Marakkech – the city of snake charmers ..really ??

This year has ended on a real high with an exciting travel to yet another continent Africa. I travelled  to almost 7 countries out of which 4 of them have been with family which includes a 5 year old  but have to say that the child truly seems to have taken the travelling gene .I don’t think I can still call myself an avid traveler as I still run away from the mundane tasks of  booking tickets , planning elaborate itineraries but put me there and I find more than interesting ways to enjoy each and every moment spent during travel. 

This trip was no different and even though being the last one where you’d expect to be too tired the few blogs and travel sites I read convinced me that it definitely was warmer & colourful enough to give me the respite from the cold winters of London. Ryanair was quite worthy of its price & there we were at Marrakech by Friday evening. Since I’m quite excited about the whole trip and I have ample time thanks to the X’mas holidays I have decided to split my blog post in 2 parts.  The entire trip was only 3 days long and I plan to talk about reaching there and 1 st day in this blog.

The flight was from Luton and quite surprisingly we were very much in time. Making much use of it like a typical girl I ventured out shopping  and surprised myself  picking up Accessorize Crossbody bag  which  turned out quite  savior at Marrakech . t has been a week and I seem to be thoroughly enjoying my stay with it.

We reached at around 6.30 pm quite comfortably however the experience was marred by the endless queues at Marrakech airport. Being a family we were however given access to a special queue and things from there on went quite fast. A member of hotel staff picked us up from the drop point which looked like middle of nowhere, from where he took us through the serpentine streets of Marrakech.  Truly they are big enough for only a single scooter possibly to go through. So if you arriving late at night don’t be alarmed by such experience as all Riad seem to be located at such places.

We had booked ourselves a traditional Riad which is much recommended by any site. The family was supposed to be in family suite but somehow we ended up in a honeymoon suite. This turned out to be one of the highlight of the trip as it meant that we didn’t have a private bath but only a door free open personalised spa in our very bedroom. As much as I found the condition hilarious my 5 year old thoroughly enjoyed it over next 3 days. A quick dinner and there we were tucked in our bed for an exciting day 1

Day 1
We booked for a 3 hour walking tour with intermittent breaks and were accompanied by another French family. The tour guide could speak both French and English quite well.
Trivia:  People in morocco are very well trained in French & English at school and the Bollywood teaches them Hindi/Urdu as well quite well, so no messing in these languages for sure. Marrakech is divided in old and new town. We were taking the tour of old town where most of the places are within a comfortable walking distance.

The houses and the streets are brimming with colours everywhere. The souks and the shops had everything right from traditional jewellery to pottery, leather goods, paintings, wooden sculptures and the so very traditional Moroccon lamps.

Our first stop was at Bahia Palace. The name which stands for grand indeed reflected grandeur at all corners .Built for personal use which included 4 wives and 200 courtesans, every room & every Riad was well kept and reflected the Islamic and Moroccon style of architecture.

Next stop was at Saadian tombs- the tombs of a legendary family of Morcco. As with most of Islamic monuments its the house of dead which captivate .

                                                         Koutoubiya Mosque

Not very far is also the famous Mosque Koutubiya which is the only square mosque apparently.

Most of the travel sites recommend a ride on Horse rides or Caleches but looking at the condition of animals we decided against it.

After a scrumptious lunch which included the Morcoon Tagine & Couscous we headed to Jardin Majorelle or YSL gardens. As the name suggests this was a designer’s property so the expectations were quite high and I have to say that it completely lived up to it.  As the pictures reflect YSL was very much influenced by the African culture and colours and thus he ended up spending a lot of his time in Marrakech, also coming out with African designs once in a while. There are 3 different tickets and 1 combined ticket for gardens, Berber museum and YSL museum. No photographs are allowed within the Berber or YSL museum however I'd highly recommend both cause they not only are curated well  but the display is magical which have to see it really to experience it.

                                                                 YSL Memorial

On the way we were taken through some very interesting stories on Moroccan history, Jewish and Arab quarters, trade and culture which includes the very famous Argan oil and seeing how it’s extracted

The day was closed  with another high when we ended up in a restaurant on hotel staff recommendation and were obliged to some brilliant Moroccon music followed by Belly dancing. 

With such a fascinating end I looked forward to my Day 2 which was to be away from the hustle and bustle of city.

To be continued …….