Lodging: We stayed at Dar Nilam and made our reservations through booking.com. We reserved the smallest room (which is pretty small), but they had a larger room available and upgraded us for free. It was a beautiful room with a lovely view. The bed and breakfast was wonderful. Absolutely gorgeous. It had a little path around the house with a beautiful garden. There’s a pool outside you can use. There’s also a little grass area in the back where children will enjoy playing. Breakfast was wonderful.
The bed and breakfast we stayed at is just outside of the city, so you need a car or taxi to get there.
Transportation: We left our car in the garage in , then took the boat across and just used taxis. In retrospect we would have been comfortable having our car there. The taxi was only 5 or 10 euros from the boat to the hotel though.
The Tangier market place can be a little rough, but it wasn’t that bad. We enjoyed it. We just stopped in on the morning we were leaving. I had a lady yell at me for taking a picture of her spices. I talked to another American girl who had a lady throw potatoes at her for taking pictures. On the other hand, we tried to buy a carrot for my son from the market and the lady gave it to him for free. Other than that it was like any market. If you look very long the shop owner is right there encouraging you to buy things. You can haggle with the prices. We had fun there.
Evidently there is a palace and such that you can tour in Tangier, too. We just didn’t have time.
We had no idea what we wanted to do or see – I just wanted to see something different. The hotel made a few suggestions, but Chefchauoen and a little beach town were at the top of their lists. We decided on Chefchauoen b/c we only had one day. The taxi was 100 euro for the day – the entire day. The hotel arranged the taxi for us. He picked us up and drove us to Chefchauoen. He pointed out a few things on our drive and answered our questions along the way. When we got there he hired a guide for us (only 10 euro for the day). The guide stayed with us while we were in Chefchauoen. He showed us around town, took us into the little shops and introduced us to some of the owners, who in turn showed us around their shop and told us about their trade. After the tour the guide recommended a place for lunch. When we were finished eating he came back and took us shopping. It was great to have a translator and someone who knew what everything was. Then he took us back to our taxi driver, who had just been hanging out and waiting for us. Our taxi driver tried to take us back a different route along the coast so we could see something different, but evidently the roads had changed since he was last there. He got a little bit lost, but he was very sweet. Then he took us into and recommended a place for dinner along the lines of what we wanted (something quick, but good and we wanted seafood). It was delicious. He waited outside and then took us back to our hotel after dinner.
The tour guide in Chefchaouen said that if we were staying longer, he could take us into some of the surrounding area so that we could see how people live day to day. It was very different. Arabic is the dominant language, with most everyone speaking a second language of Spanish, French, or English in varying degrees of fluency.
Safety: We did feel safe, but we were rarely by ourselves.
Health: We did eat the produce and drink water straight from the mountain stream (part of the Chefchaouen tour, we felt rude declining) with no ill side effects.
The Culture: On the drive between cities there were a lot of tiny villages where women were still gathering water from the wells. There were a lot of men out, but not so many women. Particularly in the little restaurants and shops we passed. In Chefchaoen they have a little covered patio area where the women go to wash the clothes. My son wanted to try washing his shirt. The guide said, “No. That is only for women.” and took us to see something else. I thought it was a little funny. He didn’t treat me disrespectfully or anything though. I felt very comfortable.”