I have wanted to see Marrakech since Michael Palin’s Sahara programme back in the nineties. This desire was fuelled by Pinterest pictures of fabulous architecture and blog posts about getting lost in the souks. I finally got my way last month and we touched down in the amazing modern airport full of excitement.
Our excitement was tempered somewhat by a two hour queue to get through passport control (yes, seriously) and by the time we got to the hotel we were wondering what we had let ourselves in for. However, the next morning, the city was revealed in all its shabby chic glory. Here are my best bits:
The Marjorelle Gardens
The Artisan Market
Next door to our hotel and perfect for shopping if you don’t like haggling. I bought most of my stuff here. The tiles in this place are just gorgeous. You pay a little bit more than the souks, but saves a lot of hassle if you are a hopeless haggler like me. They did a mean mint tea too.
Amazing warren of tiny alleyways – we toured with a guide as I wasn’t adventurous enough to risk getting lost. You can buy almost anything here including wrought iron, leather goods, spices and clothing.
Jemaa el Fnaa
The main square is a cacophony of people shouting; trance like music; and people approaching you with anything from snakes, to monkeys to henna tattoos. Kids pestered us to buy tissues and were quite persistent. We escaped to the Café de France to watch the chaos from afar with a mint tea.
The storks at the Badi palace
At about 25 minutes walk from our hotel (with quite a bit of pestering along the way) this was an easy DIY option. We had a pop out map with us, but the huge storks’s nest on the ramparts could be seen from afar, so no danger of getting lost. I loved this place with its souk and these huge amazing birds just flying around above you.
The whole experience was memorable to say the least – despite us taking the easy option!