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

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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 29th 2020

Marrakesh --- just the name conjures up images of the exotic. A colorful tapestry weaving together not only the old and the new, but an intoxicating blend of cultural influences derived from the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Marrakesh has been called the “Jewel of Morocco” and it certainly seems to live up to its title. Marrakesh was one of the four ancient Imperial cities, once a celebrated capital that lies only 150 miles from the present-day capital of Rabat. Today this sprawling 4th largest city in Morocco seems to be growing in all directions. Founded around 1070 AD by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, a cousin to the then reigning Berber Almorovid king, Marrakesh was once a very important stop and trade center on caravans routes crisscrossing the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. It was at ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 18th 2020

We had arrived in the city of Ouarzazate, the name meaning "without noise,” in late afternoon the previous day. We spent our one and only night here at the lovely Ksar Ighnda which had been a memorable experience for me – the beautiful architecture of the ksar, the lush gardens surrounding the beautiful pool, the exceptionally good dinner, and the small though very comfortable room. It was yet another in the mix of interesting accommodation types chosen by our tour company and the Ksar Ighnda was one of my favorites. We’d had a relatively late wakeup call at 7:30 am on this sunny morning followed by breakfast in the larger dining room which was positioned to have a lovely view to the gardens and pool. After our meal we used the remaining free time to take ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 5th 2020

We settled into a routine most mornings and caught the shuttle bus into the city. The first day in the city was a bit of a culture shock, but we knew now to avoid any contacts with the touts who waited near the bus stop at Freedom Square. Avoid eye contact and look purposeful. It was a steady walk up towards the main mosque and the huge Jemaa El Fnaa Square. The Hotel de Ville or Town Hall is on your left. We always booked the return at 12:30, which gave us enough time and allowed us to return before the suns rays caused the temperature to climb. In the earlier hours, there were much less people on the street and thus less hassle. The locals and indeed many tourists, were wrapped up in a variety ... read more
El Badi Palace, Marrakech
Marrakech
Bahia Palace, Marrakech

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 3rd 2020

2nd Feb 2020 Marrakesh We've had a great morning with city guide Mustafa and visited Bahia palace, the Jewish quarter, the mosques, before meeting up with Hamid and Aissa and heading to the Musèe Berbère Jardin Majorelle, and then to the Carrefore for a bottle of wine.....well two bottles of wine and a bottle of whisky.Nice quiet dinner down the road and a bottle of wine on the rooftop terrace at the hotel is a nice way to round off the day. I daresay the other bottle will end up there tomorrow night. 3rd Feb 2020 Marrakesh A free day on our own today so we headed back to the Jewish quarter for a better look, and then we took off down another road which turned out to lead to the tanneries and as we're heading ... read more
Marrakesh
Marrakesh
Marrakesh

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 2nd 2020

How to grow old? I am reading a book of the same name, lounging on a Arabic sunbed in a resort on the outskirts of Marrakech. It is a long way from from my usual holiday haunts. The delights of wandering round an Eastern European city in pursuit of lower league football will not be savoured this week. The end results are often a pleasant surprise, as much to myself as anybody else. The Other Half waxes lyrical about her trip to Lviv in Ukraine, even though she had to endure 2 appalling football games of tedium. I am the first to admit they were not the best, but she fortunately saw the compensations in a world of cafes, cakes shops and temperatures in the Indian summer category. My last solo jaunt with the Man in ... read more
Souk Medina, Marrakech
Marrakech
Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 1st 2020

31.01.20 Imlil-Essaouira Arrived in Essaouira mid afternoon yesterday. We were lucky enough to score an ocean view room at Riad Mimouna. The 180 degree views are spectacular from our corner room! A wander around the medina for the rest of the afternoon found us outside a barber shop and Shane has decided to have his beard clipped. When I arrived back at the barbershop, I looked in the window and Shane is still sitting there while the barber gives him a blow dry! Yes, he has a brush in one hand and the hair dryer in the other and he's happily going about his business. I am laughing out loud in the street and Shane spots me out of the corner of his eye and begins to laugh as well. Where is the camera when I ... read more
Essaouira
Essaouira
Essaouira

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech November 14th 2019

Three days in Marrakesch. The blog has been all over the place, I know. Tangier to Algeciras made sure of that. I'm doubling back to Marrakesch because it wasn't given full cover, apart from our lovely riad..... Our guest mansion (Riad Tizwa) was perfectly located. Selecting accommodation online isn’t the easiest thing to do, there are so many options available all glowingly described. It takes plenty fact-checking plus imagining what the facts could translate to in reality. I looked for a place where we could walk at will to some of the city’s major attractions, getting there without taxis or transport, free to move when and where we wanted. Tizwa was that. The #1 attraction in Marrakesch is the thousand year old Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site. madīnah al-qadīmah "the old city" lies within high ... read more
The door to Tizwa in the medina off Dar el Bacha
woven handicraft and traffic in the souk
carpets leather goods clothes under sun protection

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech October 23rd 2019

Of all the places we visited, Marrakesch was my favourite. It was our first destination after arriving at Casablanca airport whose long lines of arrivals were reminiscent of Piarco! 25 immigration counters were open yet we took an hour to exit. Good news aside - next year they are dispensing with the documentation that takes all the time at immigration desks everywhere. A six hour train ride brought us to this bustling ancient-modern city and our accommodation - Riad Tizwa - on the edge of the old Medina. The taxicab found our street but a "foot taxi" (i.e a man on foot with us walking behind) took us to the door. Farrida had put me on notice about this and here they were “taking” us the final way, because vehicles cannot drive along the narrow ancient ... read more
Tizwa neighbourhood main street
Entrance to Tizwa in the old medina
welcome to Tizwa riad

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech September 27th 2019

Breakfast for one today. Lee is not terrific and decided to stay in bed. Without sounding too heartless breakfast was still very good. I could just about live on the fresh juices and mint drinks here. Apart from that cucumber concoction I mentioned yesterday I have not tasted one that is t delightful. Even now I’m by the retreat pool sipping a lime/lemon/mint and soda drink that is very refreshing and most welcome. At Jemaa el-Fna I had one of the mixed fruit drinks that are spruiked everywhere and again it was delicious, quite filling but very nice. Despite thinking I could live on juice I still managed muesli, yogurt (very good here), fruit, cheese, smoked salmon and a couple of pastries. Thinking that was enough to fortify me for the market I set out for ... read more
Is one of us leaning?
I thought I was ready for Jamaa el-Fna and the souks.
Jamaa el-Fna, the meeting place of the nobodies (and one more).

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech September 26th 2019

Another delightful Moroccan breakfast. Well really Moroccan with the lot. Here the olives still accompany breakfast dishes but so do piles of fruit, petit tubs of slightly flavoured yoghurts, a mixture of cheese and meats more extensive than we’ve seen for a while, an array of cooked dishes again extensive but far beyond what we can even look at and then cakes, pastries and little Arabic pancakes that are great with goats cheese and strawberry jam (sort of east meets west fusion food). Additionally the juices are terrific with the stand out exception of some cucumber based concoction that no amount of doctoring could render it drinkable. Breakfast is around the pool but it’s a pool that I’ve never seen anyone in or even near. Sure they have a pool complex not far away but this ... read more
Breakfast with Lee. Don’t drink that green stuff in the glass.
Rug salesman that will come to you!
That’s the main railway station here in Marrakech.




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