Dror Sinai

Keeping Life Alive

2010 Morocco Tour



I invite you to join & share the experience and travel with me to meet the tribal musicians and dancers of Morocco and to share this extraordinary spiritual, cultural & musical Journey of a lifetime…

Feel free to contact me with questions dror@rhythmfusion.com


MOROCCO May 28 – June 7, 2010

(EXTENSION-Extended itinerary for the Sacred Music Festival in Fes

available from June 7-13, 2010 see below)

May 28     Casablanca (D)

Upon your arrival in Casablanca airport you will be met by our guide who will transfer you to your hotel.  A late afternoon orientation tour of Casablanca will be offered to everyone in the group who can make it.  This will feature the Habbous old Casablanca, the down town colonial area, the Anfa residential area and Corniche resort coast line.  Dinner and accommodation will be at Hotel Suisse.

May 29:   Marrakech (B,D)

After breakfast we will travel to Marrakech in our deluxe group bus.  Upon arrival we will check into our riad right at the Ancient principal gate of Marrakech Bab Rabb, “The gate of God” where you will check in and relax for the remainder of the morning. Later in the afternoon you will go on an introductory tour of monumental Marrakech featuring ramparts and gates, gardens and Jamaa el Fna square where you will enjoy a mint tea at the roofs of Café de France overlooking the never ending entertainment of this square, street musicians, acrobats, story tellers, snake charmers, fortune tellers and others each entertain his circle of a faithful audience. Dinner and accommodation are at your riad with an introduction to drumming Dakka of Marrakech in theory and practice by Dror and Moulay Ahemd Maallem http://www.riadomar.com

May 30:   Marrakech (B,D)

After breakfast, the group will have a guided tour of Marrakech, the southern pearl of Morocco. You will discover the Palace of the Bahia, the Saadian Tombs, Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and many other hidden treasures.  After lunch, you will continue with the tour on to the magnificent Koutoubia Mosque and the famous Djemaa el-Fna, one of the center attractions of Marrakech.  The tour will conclude with an exploration of  the souk (market) lined with fresh fruit, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets and many other art objects of Morocco.  Dinner will be taken at Dar Dmanaa restaurant or near the big square. An Andalucian Band performing Moorish Music will present on your behalf. We will brief on this type of music so you can enjoy it feel free to dance and participate.  We will arrange for Andalusian music of Muslim and Sephardic Jewish traditions.  Return to Riad Omar for the night.

May 31:  Marrakech – Eurika Valley

Travel to the nearby valley of Eurika to explore some of the best cliff hanging villages and natural vistas also be a part of a Berber day markets where nomads will come from different valleys to trade and barter.  At the mean time discover Jewish history of thousands of years in this valley, pay homage to the shrine of one of our well venerated kabalist Rabbi Shlimo ben LHench meet with a Berber Jewish family there.  Through the Synagogue of Eurika we will meet with in the plot of a poor farmers and plant 2 fruit trees for each participants of our group as a donation to this Berber community very much in need.  Return to Marrakech, the afternoon will be devoted to Sufi Music at the shrine of Moul Laksour. Issawa drummers will be there to do Dhikr and Hadra drumming session.  Dinner will be at the hotel.

June 1:     Marrakech / Ouarzazate (B,D) 4 HOURS DRIVE

After breakfast you will depart for Ouarzazate over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tichka Pass. Keep your eyes open for the Berber villages tucked away in the mountain side. Upon arrival in Ouarzazate, lunch will be available at tichka Berber restaurant.  In the afternoon, you will tour Aït Benhaddou, one of the world’s most magnificent Kasbahs, this setting has been used for more films than any other location in Morocco; films including, Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, and recently The Gladiator.  You will return to Ouarzazate for the evening and spend the night at a hotel there.  Dinner will be taken at a local restaurant. An Ahouach of Ouarzazate local band will be present to offer you the best of its local Berber music.  Hotel: Riad Tichka Salam (no website yet)

June 2:     Ouarzazate  / Todra Gorges (B, D) 3-4 HOURS DRIVING

After breakfast you will continue onwards on your journey along the road of 1000 kasbahs.  On route, you may have time to visit the beautiful Kasbahs of Taourirt and Tifoulout, and the Dades Valley before arriving at Tinerhir where you will have time to explore the gorges.  Dinner will be served in your hotel.  Hotel: Kasbah Lamrani: http://www.kasbahlamrani.com

June 3:    Todra Gorges / Erfoud / Sahara (B, L, D)

In the morning you will travel onwards to Erfoud from which you depart by 4×4 to the edge of the dunes at Auberge Dunes d’Or http://www.aubergedunesdor.com in the afternoon you will visit a Gnawa village and learn a bit about their music and background and have a chance to listen to them play.  From there you set off in the evening on camel for a 2-hour trek out to the oasis where you will spend the night in Berber tents.  While in the Oasis you will be entertained and able to sing and play along as your guides bring out their drums and start a mini concert among the sand dunes. The Rokba Troupe of Ait Atta will come and share a great drumming and dancing circle.

June 4:     Erfoud  (B, D) 1 hour drive about

After an early breakfast and the camel trek out of the dunes, you will have time to relax a little at the Auberge, possibly taking a swim in their small pool before taking the 4×4 back to Erfoud.  You may want to visit the fossil workshop where they saw huge slabs of rock to reveal the fossils hidden within.  It is fascinating to see how much skilled hand labor is involved creating the highly polished items available in the small shop there.  An excursion to the Holy City of Rissani will be offered to those who wish to explore the history and life in the Ziz valley surrounding Ksours and oases. Visit the Library, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Chriff the the founder of the actual Alaouite dynasty.  In the evening we will arrange to have a Malhoun band come and play for our group.  Erfoud is the birth place of this Art form since the 12th century.  Hotel: Hotel Belere http://www.belerehotels.com

June 5:         Erfoud / Midelt – Fez (B,D) 4 HOURS OF DRIVING

Leaving Erfoud the next morning you begin your ascent up across the Middle Atlas Mountains following the Ziz River valley. Most of the day will be spent winding our way through the beautiful forests, jagged rock faces, and Berber villages as we cross the Atlas Mountains and begin to descend towards Fes. Half way, we will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks.  Check in the Kasbah for lunch then we will continue on to Fez.   After lunch you will drive the remaining four hours to Fes.  Along the way you will pass through beautiful forests, Berber villages and the French town of Ifrane.  Upon arrival in Fes you can check into your hotel and explore the city a bit. (If we arrive early enough) A guide will meet us in the hotel to take us on an introductory tour of the Medina.  The evening will be devoted to Bab Makina Fes festival concerts.

June 6:     Fes (B,D)

You will spend the entire day exploring the Medina of Fez and discovering its fascinating Souks.

Fez stimulates the senses with its haunting yet beautiful sounds, visual splendor, and evocative smells.  The most ancient of imperial capitals and the most complete medieval city of the Islamic world, Fez is reminiscent of a city suspended in time.  It is unfazed by the constantly evolving world outsides its walls and owes nothing to the Western world save electricity.  Time spent in Fez will reveal much about the sophistication of the Moroccan artisan, providing an unparalleled learning experience to those who cross its path.  Our specialized guide will take you on a historic discovery of the city of Fez starting at the Kings Palace and its Meshwar with ramparts and majestic gates in the Jewish quarter, a 15th century citadel with its Moorish maze architecture and medieval glory. Visits to Sephardic synagogues and mausoleums of holy Rabbis will be the highlights of this part of town.  Then we will drive to the Merinids hill to visit their necropolis where you will enjoy the best panoramic view of the Old Walled Medina, brimming with all its countless minarets calling the faithful to prayers in a city that has responded to these calls for 12 centuries.  Drive down the hill to the gate of Bab Guissa to leave your vehicle and enter a world that belongs to an ancient time.  Fez has conserved its integrity and the Medina is still as it was centuries ago. Not even a bicycle is able to be used as a tool of transportation.  Only donkeys, mules and horses are able to help move everything the city produces and needs as supplies.  The first guilds you will immediately encounter are the cobblers, then the saddlers and black smiths interlaced by some caravansaries for tribesmen who come from the surrounding areas to trade and supply their needs.  Down the hill to Juteya you will encounter all sorts of crafts but noticeably carpenters and leather workers as one of the traditional tanneries is not far.  This walk will lead you to El ashabine square with its different activities. From there we will wind our way to the Sgha square which will lead us to Attarine, then souk el henna and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris, the founder of Fez.  Next to it, you will visit the Nejjarine square with its famous fountain, its guild of carpentry, the museum of folk arts at the Fondouk, the tannery, and on to visit the great Mosque university of Al Quarrawiyyine.  You will then pass by the market of dried fruits, the Medersa Attarine to the Sbetryyine book binders, the Seffarine Square where the tapping of metalworkers is still deafening to passersby as it has been for centuries.  You will break for lunch and then continue exploring the marvels of the Fez Medina.  These will be highlighted by the Dyers souk, Foundouk Tetouani, the shrine of Sidi Ahmed Tijani, and then on to foundouk Lihoudi where a family will host you for a traditional mint tea in their home.  Return to your hotel for dinner then we will transfer you to the Bab Makina for the festival concert.

June 7:  Fez / Casablanca – Home

Transfer to the airport of Casablanca those who are living back home.  There is an extension opportunity of those who wish to stay for the Sacred Music Festival of Fez.

What is included

9 nights accommodation Half Board in Hotels and Inns as indicated in the itinerary

Breakfast and dinner daily

Land Transportation in a deluxe bus throughout your journey

4X4 and Camels in the Sahara Bivouac over the dunes

Services of guides and escort

Music bands and troupes as indicated in the itinerary

All taxes and fees to monuments and Musieums

Two ticket to evening concert Fez festival

Hotel Used

Marrakech: Riad Omar, or Hotel Grand Imilchil, 3 nights

Ouarzazate: Tichka Salam, 1 night

Tinghir: Kasbah Lamrani, 1 night

Erfoud: Belere Hotel, 1 night, Bivouac over the dunes 1 night

Fez: Hotel hotel Nouzha, 2 nights

EXTENSION -Extended itinerary for the Sacred Music Festival in Fes

from June 7-13, 2010 see below

June 7: Fez

You will have the entire morning at your leisure, free to do whatever you please.  In the afternoon, you will attend the afternoon concerts, followed by dinner and the Festival’s evening events.

June 8: Fez

Your morning will be spent at your leisure, and after lunch, you will journey to go to the afternoon concert at Dar Batha.  The evening concerts will be at Bab Makina.

June 9: Fez

In the early morning, you will enjoy a sunrise Sufi ceremony offered over the Merinides dynasty necropolis looking East for a dramatic sunrise over the sleeping giant of the 9th century Medina.  Return to the Medina for breakfast and relax.  An excursion to Sidi Harazem thermal springs is offered in the afternoon.  Evening festival concert will be at Bab Makina.

June 10: Fez – Sefrou – B’Halil – Fez

Your day will include an optional day trip to the ancient Jewish city of Sefrou.  Predating Fez by a thousand years, Sefrou once played a vital role as the last stop for the sub-Saharan caravans transporting goods to the European markets.  There, you will visit the shrine of Sidi Lahcen Al Yussi, a venerated Sufi master who was considered the guardian of Sefrou.  In addition, you will visit the mausoleums of other Rabbis, as well as the city’s synagogues.  On your return trip to Fez, you will visit the ancient Christian village of B’Halil, which is known for its distinctive troglodyte dwellings.  Upon your arrival at Fez, you will attend the Festival’s evening events.

June 11: Fez

In the morning, you will attend a lecture, followed by the Festival’s afternoon events at the Dar Batha museum, dinner, and the evening Festival events at Bab Makina, the court of the King’s palace.

June 12: Fez

You will spend your morning visiting the Andalucian part of the Medina, where you will learn the history of the settler Moors, who arrived from Spain during the 13th century.  The Festival’s afternoon concerts with take place at Dar Batha, followed by dinner and the Festival’s closing ceremony.

June 13: Fez – Casablanca – Home

You will take an early morning drive to Casablanca airport to connect with your flight back home accompanied by memories that will last you a lifetime.

16th Annual World Sacred Music Festival & Tour

What is included:

Accommodations in 3 stars hotel, including breakfast and dinner.

Land transportation to specified events

Assistance from local guides

Fees for monuments, museums, and Festival activities

Sufi music gatherings in Moroccan homes in the Medina of Fez

Baggage handling and restaurant taxes

Transfer to Casablanca airport

Hotel Used

Fez: Hotel Nouzha, 6 nights

Note:  Concert tickets to the festival are not included.

We found that a festival pass may be too expansive and individuals may choose different and not all concerts to attend so, we chose to let everyone got the tickets for the concert they want to attend on the spot.

(Last year tickets were always avail. range of $15-$25 each )

*Itinerary may change without early notice.

*The pace, culture, values and timing in Morocco are very different than ours, please expect delays and changes already!  We still can have great and deep exploration and much fun.

*I put together the itinerary according to my passion, what I liked & enjoyed the most.

With signing below you agree to release me (Dror Sinai) from any liability that may occur.

*Please make sure to purchase a travel insurance when you purchase your air ticket.

* Make sure you have your passport ready and valid.

Can’t wait for another magical journey.

Keep Life Alive

Dror Sinai

po box 3226

Santa Cruz, Ca. 95063




www.drorsinai.com/    http://drorsinai.com/



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