I am lucky enough to have just returned from a fabulous trip to Marrakech and what an experience and adventure it was. People talk about travelling themselves interesting and Marrakech and Morroco did just that. I feel interesting and inspired! The Pink City as it is known, is a kaleidoscope of everything and a fusion of African and Arabic. Its pacey, noisy, smelly, visually stimulating and down right exciting. Animals, people and their beautiful wares come at you from all directions and its actually mesmerising.
We stayed in Riad Edward, a very authentic and charming Riad in the old town, with an indoor pool concealed in the inner courtyard, overseen by the resident tortoise Speedy, who was permanently trying to catch a nap. Thats if my daughter would let him!
The rooms are individual and large, but oh so glamourous, with beautiful Morrocan lighting, mosaic tiles, large four poster beds, ostentatious mirrors and real wood fires. The roof terrace afforded great views over the city and across to the snow capped Atlas mountains that distantly guarded the town ….. and yes there was sun!
The walk to the souks was exciting if not tricky to navigate, but it was all worth it. The work on sale is mind blowing in both skill and quality. Leather, tanned and worked into beautiful carpet bags (of which we bought just a few!), slippers and belts, treasures to last a lifetime. The lights on sale were fabulously intricate and if I could of got some home easily, trust me, I would have. Beautiful Berber rugs were on sale everywhere, hand knotted with motifs symbolising many things. Lets not forget to mention the terracotta pots, plates, cups and bowls, so robust, vibrant and bold you want to use them everyday.
Everything I saw I would have been proud to sell on presentlocker. com. The artisans are so talented using a series of complicated skills daily to produce the most intricate and remarkable things. It was wonderful to see those skills still being used so industriously today, and being handed onto future generations.
Lastly, I must not forget to mention the Morrocan food. There are only three words, tagine, tagine, tagine! A kind of French/Arabic stew. Very delicious it is too, stuffed with spices and the “top of the shop” essential flavour ras el hanout! Not difficult to find, as spices in Marrakech are in abundance.
So, as a city break goes Marrakech easily scores a 10, both challenging and exotic without the rigours of a long haul flight. Expect the unexpected. I wouldn’t have missed making those memories for the world. I don’t care how you get there, but get there if you can.
Marrakech is easy to get to. Its roughly a three hour flight depending on the headwind, and we flew from Gatwick. Transfer from the airport to the City is an easy 20 minutes and transfers were about 15 euros organised by our hotel! Its also good to know that Marrakech is on the same time zone as the UK so no jet leg to deal with, bonus! A variety of languages are spoken there the main ones being French and Arabic, English and Spanish.
Right, I feel like a little lie down now! Mint tea anyone?
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