Blogs from Marrakech, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco, Africa - page 5


Days have been a bit more relaxed, visited a number of museums, the highlight was the Koranic school and library building. It is very ornate with more lovely delicate stonework and tiles. Lots or rooms upstairs where the once 900 students were accommodated. Enjoyed sitting in squares, drinking mint tea and watching the world go by. Outside of the city walls we walked to the Jardin Majorellle that was designed in an art deco style in the 1920s. Yves San Laurent and Pierre Berge bought and restored it in the 1980s and their trust keeps it going. Although quite small it is beautifully laid out with colour and order carefully maintained. The paths are shiny red and there are strategically arranged pots in only one shade of blue, yellow or orange. The house/ art studio is ... read more
Jardin Majorelle

Journey here is was very long, leaving Doah at 3 am and arriving here equivalent of 10pm. But all the plans fell into place, train straight from the airport in Casablanca. Taxi into the Medina area and arriving at our riad hidden in a warren of narrow cobbled streets through a souq. First impression of the ‘biggest square’ in north Africa was not overwhelmingly good. Reminded us of Krakow but much grubbier. Lots and lots of eating places around the square and in the middle of the square. How so many carts selling orange juice for 4 DH can possibly make a living or so many barbeque stalls in the evening is hard to tell. Lots of tourists. Clearly Ramadan is not the issue here as it is in Doha. We had our first meal just ... read more
Badia Palace

In the crazy chaos of colour and culture that is Morocco, it hard not to find inspiration in every moment of the day. The adventures of my travels that have led me here have been a combination of everything from stirring to strenuous and from pandemonium to peaceful. The last time I updated this blog I had just started my adventures in Ireland . Fortunately, since I am not very good at maintaining a blog on my own, my amazing travel buddy Abby and I started a combined one, which can be read here . Documenting the 8 months traveling, living, and working together in writing was certainly one of our brighter ideas along the way. We have now said goodbye to each other and the entire time feels like a crazy dream in an alternate ... read more
American Village adventures in France
Wonderful memories created around Europe
Moroccan marketplace

Marrakech is a city of wrenching contrasts. Broad avenues and boulevards lie almost next areas of narrow alleys and souks. A square filled with buskers and charlatans and snake charmers and monkey grinders open onto an avenue to takes you within a couple of minute to an avenue with chic shops like Fendi, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. A city of modern large buildings and American-looking suburbs also has a 14th century madrassa. The streets are broader by far than those in Casablanca, and uncharacteristically have well marked lanes, and yet traffic seemed to be worse here than in the larger city. But the souk here in the medina is much better organized than in Fes or Meknes, with shops selling similar goods tending to be grouped near to one another. The alleyways are a little wider, ... read more
Morocco 2015 1526 Marrakech Morocco 052615
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Our pleasant stay in the riad near Ait Ben Haddou gave us the chance to expunge several layers of sand and get back to some semblance of cleanliness. We started off this morning much more easily than the day before. Our first stop was the nearby Ait ben Haddou. This 400 year old ksar climbs up a steep hillside, and is built with a mud bricks, similar to adobe, but with a mud stucco rather than whitewash. It requires frequent repairs after any rain. The old ksar was located on the caravan route be tween Sudan and Marrakech. Although 4 families still live there, it is mostly abandoned. It is maintained as UNESCO World Heritage site, but you can see crumbling, particularly in buildings that no longer have any cultural significance to current local residents, such ... read more
Morocco 2015 1354 Ait ben Haddou Morocco 052515
Morocco 2015 1357 Ait ben Haddou Morocco 052515
Morocco 2015 1359 Ait ben Haddou Morocco 052515

We started the day with another nice breakfast at our Riad Eden. They really make a nice breakfast here. We wanted to go to the Marjorelle gardens, designed and owned by the late Yves Saint Laurent. But it was too far to walk on our own so we had to navigate getting a taxi. Robyn and I are paranoid about taxis, and here in Marrakech with our anxiety level at an 11 were were in no mood to be messed with. These are the tricks I employ now when in a sketchy city and I have to get a taxi. -Rate - The money's really not that important but who wants to pay double what they should. So I usually try to ask a rate from a local for how much a taxi should be to ... read more

We got a late start, having arrived at midnight last night. After a great breakfast at our Riad Eden we hit the dirty streets of Morocco. First order of business was the medina which is what you always think of with Marrakech. It was blazing hot, but we found some refuge in the shaded bazaar. Everyone is trying to get you into their shop. Calling out to you in whatever language they think you will understand. Usually they guess Robyn and me right off the bat. "Hello! Come this way!" But sometimes they call out to us in Japanese "Konnichiwa!" or "Ni Hao!" if they think she's Chinese. My favorite were people that would just say to her "China? China? Japanese?" Robyn bought a green muslim-style one-piece dress. She talked the seller down to almost half ... read more

Geo: 31.6334, -7.9996We enjoyed our final breakfast in Marrakech by vowing to a) eat no more bread. Ever. And b) detox for a year to allow our insulin levels to return to somewhere in the normal range. Every breakfast we have had has been laden with sugar - sweet bread, jam, croissants, pains au chocoats, pancakes, cake, sweet orange juice and fruit yoghurt - a combination of any of these have been the mainstay of our breakfasts, while sugary mint tea has been our welcome drink in every hotel and attraction we've visited. All incredibly delicious but our digestive systems now need a good dose of protein and some simple sugar-free food!We had another mini celebration as we crammed our bags for the final time, managing to cleverly pack our belongings into contortions that resembled Russian ... read more

Geo: 31.6334, -7.9996Waking feeling a little delicate to say the least, we eased ourselves cautiously out of bed and attempted to squeeze all of our purchases into our backpacks. I've achieved some things in my time that might allow me to be proud of them. However, I don't think I've been as vocal about any of my achievements as I was when I managed to zip up my backpack containing 2 extra long woven scarves, a huge ceramic serving plate, a pill box and two ceramic bowls, plus all of the luggage I came with. I whooped and cheered like someone who had reached the a South Pole unaided, on a unicycle. By this point, we were seriously considering buying a suitcase to use as carry on baggage, but we had managed to squeeze everything into ... read more

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