I have booked a few of our accommodations for the trip now. We don't want to prearrange the entire trip by any means, but sometimes you come across things that just sound a bit too enticing to pass up. Not that you always make the right choice, but that's part of the Joy Of Travelling 101, First Lesson: Be Flexible And Take It As It Comes.
We also like to make sure that at certain times you just don't have to worry, for example when first arriving in a new country. With that in mind we have looked at Casablanca but not arranged anything yet. We sent out a couple of Couchsurfing feelers but so far not had any luck in either Casa (first night) or Amstersdam (last 2 or 3).
Not a big deal as we still have lots of time. We did however decide to bite the Euro Bullet and book a place in Amsterdam here for our last few nights at the end of June. That city is not cheap with even quite expensive hostels and we wanted to be able to relax and enjoy the city and not the bedbugs. At $95 Euro a night it better not have any.
In Morocco we have been trying to make sure we spend time in at least one Riad. A Riad is a traditional house design similar to a Roman or Spanish Villa, with little in the way of design feature or even windows facing the outside, but the aspect of the rooms mostly facing inward to a central courtyard or garden. It makes for a calming, cooling atmosphere but can often be quite palatial as well.
The original Riads in Morocco were inspired by the ancient Roman city of Volubulis, long in ruins, and just walking distance (3km) from the first such home we will stay at in one of the holiest towns in all of Morocco, Moulay Idriss. In fact Moulay Idriss could kind of be described as the "poor Moroccans Mecca" as it does serve that role for Muslim devotees who would find it hard to travel all the way to Mecca itself.
Our first stop after Casa will be a room here at Dar Zerhoune, which looks absolutely stunning. We came across this through a very interesting site which promotes preservation and restoration of the Riads and the Medinas (the walled and maze-like inner districts of older Arabic cities & towns). We also booked through this site our rooms in Pension Sakaya for our next stop in Fes. Looks pretty good for 300 Moroccan Dirham a night, about $35 Canadian.
In this blog, I don't want to borrow pictures from other sites, but would rather just use my own, buut what the heck...here is one from Pension Sakaya. I'll add my own when I have them!