But why are you going to Morocco?

A lot of people have asked us that question. My initial flippant response is to say, why not? But we do have some practical reasons.
All year long, we squirrel up our frequent flier miles, earning them for shopping, dining, gasoline, etc. Then we look for a destination and partner airlines that will allow us to use them, and hopefully manage to shave a few bucks off the typically exorbitant plane fares.
Another factor to consider is the exchange rate. The Moroccan monetary unit is the dirham, and the rate fluctuates between nine and ten dirhams to the US dollar. Our money goes very far here!
Hotel rooms are one of the great bargains in Morocco. The priciest place we stayed was a very elegant restored 18th century riad in Meknes, which cost $120 for a night. It was a suite with canopied double bed, sitting area, small table, and an elegant bathroom that included both a shower and claw-foot tub.
The suite in which we are currently camping costs $85 per night, including breakfast on the terrace. It is spacious and comfortable, with wooden shutters on the three windows so that we can keep out the cold night air. There’s also a large bathroom which is up to American standards. There are two couches, a small armoire, and several end tables. The woodwork throughout is painted in the colorful Moroccan style – even the high ceiling has painted trim work.
Coffee is not very popular here; the drink of choice is mint tea. This morning, after a nice walk along the river, Craig and I stopped at a little cafe for a rest. Forty-five minutes of people watching and two glasses of very sweet mint tea cost us $1.20. Tips are not expected, either, but are appreciated.
We have established a lazy rhythm to our days. Craig gets up first and heads out for a walk around town, while I slowly drag myself to consciousness. We have a late breakfast, then wander around town until we get hungry. Then we head to our favorite restaurant, Aladdin’s, which has five different floors and excellent views from each. The weather has been cooperative enough that we eat outside every day. A full meal, including Nescafé and dessert, costs from 85 – 120 dirhams (less than $12.) The waiters never rush the patrons. In fact, I’m writing this blog after another leisurely lunch on the fourth floor open air terrace. We avoid the bright sun and the cats, who are more numerous than customers today.
After more strolling, we usually buy a few snacks before calling it a day. When we return to our hotel, Casa Perleta, our hosts always serve us mint tea as we sit by the fireplace in the lobby to take advantage of the wifi connection. Then we head back upstairs to our rooftop room for a snack and a little reading. Six lovely pastries set me back 20 dirhams each – about 20 cents. We don’t find prices like that at Cross Roads or Maryann’s! A bottle of soda was 60 cents.
As far as shopping goes, we are holding off on leather purchases until Fes. But the hand knitted hats and socks here are irresistible. And at 25 dirhams, cheap enough to purchase in quantity. Plus, the Hat Man knocks a little off the price if you buy several pieces.

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