It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post about anything (I think my last post was probably about my previous holiday to Vietnam). Gosh, it seems like a long time away from my blog and I feel weird writing this as I am doing so. I’ve missed the blogging life to say the least, however, if you’ve been following my social’s, you would know I’ve been quite active on there with regular updates on what I’m up to.
Anyways, here I am writing about my holiday to Marrakech where I blended in with the local’s, explored tourist spots and catching some rays on the sun lounger. Before, booking the holiday, I had read a few fashion and travel bloggers, who had enjoyed themselves and seeing so many opportunities to take photos with colourful backdrops. Moreover, this was a holiday to relax, get away from the business of working in the city and going back to basics in life.
I wanted to stay in a traditional Moroccan place so decided to stay in a riad called Carllian. It is located near the Medina and a 5 minutes walk to the Jemaa el-Fna market. The alleyways or pathways reminded me of a family holiday we went to Zanzibar when I was younger especially with them being quite narrow, tall structures and thick wooden doors with metal work for security. The location was ideal as every morning we would go for a walk to the market where there were snake charmers, monkey’s in chains, fruit stalls, souvenir shops and cafes. When you visit the old square during the evening and night, it’s some atmosphere of traditional music and dancers. Watch out when you take your phone out, they will be after you and ask for money for photo or video (I refused on many occasions).
From the balcony of the riad, we could see one of the attractions of Marrakech, Koutoubia Mosque which is the largest mosque in Marrakech so it was walking distance from the market (seriously, not even a minute away as there is no road but a walk path). You wouldn’t realise everything is in walking distance, the post office, cafes, restaurant’s and literally where the mosque is, that is where we would hail a taxi to take us to the new square (where you can drink alcohol, shops such as Zara, H&M, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and more).
We visited Le Jardin Secret, the origins of the complex date back to the Saadian dynasty, more than four hundred years ago. The garden has such an intimacy and aura about it as you would see plants and walk ways to find a spot to sit down and spectate the views. With little noise around and the sounds of water following, you would able to procrastinate. It does seem like a sacred place almost a metaphor of heaven. I was surprised by the pool when I saw turtles resting on the rocks.
Another place, I went to is Bahia Palace, this is one place I loved visiting. Again, there was garden’s filled with various plant’s and the geometric design made it comfortable to go walk around. I did like the area where there was 3 fountains and could easily be turned into a venue to enjoy afternoon tea.
One particular garden that was on the list to do was to see Le Jardin Majorelle. Having known this garden took 40 years of passion to create, seeing this botanical garden and the blue building had something about it. As a creative person, I admire artist’s work and try to understand their perspective. Bringing plants from around the world mainly, palm trees, bamboo, cacti, coconut palms, jasmine to name a few. There are so many spaces of light and shadows, burbling streams and pools filled with water and the sounds of chirping birds amongst the 38 degrees heat. Also, on this day, we realised YSL’s partner had passed away and we saw YSL’s memorial and artwork which is displayed here.
Part of the excursion deal included visiting the Atlas mountain and camel ride (note: the more excursions you book, the cheaper the prices). Initially, me and dad went with the group to climb to the top and see the waterfall. However, he couldn’t climb further due to his asthma and I continued to the top. I had my roshe’s and the grip of the soles were near enough gone and become difficult to climb slippery rocks.
The last thing I did was the camel ride during the sunset, it was a surreal experience. It was disgusting to see the camel poo-ing and weeing while walking and there was one young one that tagged along without any leash.
One thing I noticed about being in Marrakech was that they are working towards being eco-friendly with electric boards stating how much carbon is produced. Although, where the Koutoubia mosque is, there is a bench shaped in a palm tree with solar panels where you can charge your mobile devices. This was pretty cool and thought this concept would work in the UK especially in tourist areas.
Here’s a vlog of my time in Marrakech if the photos are not enough (it’s my first vlog):
People mentioned there isn’t much to do in Marrakech, I would say, there are many places to go to get the most out of the place. If you enjoy walking, you won’t get lost and can get mesmerised by the architecture and colours. In the mornings, the souq’s (market filled with craft work, leather, food, replica clothing and souvenirs) would open around 11am, where we would digest our breakfast. Head back in the afternoon to catch the warmest period of the day at around 38 degrees, baking and sweating in places never before. Then we would go out to eat for dinner and walk through the noise of the old square.