Maroc-Morocco |a travel experience that kept me well cultured|

Marrakech “Land of God”

Everytime I travel  I always come home like a changed person. Something I gained and left behind makes me a better traveler and Marrakech is nothing different but rather extraordinary.

Morocco  a North African country which they said is a good introduction of what Africa would be without being culturally shock. It is categorize as one of the third world countries where daily living is an everyday struggle for many. It is a vibrant country, chaotic and crazy fun, very rich culture, colorful crafts, one of major Islamic religion and with so much respect and love for people.

My trip in Morocco is not without doubts and the biggest factor is traveling as a woman  but knowing what to do and where to go with careful planning … those doubts does not matter at all. Knowing how to get around Morocco made our trip easy and that consist of much research and reading that I have to do.

Our first stop in discovering and learning more about Morocco is Marrakech or AKA Marrakesh, once the capital and a well known destination for many tourist. In every search that you will do… Marrakesh will come up as one of the must visit places in your bucket list (of course for a good reason).

TIPS AND TRICKS WHEN VISITING MARRAKECH:

  • SAFETY: “do not walk alone or roam around at night”. I find Marrakech fairly safe for women. In every street and turn you make you will see tourist – so at some point I don’t feel isolated. It is very wise though to get a certified tourist to guide you through the street of Marrakech. It wards off scammers and a great way to learn the history of the place. [ from our B&B host recommendation we did a walking tour of the major sites in Marrakesh for 4 hours and paid 100 Dirham for 2 people about $10 each.)  


  • PHOTOS: We all want to get that best and most unique shots right? [ guilty as charge! ] but be careful when you click that shutter because everything comes with a price specially with the street performers

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snake charmers in Djeema El-Fna

A perfect example of what I was talking about. Using my small go pro I went at the back of this crowded scene and snap a shot of what was going on as quickly as possible. LUCKY enough I got caught as I was leaving the scene and was asked to give money. I did not have any change only 10 Dirham. I gave my coins and was asked how much was it. They wanted me to give more but I FIRMLY said NO! and walked away. Thankfully I was let go or I would start running as fast as I can…DONT WORRY I HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON ]  .


  • MEN: “wolf whistle-catcall-men whistling to women as they walk by”  name it …they all sounds very annoying and yes very disrespectful to women,  but in Marrakech this seems to be normal.  [ I followed all the advise and guides I have read particularly dressing etiquette.  I wore pants and long sleeves tops or always with a cardigan but unfortunately I was not exempted with this catcalls and whistling game. take note that Morroco in the month of Septmember is hot and humid ] The best thing to do is to IGNORE and KEEP ON WALKING they will eventually stop and shut up.


  • STREET NAMES: The Maze Runner” have you watched or know the concept of this movie? well this is what I felt like in Marrakech. You better have a good photographic memory to survive the nameless turns or you are lost as a sheep. (the TRICK in finding your way home is to know the name of your place and ask the store owners. NEVER EVER ask the hildren in the street or any stranger because mostly likely than not you will be led to a different place than your destination ]


  • SOUKS:  “the practice of bargaining” this is the place where you will go gaga and must have a good self control of knowing when to stop buying good stuff. If you don’t know how to bargain you are definitely over paying [ easier said than done! for I am not a master of this skill. My first stop is to buy some good hand-sewn leather shoes or sandals. All along I thought I did a good job of asking a lesser price only in the end I realized that I could have gotten it much less…DON’T YOU JUST HATE THE FEELING OF GETTING RIPPED OFF!]  

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Marrakech Souks

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT: taxis are abundant but learn how to negotiate before you get in. If your hotel or B&B can arrange your transport go for it! less hassle, better deal and you can trust that you are in good hand. [ we are lucky that we picked a very good B&B with very helpful host which had everything ready for us. Our taxi driver was ready to pick us up at the airport with our name banner and have to pay him 100 dirham about $10 to bring us to our Riad]


Riad chez l’Africain – 307 rue de La Kasbah

our very welcoming and kind host Luc & Sarah are superb. They made everything easy for us including: tips for a good place to eat and what to try, tour guides, taxi to bring us to the train station and anywhere we want, booking reservations for us, cooking good breakfast and dinner. The Riad is very clean, comfortable and well taken care of. You will feel at home. It has a very good location to major sites in a walking distance.


A TYPICAL RECEIVING AREA OF A RIAD CONSIST OF A FOUNTAIN WHICH THEY TURN ON WHEN THE CALLING FOR PRAYERS ECHOES AROUND THE VILLAGE
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roof top of “Love Nest Cosy Riad”. Perfect for some siesta and fresh air.

TASTE OF MARRAKECH


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A COMPLIMENTARY STARTER OF KASBAH CAFE
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TRADITIONAL MOROCCAN DISH OF COUSCOUS
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an authentic lamb and chicken Kebob
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CAMEL BURGER FROM CLOCK CAFE (NOT THE SAME I RODE AND THE FOOD THAT I WILL ONLY EAT ONCE AND NEVER AGAIN)

THE SOUKS AND STREET


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MOROCCO IS KNOWN FOR ITS CERAMIC WORKS HAND PAINTED USING BRIGHT COLORS
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GOAT SKINS DYED AND DRIED READY FOR TRADE AND SELLING FOR LEATHER GOODS
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SPICES AND HERBS MARKET
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COMMONLY USED CERAMIC TO COOK THE FAMOUS MOROCCAN TAJINE
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HAND PAINTED CERAMICS
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ALL BAGS MADE WITH GOOD QUALITY LEATHER
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MOROCCO IS ALSO KNOWN TO PRODUCE GOOD QUALITY RUGS WHICH COMES IN DIFFERENT SIZES
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Moroccan Rugs ( the details and colors is just amazing! it shows the effort one put in to make this handmade craft)

WHOLE DAY TOUR WITH 4X4 CAMEL

DAYTRIPS OF MARRAKECH TO A BERBER MARKET, OURIKA VALLEY, ARGAN OIL FACTORY, LUNCH AT A LOCAL BERBER HOUSE, RIDING A CAMEL, DRINKING MOROCCAN MINT TEA, TRIP TO THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS, EATING CACTUS FRUIT, ALL PROVIDED BY THE BEST TOUR GUIDE ADIL AND a very COMFORTABLE CAR.


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Berber Market ( a once a week market for people to buy what they need for the whole week)
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Straw Rugs
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Donkey (main form of transportation and the only one allowed inside the market)
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Camel Ride (bucket list checked) this is “Asia”
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Women of the Argan Oil factory (a cooperative that benefits the women of Morocco who are widowed, single and need a job) The natural process of producing a 100% natural argan oil requires no machinery and long hours of work.
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MOROCCAN MINT TEA: I ALWAYS WONDER WHY IS IT SO SWEET – THE SUGAR AIDS IN KEEPING THE WATER IN THE BODY RATHER THAN SWEATING IT OUT DURING THE SUMMER HEAT.
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How to serve Moroccan mint tea (the bubbles are crucial)
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Cactus Fruit (filling and very good source of fiber)
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Lunch at one of the houses in the mountain ( a taste of home cooked meals and the best food I ever had)
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Salon – a common area in the house in the mountain where people wait while being entertained or served with mint tea
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happy and full tummy (home cooked meals served)
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a traditional chicken tagine (a 4 hour dish well cooked)

ATLAS MOUNTAINS


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Asni Valley
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Ourika Valley
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Ourika Valley
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Red Mountain (red=iron) shows how abundant this mineral for this part of the high atlas

THE MOSQUE AND MEDERSA “KORANIC SCHOOL”


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Koutoubia Crane (a guide to direction of Mecca)
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Koutoubia Mosque (oldest mosque)
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Ibn Youssef Medersa (oldest universities) – inside the old Koranic school in Marrakech
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Fountain – an important part of any riad for the purpose of washing before entering a mosque
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Mosque – a common find in every village for Muslim to pray 5 times a day

Jardin Majorelle

A garden that was once abandoned and left out was found by Yves Saint Laurent. Made major renovations, opened it to the public. When YSL died it was donated and now became one of the major attractions to see when in Marrakech.


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THE USED TO BE HOME OF YSL NOW PART OF THE MUSEUM
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Majestic Blue
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Jardin Majorelle

THANK YOU FOR COMING ALONG TO MY MOROCCAN ADVENTURE. I HOPE YOU HAD FUN READING AND DID  ENJOY THE BLOG. DONT FORGET TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS. I WILL CERTAINLY WATCH OUT FOR IT.

IF YOU WANT MORE – DO NOT FORGET TO FOLLOW MY BLOG AND KEEP UPDATED OR ADD ME TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIAS TO KEEP EACH OTHER UPDATED.

 


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