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November 16th 2014
Published: November 16th 2014
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MARRAKECH, 16.10.14. Overcast

Walked to the train station to purchase tickets to Casablanca. Left the Medina and walked through the newer parts of town. More appealing than the Medina, wider streets, less toilet odours, and generally less slop on the walkways. However the new town is less atmospheric, but having now stayed in a Medina, near a Souk, the best idea seems to be a hotel, not a Riad ( private small hotel/ guesthouse) near the Medina gate. Having said that we see no reason to return!

The buildings in the new town are mostly of an ochre colour, low level, often surrounded by walls, some covered with beautiful vines and bougainvillea. The flowers against the ochre were appealing.

The train station appeared to be new and looked impressive. We board tomorrow at 10.45.

Leaving the train station we walked to Le Jardin Majorelle, most recently owned by the late Yves St Laurent, who acquired it in the 80s in a run down state. The gardens were impressive, bamboo forrest, cacti of immense proportions set against his famed blue colours. The grounds contain a museum of his collections of Berber jewellery, weapons and clothing. Very interesting, in an appealing setting.

Wandered back to our Riad in a lane way just off Place Jemaa El Fna, the main square of the Medina, which yesterday evening was full of all types of shopping stalls selling fruits, juices, tourist tac, belly dancers, wandering minstrels, monkeys on leads, snake charmers and motor scooters.

There were many crappy streets and odorous smells on route!

Its difficult to describe my feelings of Marrakech, it certainly seems to be life in the raw, a mixture of exotic and CRAP, the locals don't appear to be very friendly, possibly the strong french influence, and the Riad, whilst the feeling his exotic, it is somewhat frustrating with things not working well, maybe a reflection of the mediocre manager/owner.

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17th November 2014

on the road to Marrakesh....all on board the train (out of town)
HAHA HA HA...I sooo could have saved you the time, but hey, you came you went you saw, you are now leaving! Its ...interesting....smelly definitely, so wish I had known I could have given you the lowdown, go down or no go!! Did you happen to go to Essaouria by the sea. Lots more interesting and clean souk, and seafood straigth out of the ocean cooked in front of you. Souk is spotless, no stinky piddle smells. But if you dont like mystical, lost in time experiences...Morocco perhaps is not your style. Toilets never work, danger to your health!!! Hotels are little better than Riad, but then Riads (high priced ones) are normally good enough. Casablanca...yep, not much difference there. The Sultans mosque is great but you cant get in. But really little difference. Any all this comes from someone who has travelled the place many times thoroughly. anyway, hope you Bahia Palace, the views are beautiful across the madness, but to the atlas mountains they can be amazing. You saw the gardens so thats probbly the best Marrakech has to offer. Did you sample any food in Jemma El Fnaa?? Did you go to the tannery? allways smell chanel no 6 when there...Mint leaves!!! so where to next??

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