MOROCCO. Meknes. Moulay Ismael Mausoleum. 1985.

Travel Journal: 01 – Madness in Marrakech

Last week, my boyfriend and I travelled through the night to the airport for a 10 night stay in Marrakech, Morocco. Marrakech, also known as ‘The Red City’, is one of the key cities of Morocco, located in North Africa. The temperatures of the city ranged somewhere between 30°C – 45°C during our stay where we managed to pick up a little tan! While much of the holiday was spent drinking the all you can drink cocktails by the pool, and reading our books, I thought I’d write about a few of our experiences, partly for others considering travelling there, and partly so I don’t forget the best bits of our holiday!

  1. Rooftop cafes
    Deep within the souks of the old city Medina, hides a small rooftop cafe called Kafé Merstan serving a variety of different foods with lovely staff. This had to be one of the best (and most relaxing!) experiences of the entire trip, we loved the views from the rooftop, looking out at the city of Marrakech and eating ice-creams. The food itself was amazing, we settled for avocado and crab salads and were served fresh breads and olives from the markets below. Cannot recommend this place enough!
    Several other rooftop restaurants serve alcohol with your meal, and we braved the souks one more time to visit Cafe Arabé for my boyfriend’s 21st birthday meal, which specialised in delicious Italian food. The night we chose to visit there was a storm and lightning was lighting up the skyline, it was quite something!

2. Ouzoud Falls
Nestled within the Atlas Mountains lies the impressive Ouzoud waterfall, which, over the course of a day, we hiked the mountain, ate a traditional Moroccan meal with the view of falls. The weather is cooler by the mountains and this was ideal for the hours walk. Children swam in the waterfall, however we did not, the water didn’t look clean and we’d been warned of the unsafe water. There were plenty of monkeys too, which was nice to see, several climbed on the British students who were also on the tour with us. All in all, I think everyone had a nice time, so I’d recommend it however, bring books and snacks for the 3.5 hour drive from Marrakech to the base of the waterfall!

3. Camel Riding in the Marrakech desert
One of the more exciting experiences of our trip was waking up at the crack of dawn to drive out into the middle of the desert just outside of Marrakech. The heat was beyond me, but I loved my camel, she loved having her ears scratched! After we rode across the desert, we were offered the tastiest Mint tea of our entire stay. Previously, I had been concerned about the camel welfare standards, having seen several saddening things over the course of the 10 days, but the camels seemed very happy and cared for. Would recommend this to other future travellers also!

In all honesty, while I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday, I put that down to the company, I could be just about anywhere with my boyfriend and still be very happy. I found Marrakech very intense at times, somewhat dangerous and their conservative nature a little bewildering. The souks in the Medina were very mad indeed, but they were beautiful. The mountains of colourful spices and glowing lanterns – couldn’t help buying a couple – were so fascinating to wander through. Marrakech is not a holiday for the faint hearted, especially as most travellers end up getting lost in the city, thankfully we did not!

 One way or another, Marrakech ✓

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