Marrakech is one of my favourite cities in the world and it had being high on my list of places that I have wanted to return too for many years; the colours, smells and shopping had all being tempting me back for a city break to Marrakech and it finally happened.
After much deliberation, I checked us into the Sahara Palace Hotel on the outskirts of Marrakech; why, as it ticked quite a few boxes – it had wifi everywhere, a pool, a spa and it was the hotel that was used in the second Sex and the City movie (you know where they went to Abu Dhabi but actually filmed it all in Marrakech, yeah that hotel!). We lasted only one night at the hotel before checking out (there is a full review to come)...
…and checked into La Mamounia which was incredible (as G said, if it’s good enough for Winston Churchill then it’s good enough for us!).
So after a bumpy first 24 hours in Marrakech, G and I hit the souq for a bit of shopping and came back with hardly anything; men are like handbrakes when it comes to shopping….but G did manage to have his shave that he always gets when in the Middle East or North Africa. (That gross hat belongs to G, not me)
Leaving G back at the creche i.e. the spa, I hit the shops again but decided to take a taxi whom I hired for a few hours for 100 Dirhams (that’s about £7 and he took me around to different shops and carried my bags when required). We stopped at the spice shop obviously where they tried to treat my head cold / asthma or hay fever (who knows!) with eucalyptus and it actually worked….so I bought some to take home with me. It wasn’t the most successful shopping trip ever…I’m blaming this on the runny nose!
Realising that I didn’t have many photos to show for my weekend away in Marrakech and not being able to find a walking photography tour online I asked the concierge at La Mamounia if they could recommend anyone and they offered me the greatest guide ever for 250 Dirhams! (and I’ve forgotten his name but he was blooming lovely and for £17 for three hours, cheap as chips!).
The guide asked me what I wanted to photograph…..umm doors! This was met with a smile and then we were off in search of doors. Bloggers are demanding creatures but he did find me the most impressive doors…
and these beauties…
but wait there are more…
door knockers and windows…
and my all time favourite door!
We went for a wander through the canals of Marrakech which are so quiet compared to the normal hustle and bustle of the medina.
Then we ventured into many secret shops that resembled Aladdin’s Cave!
I wanted to buy everything…
We wandered down little back alleys in the Medina where the workers were making lanterns for the tourists but my guide took me to the most amazing shop selling lamps…the globe even had New Zealand on it (the bottom half of the South Island is missing due to a little too much light). Darn it I should have bought those lamps on the left! Buyers regret – one of many reasons why I will be booking myself another city break to Marrakech in the future.
My guide took me to visit the old University in the Medina called Medersa Ben Youssef which is well worth the 10 Dirhams to enter; it’s a photographers dream destination…
…the detailing is just exquisite!
We headed back into the souq which was filled with tourists and over eager stall holders trying to sell you everything under the sun and sometimes even the sun! (Mum you will be so proud, I didn’t buy any babouches – I heard you in my head telling me that I had loads in New Zealand plus there are a few in the Shoe Room in England).
Remember to always look up while walking in the souq as it’s a visual feast to the senses.
There are so many pussy cats in Marrakech and so far this post is lacking in them; here is pussy cat who likes sleeping with her shoes…I think I met my sole mate! (get it?!)
I learnt something new about the old Mosque, the piece of wood on the top of the Koutoubia Mosque is pointing towards Mecca (which you can’t see in this photo).
On our way back to the hotel together, the guide told me a cute story about his time in Fes as a young man and how he taught himself English. One day while practicing in a cafe in Fes, a young English couple asked him if he would be able to guide them around the souq in Fes (it’s so easy to get lost in there, trust me!) which he agreed too. Unbeknown to him the man was Ringo Star! I totally loved this story, it warmed my cockles!
After taking hundreds of photos in just over an hour it was time to indulge in Afternoon Tea at La Mamounia; macaron heaven.
A post on Marrakech wouldn’t be complete without a few photos of all the beautiful tiles!
This was my third visit to Marrakech and strangely enough when I told locals that I first visited Marrakech way back in 2003, I was told that I saw the real Marrakech. It’s true, the city is now very touristy and geared towards mass tourism…if you are looking for a more authentic Moroccan experience then I would suggest checking out the city of Fes.
Marrakech I still love you…until next time!
P.S. You don’t need to take a fancy camera away on holiday; all my photos from Marrakech were taken on my iPhone 6.