MARRAKECH HERE I COME…
On our fifth day we decided to do a day trip to the big city – Marrakech. We have a very early start. Our driver picked us up at about 7.30am because we had a three hour drive ahead of us. After a few hours of much needed sleep we finally arrived.
Our first stop off was the Majorelle Gardens. It is one of the most visited places in Morocco. It took forty years for the French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) to create this beautiful place, at the heart of the red city.
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered the Majorelle Garden in 1966, during their first trip to Marrakech. Typical colours that Yves Saint Laurent would have used in his collections can be seen in the gardens. So pretty!
Our next stop was the famous Koutoubia Tower, the largest mosque in Marrakech with a 70 meter high minaret. We then went to Bahia Palace which is surrounded by beautiful gardens filled with fruit trees. The inside of the palace was surprisingly cool and the artwork was unreal. Beautiful!
Massages & Retail Therapy
We stopped off in a small pharmacy where we were taught a number of things about products made in Morocco; beauty, medical and skincare products as well as spices and of course not forgetting Moroccan oil.
I treated myself to green lipstick that turns PINK when you apply it, some Moroccan oil, a henna tattoo and an UNREAL neck and shoulder massage.
After the Palace and plenty of bottles of water our tour guide took us to a traditional Moroccan restaurant. We were all starving at this point so any and all food was appreciated!
The main part of the souks is Souk Semmarine, a wide, covered alley that begins with pottery and pâtisserie and moves into good quality fabric and textiles shops, selling everything from kaftans to pashminas, and huge, expensive, tourist emporiums full of antiques, carpets and jewellery. About halfway along, Souk Semmarine forks. On the right is Spice Square and on the left is Souk el Attarine, bright and gleaming with copper and brass lanterns, mirrors, candlesticks, silver teapots and lamps, as well as spices and perfumes (for which it was traditionally known).
Shoes and clothes
Souk Smata is known as the shoe souk, with brightly-coloured Moroccan slippers. Leading off Attarine is Souk el Kebir and Souk Cherratin, the preserve of leatherworkers and the place to go to buy bags, belts, wallets and purses. To the left of Souk el Kebir are the kissarias, covered souks selling clothing and fabrics. There are some great little shops here, too, with chic lanterns, glassware, baskets and antiques. To the right of Kebir is the jewellery souk, Souk des Bijoutiers. We also passed a number of carpenters and blacksmiths working on crafts.
Tips For Haggling
Don’t ask the price of something unless you are willing to buy it. Be prepared to take your time. The general rule of thumb is to offer half of the seller’s first price and go from there. There is never a ‘correct price’ – if you want something and are happy to pay the price, then you have paid the right amount.
Dinner Is Served
After a few hours of walking in the sun and visiting Souks we stopped off in another restaurant, ate some more, relaxed in the shade and then moved on to the next part of our tour.
We were left in a central shopping area for an hour to shop by ourselves so we took advantage of this and ran to as many shops as we could within the hour. We bumped into some monkeys and rattle snakes along the way…
After a full day in Marrakech we headed back to Agadir – I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow! A great day overall and an unforgettable experience.
Thanks for reading! 🙂