We Don’t Want a Tour Guide in Moulay Idriss

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Another great day in Morocco.

Except for the mild tummy problems, but we have all sorts of medicines for that (and a toilet).

And there was that “guide” at Moulay Idriss, Morocco’s holiest town that only recently opened to non-Muslims to spend a night.

We didn’t spend the night.

We didn’t hire a guide either.

But that didn’t stop the guide.

He chased our taxi as we entered the Souq.  For quite a ways actually.

Then when we got out, he offered his services.  For just 150 dirham he would show us the town and all it’s secrets – that is the areas that non-Muslim’s can enter.  We had read our Lonely Planet Guide to Morocco, and we could see just how small the town was, so we gently declined.

Hubby simply said, “No thank you, we don’t need a guide.”

Well, apparently hubby glanced over at me before saying it, and I made that face.  You know the one “are you kidding me, even if we did need a guide we would get an official one and we would never pay that much” – that was the look, but I didn’t say a word.

The guide must have seen.  For the next 10 minutes the very abridged version of conversation went like this:

“Madam, I can show you . . . .(really, I wasn’t listening)”

“No thank you, we don’t want a guide.”

“Madam, you should go this way”

“No thank you, we don’t want a guide.” Then to the officer at the entrance to the mosque, “May I take a photo”

Officer “Yes

Guide “Madam, I can help you so you will know what you can photograph.”

“No thank you, we don’t want a guide.”

“Madam, you are going the wrong way, you need a guide.  How much do you think is fair”

“No thank you, we don’t want a guide, Now please go away.”

“Give me 100 dirham, and I will go away.”

“Are you kidding me?  Go away.  I am not giving you money.  I told you, I don’t want a guide.”

I can’t decide if it was funny or annoying. So in the end, we never made it up to the top to see the view, but I did get a photo as we approached the white washed village:

whitewashed houses of Moulay Idriss

We also never saw the only round minaret in Morocco.  Nor did we see the famous tomb (although I am pretty sure we would not have been allowed inside anyway).  Who knows, maybe we did need a guide, but certainly not for that kind of money, which isn’t really a lot in New Zealand dollars, but it was quite a bit in comparison with other guides we have had.

It was still a fun visit and we bought some bananas – a new staple food for us.

Here is a poster of the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss

Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, Moulay Idriss, MoroccoMausoleum of Moulay Idriss by Walter Bibikow

And some of my photos:

Moulay Idriss

morocco mosque

Moulay Idriss morocco

Moulay Idriss

And if all that wasn’t enough, the taxi engine wouldn’t start when we returned.  Our driver hopped out and started pushing us backwards, lining us up to go downhill.  Then a few of his mates joined in, and suddenly we were coasting downhill until the engine turned over.

What do you think, did we need a guide?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this page ©Rhonda Albom 2012

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About Rhonda Albom

When I met my hubby he was looking for a traveling companion. Together we have moved to New Zealand and visited over 42 countries, most with our now teenage girls. Things rarely go as planned, and generally we have an amusing tale to tell. That's what Laugh Quotes is about - the fun side of our adventures and our expat life.


  1. Wow you all look ass though you are having such a wonderful time! great to see your photos and find out how you are all doing! lots of love to the Girls too!

    Lisa , Iain and Rebecca

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