No, we were not on a freighter despite our docking at an industrial port. Nonetheless, our chariots (buses) awaited us.  I thought they would wisk us alway to storybook Moroccan locations.  We may even be taken to the casbah!

There are three more ports we are visiting before we start the 7-day trek across the Atlantic. First up is Agadir, Morocco.  There weren’t very many photo ops, but I’ll include all of them here.  This is one port I was really looking forward to seeing and, unfortunately, it was…was…I am looking for the word and “dreadful” is the only one that comes to mind.  Now, I have to confess that I am a timid traveler, pretty reserved and not likely to easily take on foreign obstacles. What the heck does that mean?  Well…

moroc1The day before a cruise ship arrives at a port there is always a “briefing” presented live and later on the ship’s television system that informs you all about the location.  You will learn about key tourist spots to visit, where to shop and eat and general information about logistics, currency and things to beware of. For Agadir it was that latter item that took up most of the briefing.

It was easy to tell out cruise director did not like Agadir.  He gave us a list of warnings:

  • Wash your hands constantly
  • Don’t wear any jewelry or watches
  • Wash your hands constantly
  • Beware of pickpockets, especially if someone approaches you and another is nearby. This is a setup whereby the first person will distract you while the other picks your pocket.
  • Don’t drink the water.
  • Wash your hands constantly
  • Women should not wear sleeveless blouses…exposing a shoulder is disrespectful.
  • The market is fun and interesting, but don’t expect to see anything special and always haggle
  • Wash your hands constantly

moroc2After the warnings came a few comments about Agadir’s more attractive features…but I do not recall any of them.  My inclination, given all the “not to do’s” we were warned about, was to stay on the ship and not even bother visiting Agadir.  My wife and I decide to go anyway.  When one has come halfway around the world and Morocco has always been a vision of exotic wonder, one cannot simply bypass the opportunity.

On the outset, here’s what we did wrong. First, since we were not sure we wanted to go, we abandoned our group.  Second, we went, but decided not to take the extra cab ride to the market which turned out to be the only viable thing to see in Agadir. So what did we see?  Well, here are the impressions that have stayed with me:

  • A lady in the gutter of the roadway, brushing through dirt as if panning for gold, obviously looking for anything of value, whatever that may be.
  • A man attempting to find a comfortable position as he lie on the side of the road, in the dirt.
  • Three ragtag soldiers patrolling the street, two with automatic weapons. I was tempted to take their picture but I figured they might object, take my camera and smash it…or maybe even shoot me or put me in jail for the next fifty years.
  • Dirt and dust everywhere
  • Decaying infrastructure
  • Two cab drivers physically shoving each other in front of our parked bus. One seemed to have invaded the other’s turf.
  • A 4-5 block walk through a depressed downtown-like environment that featured mostly closed businesses, a McDonald’s knockoff and trash.

moroco3Needless to say, we should have followed our instincts and stayed on the ship, our fantasy vision of Morocco ruined forever.  I am sure there are parts of it that would have lived up to our expectations…but not in Agadir.  One other note:  the ship’s daily newsletter told us that Agadir is “internationally coined as the “Miami of Morocco.”  Go figure.



About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    Ron…isn’t that “THE” Miami of Ohio?


  2. rcarmean says:

    OK. You’ve seen Miami of Florida. And, now, you’ve seen Miami of Morocco. Is Miami of Ohio next on your list?


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