The traveler shared his experience of moving around the country in a pandemic
Founder and head of the tourist club “Wolf” Dmitry Alyoshkin, having traveled 160 countries, posted on Facebook a memo for tourists about the situation in Morocco. “You can’t go outside at night, the desert is closed, you can’t swim in the ocean, there isn’t a single tourist on the streets, prices have doubled – Morocco has changed a lot,” Dmitry warns. Considering that Morocco receives guests from Russia, with the permission of the author, the editorial staff shares his material with the readers of HotLine.travel.
A pandemic is sweeping the planet. The more developed a country is, the stronger the changes in ordinary life. Africa is no exception. In poorer countries, everything is easier. In Morocco, which in recent years has developed the fastest on the continent, restrictions are comparable to those in Europe.
Entry into the country is closed for all Europeans, except for Russians. Flights canceled. You can fly either from Moscow or from New York. Or from several Arab countries. The customs office asks for either a hotel reservation or an invitation. This was not the case before.
After 8 pm you can’t travel around the country by car. There are checkpoints all around. We got to Ramadan, that is, all the cafes are closed during the day. And after 8 pm they are already closed due to the curfew.
For several days we ate rolls and what you can buy in the shops during the day. Later we learned to book tables in “closed” restaurants, where, letting us in, they immediately closed the doors. The bill in such establishments is 3 times higher than in ordinary street cafes.
Fez, Marrakech, Chefchaouen were depopulated. There are no tourists from the word “absolutely”. For this reason, all the helpers, sellers, guides rushed at us, as if at a loophole. It was almost impossible to get rid of them. For them, we were the only way to make money.
We have not seen any masks in public, except at train stations and at the airport. And the ban on movement after 8 pm was very conditional. There are patrols in modern areas, and in Medina life is in full swing. Everyone eats, drinks tea, smokes. The police only block the entrances and exits from the old part of the city. And inside, everything goes on as usual.
Ocean beaches are closed. There are prohibition signs, security prevents swimming (with the exception of hotel areas in Agadir). We had to travel out of town to the open ocean. It is good that common sense prevails among ordinary Moroccans over prohibitions and restrictions.
At the same time, the infrastructure in the country has significantly changed for the better in recent years. Benches, trash cans, sidewalks, lighting, no garbage cans – 3 years ago there was nothing like this in Morocco yet. Even trains and buses started running on time, sometimes arriving at the terminal station ahead of schedule. New roads are being built, new neighborhoods are growing on the outskirts of cities. But orange juice in a deserted square of Marrakech now costs 10 instead of 2 dirhams.
Outwardly, in terms of living standards, Morocco is ahead of some European countries – Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria. Hence the rise in prices.
Traveling around the country has become much easier, but also much more expensive. The feeling of Africa has disappeared altogether. Rather, this is what Spain may look like in 20 years, when the percentage of the Arab population grows there.
Traveling in the coronavirus has become more difficult and more expensive. But it is possible. Tickets have to be taken almost before departure, since flights are canceled almost every week. You need to have covid certificates for different dates. They can be asked anywhere at any time, and the date must be no older than 72 hours. And the main thing is the desire and understanding of why you are going to the country. It will never be as simple as before.
Author: Dmitry Alyoshkin