When is the best time to visit Morocco?

by Nicole Farrell

Anytime is a good time to visit Morocco! Seriously, like all countries, there are things to consider when planning to visit. Public holidays, festivals and the weather need to be researched. I decided on November and our tour began in Casablanca on the 5th November. We had 2 fabulous weeks of weather with an average temperature of 21oC and only one morning of drizzly rain.

   

My idea of perfect weather for travelling is around 23oC. I like to be able to wear jeans and a shirt without sweating! As you can see by these photos November in Morocco is perfect. 

  

These photos were taken on early morning walking tours in Fes and Chefchaouen. I always travel with a few scarves (and inevitably buy a few more!) as they are great for mornings and evenings.

These photos were taken at Tichka Pass, the highest point we drove in the Atlas Mountains. We had not really dressed for the freezing winds and were glad to get back in our heated van!

  

The camel ride into the Sahara was a tour highlight. The tents were excellent and had warm blankets on the beds so we were not cold until we ventured out of our tents for the spectacular sunrise.

I took a merino wool top and merino wool jacket and they were perfect for the cooler days and nights. Other than that, I just wore 3/4 sleeve tops or shirts. Morocco is famous for a wide range of hand woven textiles so there are plenty of opportunities to purchase blankets and scarves!

Our Morocco Highlights Tour departs in March with similar temperatures expected.

Two Wheels Are Better Than Four

by Nicole Farrell

I'd been recommended 'Delhi by Bike' Tour of Old Delhi and I was not dissapointed. The tour started early at 6 am to beat the city traffic and crowds. There were two guides, one rode at the front and the other rode behind. The ride was relaxed and the pace was perfect for a non athlete! The traffic was OK and I always felt safe.

   

We often left our bikes and wandered the lane ways and markets. This is an example of one of the old haveli (palaces). The process to restore them is slow but gradually gaining momentum.

    

The tour stops at various markets, including the spice market. We walked up a few flights of stairs to get an excellent overview of the local market and streets below. Even at 6am in the morning, the city of Delhi is bustling with activity.

My guide Tenzin had excellent local knowledge and shared an excellent insight into life in Delhi. We saw areas where men wait for casual work each day as labourers and tradesmen. We also saw a charity which offers medical help to street people or the poor. People que for hours to have wounds dressed or get medication. The service was run by volunteers and I was more than happy to offer a donation.

     

 Flower markets in India are one of my favourite places to visit as the colours are so vibrant. Our Royal Rajasthan and Textiles, temples and tastes of India Tours both offer an insight into Old Delhi (we’ll walk and take rickshaws). Find out more here

 

 

Your Ultimate Guide to Craft Shops in New York

by Nicole Farrell

New York is a shopper's paradise and the garment district and surrounding streets has plenty to offer. My first stop was the iconic M & J Trimming, established in 1936.

  

This shop is wall to wall ribbons. I used to own Craft Queen which stocked Australia's largest range of ribbons online but this was something else! Image every ribbon you've ever seen in one place. It was difficult to know where to look first!

I love that the ribbons were organised into colours and styles.

  

M & J also stock a wide range of buttons. 

  

 M & J Trimming can be found at 1008 Sixth Ave, New York.

My next shop was East Coast Trimming Corp. It had a vintage feel and also had an amazing range and selection.

Look at this amazing colour range.

 

East Coast Trimming Corp is at 142 West 38th Street, New York

The Garment District of New York has a treasure trove of fabric and textile shops.

  

Look at the range of zippers!

Also worth a visit are these quilting shops:

Gotham Quilts - 40B W 37th Street, New York

Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts - 325 W 38th Street #803 (8th floor) New York