Marrakech Part 1

Hello

As a treat my parents have taken the family on holiday for a well needed break in the lovely hot Marrakech. We are here for eight days so I will split the trip into parts otherwise this post will go on forever.

Day 1

After getting up at three to get a cab to Gatwick we made it to Marrakech and once settled we started to explore the city.

First up the vegetable market, streets full of stalls selling fruit and vegetables packed to the brim on stands. As we walked through the streets people approached us trying to sell us what was on their stalls.

Continuing to the market square we passed the old city full of traders selling clothes, bags, spices and beautiful lamps and bowls all brightly coloured all intricately decorated . Walking through the souk each merchant was yelling that we should come to them that they were cheaper than their neighbour. Finally we made it to the market square as it was a Friday it was quiet as it was the siesta which is when everything closes for three hours so everyone can go home eat and sleep. Again the merchants approached us trying to sell hats, baskets and more spices.

The market felt different from the souk, as not as many men were shouting after us although the women started to call us to look at their stalls. After having some lunch at Cafe de Spice(we found it on Trip Adviser) which I would  recommended with a varied selection from classic Moroccan dishes to more Western meals. The staff were lovely and also recommended other restaurants in the area and offered to make the bookings for us to save us time.

We moved on and continued to look around the market and the area surrounding ending up in a Hammam which is a Moroccan spa to look around. Ending the day we walked back to our Riad (Moroccan house) and found a restaurant that had roof  top seating so we could look at the view.

Day 2

After having a Moroccan breakfast at the riad we called a taxi and went to the new town which is the more modern part of Marrakech with big shopping centres and a massive supermarket.

Once in the new town we went to the Majorelle Gardens originally the home of artist Jacques Majorelle  who originally created the garden. After visiting the garden Yves Saint Laurent bought the garden in 1980 to save it from being redeveloped into a hotel complex. After restoring the garden back to its former glory Laurent and his partner Pierre lived in the house, when Laurent died a memorial was made and put in the garden.

Walking around the garden it did not feel busy, you rarely had to stop and wait to get a view of the different features in the garden which included four different water features. While walking around you were sheltered by multiple palm trees  or shelters that were covered in climbing plants. The garden was complimented by brightly coloured blue, green and yellow ceramic pots bursting with colourful flowers and green plants.

As I continued through the gardens I came to the Love gallery with its walls covered in different Saint Laurent illustrations of  the word Love from various years. These were sent as new years cards  to his friends and clients of the fashion house, my favourite being 1988 with the words Yves Saint Laurent  in different colours surrounding the word love in blue and green outlined in yellow.

After the garden we jumped in our taxi and went to a Kasbah in new town which was like the souk but without the haggling of prices. In the evening we walked to the market square again as in the evening it is meant to be busy and boy was it. As soon as we walked into the square it felt like being a tourist in London, large crowds were surrounding us either gambling or enticing  tourists with dancing or music with hundreds of food stalls in the background.

After wondering around and having every trader we passed try and make us eat at their establishment we picked one with cheers from the staff as we sat down. Seeing as we wanted something light to eat it was perfect, as we sat we were given bread and olives on the house and told everything was good.

The only thing I have noticed so far as a young female tourist  is the men look at us differently calling after us and making rude gestures above clothing to us. The worst of it happened in the souk but the market square wasn’t as bad. While in the new town it does not happen which was interesting.

I am now off to the Jewish quarter and some more exploring in the ridiculous 37 degree heat.

Bye for now

Sarah

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