GRcade Travel Topic

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still
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by still » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:56 pm

Morocco is amazing - a real culture shock. We went to Marrakesh and it was fantastic. i'll try and write more later if you wish - just wolfing down my lunch before going back out to work.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Dual » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:12 pm

SandyCoin wrote:Looking to go away in September but not 100% sure where.

My girlfriend wants to go to Lisbon, but the fact everyone seems to be going there puts me off. Whenever a place is called "hip, with street art and markets" I'm a little bit cautious these days, as that seems to be all anywhere wants to be now. It's a good price though, just 70 euros return.

Anyone been to Morocco? I've wanted to go for a while but not sure how realistic and easy it is. I imagine it would either be Marrakesh or Fes. I'd love to visit the Sahara but it's probably a bit of a pain from Marrakesh.

Also thinking of Greece. Anyone been? Any particular islands?


Went to Lesbos a few years ago which wasn't full of Instagrammers like Santorini and Mykonos. Only problem is now there's an immigrant camp on the island so that would put me off somewhat. Dont want to be sat on the beach if a boat load of Syrians comes ashore :lol:

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by SandyCoin » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:31 pm

still wrote:Morocco is amazing - a real culture shock. We went to Marrakesh and it was fantastic. i'll try and write more later if you wish - just wolfing down my lunch before going back out to work.


Cool, thanks.

As for Greek islands, I've not really got much knowledge of them. The best flights from here at to Thessaloniki, which looks relatively near some nice beach areas.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by smurphy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:38 pm

I'm in the rough planning stages of a trip to southern Spain and Morocco for later this year. Never been that fussed about Spain, but the flights are cheap as heck and I feel bad having been on holiday to two places I've already been this year whereas Spain is new to me. I'm sure it'll be great, and I've been getting really into Spanish food lately.

Morocco is what I'm really interested it, seems like a really interesting place and everyone I know who's been said it was awesome. Planning on moving south after getting the ferry from Spain to Tangier, then flying back from Marrakesh. No direct flights back to Scotland though which is a bit annoying.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by ITSMILNER » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:04 pm

Off to Zante, Greece on Monday for a week (going with a group of lads)

Anyone been before? Wonder what sort of things are available to do during the day? Also wondered what the night life is like

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Vermilion » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:05 am

Dual wrote:Went to Lesbos a few years ago


Ah yes, Lesbos, the island with the same name as low budget porn.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by SandyCoin » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:12 am

smurphy wrote:I'm in the rough planning stages of a trip to southern Spain and Morocco for later this year. Never been that fussed about Spain, but the flights are cheap as heck and I feel bad having been on holiday to two places I've already been this year whereas Spain is new to me. I'm sure it'll be great, and I've been getting really into Spanish food lately.

Morocco is what I'm really interested it, seems like a really interesting place and everyone I know who's been said it was awesome. Planning on moving south after getting the ferry from Spain to Tangier, then flying back from Marrakesh. No direct flights back to Scotland though which is a bit annoying.


That sounds good. From your research what are the places standing out for you in Morocco? Are you relying on public transport?

Someone I worked with is Moroccan and she mentioned a couple of nice looking places near the very north. Obviously Chefchaouen and Akchour waterfalls. Plus just the west of Marrakesh is Paradise Valley which looks pretty sexy too.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Hime » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:05 am

SandyCoin wrote:
smurphy wrote:I'm in the rough planning stages of a trip to southern Spain and Morocco for later this year. Never been that fussed about Spain, but the flights are cheap as heck and I feel bad having been on holiday to two places I've already been this year whereas Spain is new to me. I'm sure it'll be great, and I've been getting really into Spanish food lately.

Morocco is what I'm really interested it, seems like a really interesting place and everyone I know who's been said it was awesome. Planning on moving south after getting the ferry from Spain to Tangier, then flying back from Marrakesh. No direct flights back to Scotland though which is a bit annoying.


That sounds good. From your research what are the places standing out for you in Morocco? Are you relying on public transport?

Someone I worked with is Moroccan and she mentioned a couple of nice looking places near the very north. Obviously Chefchaouen and Akchour waterfalls. Plus just the west of Marrakesh is Paradise Valley which looks pretty sexy too.

I liked lots about Morocco but had some pretty bad experiences. In Agadir some guy sat at our table and started talking to me and my ex, once he found out that we weren't married he tried to get her to go to a party wth her and followed us back to our hotel. The next day we got the coach from Agadir to Marrakech which was incredibly easy. When we got there it turned out our road was right in the middle of the old town and the taxi driver didn't know where it was so he dumped us in the middle of the town with all our stuff and asked two guys to take us. I noticed someone following us and once we arrived they demanded all our money. The people.at the Riad were very nice about it and it was a lovely setting but my girlfriend hid her gold braclet in a bag in a bag in a bag among some other jewelry and noticed it went missing. We asked the manager if anything had been handed in and we heard him having a bust up with one of the members of stuff. He asked if he could try searching for it with a hoover but asked us to wait outside, the hoover was turned on for 30 seconds and as if by magic the braclet was on top of all the other dust :lol: .Other than that my girlfriend also got felt up at the night market.

Other than that it was quite nice.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by SandyCoin » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:29 am

Hime wrote:I liked lots about Morocco but had some pretty bad experiences. In Agadir some guy sat at our table and started talking to me and my ex, once he found out that we weren't married he tried to get her to go to a party wth her and followed us back to our hotel. The next day we got the coach from Agadir to Marrakech which was incredibly easy. When we got there it turned out our road was right in the middle of the old town and the taxi driver didn't know where it was so he dumped us in the middle of the town with all our stuff and asked two guys to take us. I noticed someone following us and once we arrived they demanded all our money. The people.at the Riad were very nice about it and it was a lovely setting but my girlfriend hid her gold braclet in a bag in a bag in a bag among some other jewelry and noticed it went missing. We asked the manager if anything had been handed in and we heard him having a bust up with one of the members of stuff. He asked if he could try searching for it with a hoover but asked us to wait outside, the hoover was turned on for 30 seconds and as if by magic the braclet was on top of all the other dust :lol: .Other than that my girlfriend also got felt up at the night market.

Other than that it was quite nice.


It's stuff like this that has put my girlfriend off, for obvious reasons. She wouldn't go on her own that's for sure. We actually know a female who went on her own and was fine, but I guess you never know.

Demanded all your money? As in mugged you? I really want to go, purely because it's very different to what I"m used to and I love Moroccan food. But I know being a white woman there might be a bit of a hassle, and obviously don't want her to have a gooseberry fool time and not feel comfortable. Perhaps it's more a place to go on my own.

How long did you go for? How many days in Marrakech?

I know I'd like Lisbon, but it's just all the strawberry floating Instagram bollocks and "hip Lisbon" articles that puts me off a tad and has me leaning towards Morocco. I just have this idea of walking down a street and seeing a nicely painted wall, then a queue of vain Instagram banana splits waiting to have a photo of them looking to the side taken :dread: .

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Preezy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:38 am

I have mostly fond memories of our trip to Marrakesh, we stayed in a beautiful Riad in the old town and were within walking distance of the main square (largest in Africa, apparently) and some of the old palaces.

But walking through the markets was endless hassle. Some of the sellers would get quite aggressive and one of them actually grabbed my arm to stop me leaving which I didn't appreciate. Most of them seemed to be Eastern European as opposed to Moroccan, but I'm sure even the natives can get quite tetchy at seeing (relatively) wealthy Europeans wandering around.

Very pervy with the wife as well, but whaddayagonnado? European women must seem like Ferraris.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Hime » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:47 am

SandyCoin wrote:It's stuff like this that has put my girlfriend off, for obvious reasons. She wouldn't go on her own that's for sure. We actually know a female who went on her own and was fine, but I guess you never know.

Demanded all your money? As in mugged you? I really want to go, purely because it's very different to what I"m used to and I love Moroccan food. But I know being a white woman there might be a bit of a hassle, and obviously don't want her to have a gooseberry fool time and not feel comfortable. Perhaps it's more a place to go on my own.

How long did you go for? How many days in Marrakech?

I know I'd like Lisbon, but it's just all the strawberry floating Instagram bollocks and "hip Lisbon" articles that puts me off a tad and has me leaning towards Morocco. I just have this idea of walking down a street and seeing a nicely painted wall, then a queue of vain Instagram banana splits waiting to have a photo of them looking to the side taken :dread: .

Yeah I guess we were mugged, we only had about £30 worth of Dihram but still it wasn't very nice.

The food was very good, I can't remember having a bad meal. A place called Cafe Arab in the old town sticks in my mind. Alcohol is really expensive though. I can't remember but I think we were there for about 5 days? In general the Riad was quite and romantic so it would be enjoyable as a couple but maybe don't stay out too late. We had to walk down pitch black alleys and a few times there were groups of people who would call my ex a bitch as we walked passed which was a bit intimidating. During the day it was fine though.

Would you consider somewhere else in Portugal? Alvor is great.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Dual » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:59 am

Sounds like a horrible place.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by SandyCoin » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:04 am

Hime wrote:Would you consider somewhere else in Portugal? Alvor is great.


Thanks for your feedback on Morocco. We shall have a think.

I'd like to see the Algarve region as it looks beautiful. I think Lisbon would be top though, especially as flights from Hamburg to Lisbon are strangely cheap compared to other areas. We would possibly get transport down south and see if there is a cheap place to stay for a night or so. It is a bit of a journey down south (3+ hours) so doubt we'd want it as a day trip.

Albania kind of appeals as well, purely for the amazing looking coast. For me Croatia has the best water I've ever been in, so I'm assuming Albania is similar, but less touristy.

I've been doing the "from Hamburg to anywhere" or "London to anywhere" to get some ideas. I was tempted by Cuba as the flights were pretty "cheap", but then I found out September is hurricane season :slol: Also, Zanzibar popped up. Looks lovely but I imagine it costs a fortune to stay in a relatively safe area in Africa, which is a shame.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Dual » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:29 am

[quote="SandyCoin"][/quote]

Have you considered Basque Coast in France and Spain?

Biarritz, San Sebastian and Bilbao are all very nice with good food and beaches. It's also a tad cooler than southern Mediterranean as its on the Atlantic.

Best part is they're not tourist traps. Only locals seemed to be there.

Last edited by Dual on Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Lotus » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:29 am

I haven't been to Marrakesh, but I've got friends who've been. Some of them said it was great and they had no issues, but another friend went with her sister and was pretty much followed the whole time; constant harassment (in the sense of being stalked basically), men waiting outside their hotel, etc. Might've been because it was just two young women by themselves (and one was blonde which was apparently a big deal :dread: ), but it sounded awful.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by smurphy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:51 pm

Some of you sound like you've never left western Europe before. These places are never violent (especially to tourists), you just have to stand up for yourself a bit.

SandyCoin wrote:That sounds good. From your research what are the places standing out for you in Morocco? Are you relying on public transport?

Someone I worked with is Moroccan and she mentioned a couple of nice looking places near the very north. Obviously Chefchaouen and Akchour waterfalls. Plus just the west of Marrakesh is Paradise Valley which looks pretty sexy too.

Tangier and Marrakesh are the main cities I'm interested in, Fes too, but I'm generally not a fan of short stops all over the place. Prefer to stick around for at least a few days to get a feel for the place. I want to visit the Atlas mountains and the desert, but I always find it a pain to get out of cities since I don't drive. We'd be using trains and buses mostly. Hadn't even heard of the places you mentioned. :shifty: Look awesome though, will check them out.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by gamerforever » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:07 am

Me and my wife went to marrakech last december: january to celebrate new years. I decided on using first choice as i knew the hotel would be decent and i could pick a variety of excursions. We chose to do a day trip to the atlas mountains, which was amazing. It included having mint tea at a local berber families home and lunch in the mountains. Other highlights were the day tour of marrakech, with the old town being a highlight and the camel ride. We were extremely lucky to get temperatures of around 25c for that time of the year.

I would say the food was average, but i am not a fan of moroccan cuisine.

It was mainly the white females that got hassled the most from local men and sellers. Generally i would say we were ok on that front.

I hear from friends that the clubs are where its at, but apparently 90% of the women in there are prostitutes who go and spend the night with you after and then the whole day too!

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Tomous » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:55 am

Anyone been Greek island hopping? Keen to go in September but a little overwhelmed with choice. I guess plan would be to fly into Athens and then get on a boat and come back 2 weeks later and fly home.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by still » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:22 pm

Dr Mr Coin, really sorry about the ridiculous delay in getting back to you on this..... I've just been very busy, honestly.

We had a fantastic holiday in Marrakesh a few years ago. We've basically been all around Europe - Spain, Portugal, Italy, Madeira, Lanzarote and other Canary Islands, Greece/Crete etc etc. The most exotic place we'd been before Morocco was Turkey but Morocco was something else. Basically it's another world, it's chaos from the moment you drive in on the the bus to your hotel from the airport - crazy, crazy traffic including thousands of mopeds, horses etc. (We went on a package holiday which is something we never normally do but this time it was the right choice. It's an incredibly over powering experience - the noise, the smells, the colours, yes, the endless hassle from would-be guides and street-hawkers (In the end you just learn to be very rude! You are seen as a walking cash-machine. (But then Amazon see you like that too!) A lot of the time we were very stressed - at one time we got hopelessly lost and ended up on some real back streets where I did not feel safe at all but apart from being stared at by everyone nothing happened. For the reason of it all being so over-powering you really need a sanctuary to stay at. We stayed at an all inclusive Riu complex - fenced and gated to keep the locals out! - about a half an hour's free bus ride out of town. You learn to love the hotel bus service as, when you've just had enough of the city it tales you back to sanctuary. You do need sanctuary. (The other option would be to stay at a Riad in the city itself.) Our Riu was not bad to be honest, the traditional Moroccan restaurant, which you had to book, served a variety of really excellent Tagines if you wanted to get away from 'normal' European all-you-can-eat stuff. You can obviously laze about and relax and gird your loins for another trip into Marrakech! Then you get the bus into town and from the moment you get off the bus - at first - they soon seem to realise if you have been in a few times - you get hassle!

However, the sights and the culture is amazing. A few of the places we visited;-

Jardin Majorelle - associated with Yves San Laurant, such amazing gardens we went twice. (Bear in mind I am a horticulturalist...) Also has a fantastic cafe - I particularly remember the trio of wonderful ice creams including a rose water one.

Marrakesh museum - really excellent - awe inspiring Islamic art.

Berber village for mint tea- the Berbers expect to be paid once you've visited their house!

Madrassa Ben Youssef - fascinating.

The Medina - a total and utter maze - you will get lost! - it is stressful! If you like haggling - we don't! - good fun.

The night market in Jeema el Fina Square - er we bottled it and only went in the day time. (Facepalm.) My braver brother who went to Marrakech before us and persauded us to go loved it though. He also went one night on his own and walked all the way back to the same out-of-town hotel we stayed at in the early hours with a pack of stray dogs for company but otherwise no trouble (His marriage was going tits-up at the time so he really didn't care!)

El Badi Palace - ruins!

The Saadian Tombs - tombs and ruins!

Menara Park - we walked for miles to this one in the searing heat - mad we were!

Last year a new 'secret' garden by a very well known English designer opened and is supposed to be excellent - the photos certainly suggest that it is.

So that's what I remember fo Marrakech. Like nowhere else we have ever been - crazy, stressful, like stepping back in time, certainly a total other culture - a true culture shock! But by the end of our time we were starting to find places where we could avoid hassle, like a little ice-cream parlour we used to go to whilst waiting for the return bus. The place is a massive adrenalin injection and can over whelm you at the time. Some people handle this better than others. But when we got back to England we both felt that we should immediately go back! We'd got the bug. (We never have - it's a big world out there...)

Sorry for the rather random, chaotic sprawl. I've just tried to remember what I can.

On safety - we were told that there are lots of 'secret police' watching the locals so that it is actually very safe. You get massive hassle but there only so far people can go - if they over step the mark they are arrested and spend a night in clink.Women are hassled - I remember two young girls on their own but they seemed to manage to cope.

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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Vermilion » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:23 pm

One of the main highlights from my recent alpine tour...



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