Dear Internet Wanderer,
This summer, I embarked on an epic adventure, exploring the out-of-this-world city – Marrakech. One post is just not enough for all the incredible stories I have to share, so this is the first of my 3 part series.
Marrakesh is a breathtaking city. The culture, food and people of this magnificent city will enchant you to the point where you feel like you are a part of their culture.
We took a budget, Ryan Air flight, from Madrid to Marrakech (btw when they say “budget”, they mean it.) Just our luck – this flight was almost like an appetiser for the camel rides in Morocco. As soon as we got off the plane, the hot, dry air just smacked us in the face. Even us Mumbaikars weren’t equipped for this 40°C heatwave…
TIP : TAKE A TAXI!
If you want to be adventurous and “explore the city on your own”, do that after you’ve carefully traced your steps to and from your Riad. The Medina is an unforgiving maze and if you’re lost, you’ll probably be swarmed by locals, eagerly waiting for a chance to be your knight in shining armour…at a price, of course!
We made the best decision of calling our riad for a taxi. We got into the fancy car and travelled through this foreign city till we reached the Medina (old town). The Medina – woah. That’s the only word to describe it. When I look back at it now, their culture isn’t all that different from our Indian culture. The occasional call of shopkeepers luring you into their shops and even the motor bikes whizzing around unsuspecting tourists…it was quite overwhelming, but it reminded me of home. We were then led through the souks, to an embellished door tucked away in the red labyrinth of the medina.
Our first impression – we were terrified of what was behind that door. When we stepped into the riad, the tranquility and minimalist splendour swept us away. We felt like we had been transported into an entirely different world.
For those of you that might be a little confused, a riad is large house with a traditional courtyard in the centre. Each room is occupied by guests and sometimes, they might be reserved for housekeepers and the host of the riad. We had the privilege of staying in Riad Cinnamon – surrounded by the most AMAZING, caring staff members that made us feel at home.
We were greeted by our extremely kind and helpful host – Hussain, who gave us an insight into Moroccan culture and provided us with a local mobile phone for emergencies and an app with tips, guides and even a map of the medina with a GPS tracker to help you find your way. (just let the amazing-ness of that sink in). Lost in this serene ambience, we happily tucked into the YUM butter biscuits and sipped our delicious mint tea.
We went up to our room and chilled there for longer that we should have (smh). Each room had a staircase leading up to a tumblresque sitting area with cosy blankets, pillows and a TV with a ton of DVDs. Armed with our trusty app, we stepped out of our cosy room to brave the souks.
TIP : Only carry the essentials!
Marrakech is a really busy city. We didn’t face any problems with pick-pocketing, but I highly recommend taking only essentials like some money, water and a phone etc. when you’re heading out to explore the market/the Medina.
I honestly felt like I was a part of the Aladdin movie. The souks were so colourful and enchanting that I didn’t know where to look. From bowls to magnets to spices, they had it ALL. (There’s waaaay more to talk about, but this post would be too long. I’ll talk about the craziness in my next post!)
We then made our way to the restaurant – Kui Zin. This quaint restaurant was tucked away in the bustling medina.
We immediately made our way to the terrace and watched the moroccan sunset whilst enjoying the live moroccan music.
The atmosphere was absolutely perfect and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, our food arrived. We blissfully devoured some AMAZING chicken tajine and couscous. We ended our meal with a delicious platter of moroccan biscuits. Then, we manoeuvred through the Medina in the dark to find our way to the riad, and basically melted into our cosy beds!
NEXT POST : Snake charmers, intense haggling and more!
Thanks for reading! I’m a blogging newbie so please comment and give me feedback!