We had an incredible time doing a 4-day 3-night trip from Marrakech to Fes via the Atlas Mountains and the desert with Youssef and Mohommad who picked us up promptly from our Riad. Youssef, our guide, felt like family quite quickly and we felt comfortable with him immediately. Our driver was nice as well but didn't speak much on the trip - though we appreciated his careful driving. Youssef spoke French and English very well (we were travelling from Vancouver Island in Canada and practicing our French), of course he also speaks Berber and Arabic combined. They were both SO kind and engaging with our 6 year old daughter. This really was the best part. Youssef was always looking out for her in situations like crossing streets or in the busy Souks and she felt totally at ease with him which helped us relax too. We had a great time with them and really appreciated being able to hear about the local Berber history, the politics of the region, the customs and about the Moroccon culture as well. Our daughter loved Youssef so much that on the last day she cried saying goodbye. There were some really sweet moments as well like meeting Mohommad's mum when we stopped in at a local kindergarten she helps run and looking at some of the incredible gardens made from spring water coming straight out of the desert. We asked to skip a few more commercial things and Youssef was very accommodating. The highlight was going into the desert to stay in the plushest luxury tents built by Said, the owner of the business who is also an incredibly gracious, kind and energetic host. Our daughter loved playing in the sand dunes and riding on the Dromedary (camel) and I was given the option to walk for the entire 1.5hr trip back to our driver and guide the next day which I really appreciated. Our favourite place we stopped for a meal was a small chicken rotisserie snack stand where mostly Moroccans were dining and was much better than food served at the spots where large tourist groups were stopping (I didn't even get food at those restaurants). I would have liked to skip those all together. We made it clear that we were interested in history and geography rather than shopping and Youssef was very keen to give us what we wanted. The only time we went anywhere that had actual shopping was a Moroccan Souk that had people selling dates, fresh veg + fruit, was not at all geared to tourists and even had a parking lot for donkeys! Our daughter really loved that. I was in awe of the sights/sounds and loved how affectionate strangers were with our daughter offering her food, smiling at her, speaking to her and tolerating her silliness at different times too! All of Morocco was very kid friendly actually and it only deepened our affection for Moroccan people as well as their culture.
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