. We arrived in our suite and the hotel (Unlike Riad Fes) was very stroller friendly and accommodating to our children. We dumped our laundry off and to dinner we went. Walking distance to the Souk was also a great selling point for me as a walker. Snake charmers and musicians were everywhere. The energy of Marrakech was engaging. We felt safe to walk around and people were friendly and the street food DELICIOUS as can be expected.
The smells and colors were beautiful and it truly was magical. We also found these cute little remote control cars infront of the big Mosque and for 10 Durham the drove the boys around!
Sites about Marrakech to point out for the littles:
- The souk
- Jardin Majorelle
- Horse and carriage ride about town
- Snake charmers at the Souk in the evening
- Chez Ali (Though a tourist trap the kids loved and its an enclosed area with room for them to roam)
- Camel Ride (Hotel booked for us but they have tons)
We headed back to Casablanca after this… We stayed 48 more hours then flew home. Some things I want the traveling world to know about Morocco:
- It is inexpensive
- It is exotic
- The people are warm and welcoming
- I did not feel unsafe
- PLEASE VISIT!
Some things I would do differently:
Start in Marrakech, Head to Essaouira, Drive to Fes stopping in Meknes, See Chefchaouen (Blue city: I heard it was not stroller friendly so I didn’t push to make our way there) Skip Casablanca (I went for family reasons but not much to see there)… Fly home from Fes…
Special shout out to Auto Venture, Thanks for the ride!
One of the main reasons I’ve decided to be a blogger is to share my experiences in hopes that people will get inspired and GO GO GO to places they normally wouldn’t. Explore corners of the planet you normally would fear. Morocco is in my top 10 must see places. I hope this inspires you!
And as always for live up to date pics of our adventures follow 0ur instagram!