Monday, November 19, 2018

More snow this week for the High and Middle Atlas mountains

More snow is expected this week for the High and Middle Atlas mountains, with a predicted snowfall of 1 meter and 7 centimeters. Cloudy skies and rain showers are forecast in the Rif, Souss, the Oriental, the Mediterranean, northern and central regions, and the southern provinces

Gusts of chilly wind are expected in the northern and central Atlantic coats.

Top temperatures for Monday vary between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius in the reliefs; 5 and 11 degrees Celsius in the Oriental, Saiss, Oulmes, the southeastern regions, and the Phosphates Plateau; and 11 to 16 degrees Celsius in the southern provinces.

Low temperatures range from 4 to 10 degrees Celsius in the reliefs, 10 to 15 degrees Celsius in the eastern highlands, the Phosphates Plateau, Oulmes, and the southeastern slopes; 15 to 20 degrees Celsius in the Saiss, Souss, and the Atlantic plains; and 21 to 26 degrees Celsius in the southern provinces.

Sea levels are moderate to high in the Strait of Gibraltar, Tan-Tan, Boujdour, and the Mediterranean.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Happy Independence Day Morocco

Today is Eid Al Istiqlal, the commemoration of Morocco’s Independence Day.  It also celebrates the return of the royal family from exile in 1955

Morocco freed itself from the French colonial rule on March 2, 1956, while independence was granted from Spain a month later on April 7, 1956. Although Morocco gained its independence on March 2, the North African country commemorates the anniversary of independence on November 18 instead, at the request of late King Hassan II.


Saturday, November 17, 2018

German pop band Helgen in Casablanca and Fez

At the end of November, there will be a special treat in Morocco: the German pop group Helgen will perform in two of the seven PASCH schools in the country: first on 27/11 at the Lycée Mohamed V in Casablanca, then on 29/11 at Lycée Moulay Idriss of Fez. 

Since 2008 the successful program of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs "Schools, Partners of the Future" (PASCH) has been promoting the teaching of the German language worldwide in schools of excellence. 

The three young musicians of the Hamburg group will give a concert at these two places. But first they will offer a workshop with about 25 German students in both high schools. During this educational event, the members of the group will repeat their songs in German, but also talk about their daily lives as musicians and pop music in the country of Goethe.

Groups of students from other PASCH schools in Morocco (Lalla Aïcha and Descartes in Rabat, Lyautey (Casablanca), Abderrahmane Enacer (Kenitra) and Ibn Abbad (Settat) will also be invited to both concerts, as will other public schools in the cities of Casa and Fez.

If you wish to be invited to this event, please contact Frank Kahnert:, +212 (0) 661 871 586


Friday, November 16, 2018

The LGV - is up and running! Ticket costs announced

First-class tickets Tangier to Casablanca on the LGV (High Speed Train) will cost 243-364 Moroccan Dirhams, says the ONCF

Director General of the ONCF, Mohamed Rabie Khlie, said that ticket prices will vary according to the ticket class, date of purchase, date and time of trips, discount cards and whether the tickets are refundable or flexible. Tickets can be purchased up to 3 months prior to the trip.

Depending on three peak periods—low, normal, or high—second-class tickets cost MAD 93-139 for Tangier-Kenitra, MAD 115-172 for Tangier-Rabat, and MAD 149-224 for Tangier-Casablanca.

First-class tickets cost MAD 162-244 for Tangier-Kenitra; MAD 187-281 for Tangier-Rabat,

Passengers buying tickets on same day of the trip will have to pay 10 percent extra, and 20 percent extra for refundable tickets.

Children, young people, students, and the elderly have privileged discounts, with children under 4 travelling for free, but not automatically getting a seat. Children 4-15 years old will have to pay MAD 50 for second-class and MAD 80 for first-class for any distance.

Young people aged 16-26 and seniors over 60 get a 15 percent discount. Students under 26 also get a 30 percent discount for second-class tickets.

A group of 19 people or more can also get a 15 percent discount.

Twenty-six high speed trains are operating on the new line, but it is not clear whether the trains will serve Casablanca yet as the line is still to be finished.

The first train from Tangier leaves at 5:55 a.m. and the last train leaves at 8:55 p.m.

King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated Morocco’s first high speed train on Thursday, November 15, in Tangier. The LGV departed from Tangier to Rabat with King Mohammed VI and Macron taking the first ride.

The high speed train will link Tangier and Casablanca in two hours and 10 minutes instead of the normal five-hour train ride. The train will also make stops in Kenitra and Rabat.

The trip from Tangier to Kenitra will take 47 minutes while the trip from Tangier to Rabat will take 80 minutes.

The high speed train will eventually take 1 hour between Tangier and Rabat after work is completed on the rails between the two cities, allowing the train to travel at optimal speeds. Once completed, the trip between Kenitra and Rabat will take only 10 minutes.

Currently, the high speed train actually takes about 23 minutes between Kenitra and Rabat.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pope's Moroccan Visit Confirmed

Catholics in Rabat and Casablanca are thrilled by news from the Vatican that the Pope's visit to both cities has been confirmed

The Pope will spend two days in Morocco on March 30-31 at the request of King Mohammed VI.

“At the request of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and bishops, his holiness Pope Francis will visit Morocco for an Apostolic trip from March 30-31 2019. He will visit Rabat and Casablanca,” says the Vatican’s statement.

The visit will be the second of its kind from a pope to Morocco after the visit of John Paul II in 1985. King Hassan II invited Pope John Paul II as an opportunity to build a bridge between Muslims and Christians.

In March, King Mohammed VI sent a congratulatory message to Pope Francis, on the fifth anniversary of his papacy.

The monarch expressed Morocco’s determination to continue to work with the pope on the consecration of the values of coexistence, communication, and dialogue between different people and civilizations. The King said that their mutual goal is to contribute to the construction of a better future to ensure the principles of harmony, peace, sustainability, and security.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Morocco Weather Alert

Parts of Morocco are bracing for snow and rain in the next 48 hours. The weather bureau has issued an "orange" alert, meaning that severe snowfalls are expected from 6pm today through until Wednesday at 6 a.m

Up to 30 centimetres of snow is forecast for in the provinces of Al Haouz, Asilal, Chichaoua, Ouarzazate, and Taroudant.

In addition, thunderstorms with 20 to 30 millimetres of rain are forecast from Monday at 12 p.m. through until Tuesday at 6 a.m. in the provinces of Safi, El Jadida, Chichaoua, Marrakech, Essaouira, Youssoufia, Rhamna, and Al Haouz.

For Fez, conditions are not so bad with an expected high today of around 20 degrees Celsius going down to 12 at night.  Tuesday is much the same with maybe a cooler evening and more cloud.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

How Safe is Morocco?

New data, which assesses crime rates, terrorism threats, risk of natural disasters, and health issues in 20 countries, revealed Morocco as a destination with less crime and terrorism compared to some European countries, and the USA
Iceland tops the safety chart - Morocco in eighth place

Morocco is considered safer than Jordan, France, Greece, Turkey, South Africa and Italy.

The study’s crime rates are based on statistics by the World Economic Fund, likelihood of major natural disasters on the World Risk Report, health risks on the NHS Fit for Travel website, and terrorism risk levels on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) assessment.

In terms of terrorism worldwide, “Terrorism can’t be ruled out anywhere,” the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office says. However, the report states that terrorism is “very likely in Australia, Jordan, France, the US, India, Thailand and Turkey,” more so than in Morocco and other countries.

Health risks are notable in travel destinations such as Singapore and Australia affected by dengue fever, and areas of India, South Africa, and Thailand affected by malaria, according to the report.

Morocco ranks among the world’s least dangerous countries, according to the US Department of State’s January report.

The US State Department advised Americans visiting Morocco to “exercise normal precautions”. The department advises US travelers to be extra cautious in Algeria or avoid it because of high terrorist threats.

Morocco received 8.7 million tourists from January to August 2018, according to the latest statistics by the Ministry of Tourism. Tourist arrivals from Italy made the most considerable increase between the first eight months of 2017 and 2018, rising 14 percent. German tourist numbers increased 10 percent, French 7 percent, and Dutch 6 percent.