Blogs from Marrakech, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco, Africa

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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 17th 2015

Some additional photos from the cooking lesson in Marrakech... read more
Vegetable tagine ready for the stovetop
About to chow down.  It was delicious!
The finished vegetable tagine

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 15th 2015

Like most heavily touristed cities in the world, Marrakesh, is relatively safe. The police keep a close eye on any goings-on that might have a visitor to their country return home with a report damaging the inflow of foreign money. Bad for the economy. Morocco is no different in this regard. Petty crime (theft, short changing money exchange, purse snatching, etc.) does happen but it’s rare to even hear of violent crime here. However there were several occasions where I felt my wellbeing was in serious danger. In each instance it was due to the swaggering egos of Moroccan youth and unregulated traffic of the souk alleyways. In the souk the tiny closet sized retail stalls spill out into the ancient alleyways that they line. It is an easy way to expand their space and be ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 11th 2015

One of the experiences I was looking forward to in Morocco was a Hammam. I believed it to be similar to a Turkish bath. The truth I found out is: yes and no. Given I have been lucky enough to have experienced a Turkish bath in Istanbul and now a Moroccan Hammam in Marrakesh I do have some basis to make the comparison. In short, going for a Turkish bath is paying to get beat-up by a very large hairy Turkish man who speaks no English and who seems to take a delight in inflicting pain. Whereas a Hammam is paying to be flayed by a large hairy Moroccan woman who who speaks a little English and who seems to take a delight in inflicting pain. Subtle but important differences. In a Turkish bath the "loosening" ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 10th 2015

After spending two nights in Fez we are off to Marrakesh! The country side in Morocco was amazing, I guess I never expected it to be so fertile and green, with rich dark soil. Farms of fruit and vegetables, and herds of sheep and goats spot the fields as we drive along. There a vast difference in living, from beautiful mansions to cardboard and tin shacks, so as we drive along I observe that all of coffee bars and restaurants are all filled with men. Uuum , sitting in the fields having a smoke or a coffee are all men, so is there way of life a choice, arrogance. Uuummm. But out working in the fields or the streets are women with babies tied to there back, sweeping, cleaning , washing , raking the field, planting ... read more
way of life
Goats and sheep spot the country
Oh and did I mention there is snow! in Africa

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 9th 2015

My lodging here in Marrakesh is the Riad Eden. A Riad is a merchants home usually distinguished by a centre open courtyard with a garden. They are bigger than a normal home as merchants traditionally often used their homes to store goods that they sold as well. Many since the 1980's have been purchased (mainly by Europeans) and restored to be used as B&B's. The Riad Eden is small (5 rooms) and so Arabian nights. All red velvet, arched doorways and Berber rugs, I love it. It is owned and run by Jerome and his Moroccan wife. Up until 2 years ago Jerome ran an aircraft manufacturing plant in France. He related that this career change is the best thing he has ever done. Little stress and a relaxed lifestyle. He looks happy. The taxi could ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 8th 2015

The name Marrakech originates from the Berber and means "Land of God". Which is all nice and good but after three flights and many hours cooling my heels in airports I wasn't exactly in a religious mood when I finally arrived in Marrakech. My mood as I headed out of the airport might have also been primed by reading about how aggressive the taxi cab drivers of Marrakesh can be. Rip off artists was how one guidebook labeled them. I headed out the door into the sea of cabbies prepared not to be taken. I would hold my own. The most recent guidebook had suggested that 50-70 dirhams should be the proper fare for a cab into the city but that cabbies would charge whatever they could get (Now let me be frank 50 -70 dirhams ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech January 17th 2015

...ja. Ich. Sonst noch wer? Bestimmt. Wo sind die? Weiß man nicht... Irgendwo da vorne im Flugzeug hatte sich eine Dame dazu entschlossen, umzufallen. Wer das liest, denkt sich bestimmt..."war ja klar, dass ihr sowas passiert..." Wie soll ich sagen...überrascht war ich auch nicht. Jedenfalls....nichts, was man mit ein bisschen NaCl und Glukose nicht wieder hinkriegen könnte, aber verständlicherweise führt eine solche Situation, kombiniert mit einem hyperventilierenden Flugbegleiter (..oder wie heißen die heutzutage?) zu einer gewissen Anspannung. So positiv überrascht ich von der Ausstattung der Notfallköfferchens war, so ungern möchte ich mir vorstellen, wie es ist, wenn unter diesen Umständen wirklich etwas passiert. Nunja...alle Beteiligten waren rasch wieder....Achtung...auf der Höhe. Besonders der arme Flugbegleiter (ja wie denn nun? Cabin Manager? Saftschubse?)... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech December 26th 2014

The Riad Naya where we are staying is a bit run down. It's an old building, the room has odd smell. The attached bathroom really is just behind a partition in the room, with no door, and I think the smell is partly because of that. The owner does not live here, it's run by 2 guys who are really nice, but it's not the same as family run Riads we heard about. We spent the day walking in Marrakech, site seeing, getting lost in the streets. We saw a mosque and then Bahia palace which is impressive. Then we shopped around a bit for a tour to Imlil. Originally we wanted to walk this on our own but later decided to hire a guide to take care of the logistics. Lunch was at a nice ... read more
Lunch
DO NOT USE THIS AGENT
The sign next to DO NOT USE agent


We booked a four day break with British Airways to experience Morocco. We flew out on Sunday the 29th June. Our flight was good as usual with BA and arrived on time. Flying into Marrakech airport started my concerns on what I had booked. After a queue at passport control we went through to collect our luggage. Marrakech airport is really nice. Cool, quite modern and not as busy as our UK airports. Just outside the airport there is a line of taxis, which if you read other travel sites, are the big taxis. These guys will haggle a price with you to get to the city. To be honest, taxis are way cheaper than what we pay in the UK so we were not to fussed on haggling and just wanted to get to our ... read more
Riad Carina
Riad Carina
Our Bed


The end of our drive into Marrakech was absolutely beautiful. We even stopped in a beautiful Berber village and we met an old man that gave me a beautiful necklace as a gift. We also bought some mineral rocks from him. It was a great end to our journey through the mountains and desert. Arriving in Marrakech it was busy. Luckily our new friend and driver Mustasa called the hotel and the manager came to meet us outside in the Medina so we would not get lost. We checked in and relaxed for a little before heading out to the market and for dinner. The market here is huge and we made our way to the famous Jemaa el Fna square that overlooks the big mosque. I however was slightly disappointed by Marrakech. There are so ... read more
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