Enjoyed Moroccan guide

By Liz Stack
This item appears on page 49 of the August 2017 issue.

Youssef Kharroubi (left) and Liz’s husband, Josh Rosenblum. Photo by Liz Stack

My husband and I learned about Youssef, an intelligent and resourceful guide, from another reader’s letter, “Guide in Marrakech” (Feb. ’17, pg. 28), but I wanted to write a letter of my own as he was that good.

I highly recommend Youssef Kharroubi (y.kharroubi@yahoo.com), who we hired in Marrakech, Morocco, Feb. 20-25, 2017.

He was very open with us about the wonderful aspects of the Moroccan people, their diversity, richness and generosity, while clarifying misconceptions Westerners may have about Islam. He also was open to hearing about our culture, experiences and background. We felt it was a great exchange of cultural understanding.

We very much enjoyed his historical knowledge and his nuanced approach to guiding us based on our preferences and personalities. 

Everywhere he took us was amazing. He knew the best place to ride camels, and he introduced us to a hammam fire keeper and Berber musician in the medina as well as to a charming rug dealer. He also arranged a driver for us for a day-long expedition to the Atlas Mountains.

The first time we hired Youssef and a driver, we paid about $140 for a 6-hour day, including transportation but not museum entry fees, camel rides or meals. This was for my husband, our teenage daughter and myself. On another day, when we had less need for a driver, we paid Youssef about $120, mainly for visiting the souks, or markets, of Marrakech.

Paying him that day was absolutely worth it for his help navigating the souks and doing some fun shopping. He took us into the deepest parts of the souks, where artisans crafted iron gates, lanterns, locks and leatherwork in fascinating ancient spaces in maze-like alleys, gates and courtyards. He knew the best shops and was invaluable in helping us communicate with shopkeepers and haggle for better prices.

He also introduced us to great restaurants and cafés.

Youssef helped make our time in Marrakech amazing. It was just what we hope for when we travel.

LIZ STACK
Rockville Centre, NY