Thursday, 26 January 2017

A Weekend in Marrakesh


Marrakesh is truly an enchanting wonderland; from the beautiful riads to lantern-lit courtyards, magical gardens and mini plunge pools, I hope you enjoy the recap of our trip as much as I did writing it!

I've had the desire to travel to Morocco for so long that I'm pretty sure my friends and family were secretly thankful my boyfriend planned a trip for me, just so they wouldn't have to hear about another Moroccan rug fantasy of mine ever again!

We flew from London to Marrakesh on a Friday afternoon, and spent a long weekend getting lost in the medina, eating delicious Moroccan food and purchasing beautiful, handmade home goods!

 Lunch at Atay Cafe



Food-wise we stuck to ordering simmering tagines (meat, prunes, nuts, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron in a clay pot) as well as grilled veggies, spinach and cheese briouates, seafood stuffed pastries and couscous. When shopping in the souks we were offered an abundance of mint tea and Moroccan pastries - this is all a part of the haggling process, which was fun at first but became quite tiring once we were a couple days into the trip.





As a rough guideline, one should offer 1/4 of the starting price, sip on some mint tea, walk out a couple of times, and settle for a price just under 1/2 of merchant's starting price.We purchased a vintage Beni Ourain rug for 1200 Dirham (€110), when the starting price was over 9000 Dirham - so do not feel like you are going in too low.

We also brought back a gorgeous leather moroccan pouf, serving platters, leather travel bag, argan oil, a wool pom-pom throw blanket and pillow! We then asked the seller to roll up and bubble wrap the rug and we simply checked it as an extra bag on our Ryanair flight home.


 The rug!

 The rug getting ready for its journey home to London.

Our favourite restaurants of the trip included Le Jardin, Dar Cherifa and Atay Cafe however every meal we had in Marrakesh was absolutely delicious. We also had drinks at Nomad which was the perfect little cafe overlooking the square, as well as Riad Yasmine which is so picturesque.




In terms of sightseeing I would highly recommend spending some time in Jardin Majorelle (YSL's ashes are scattered there), Le Jardin Secret and trekking to the Atlas Mountains.



 
My favorite part of the day in the Atlas Mountains was when we climbed for just over an hour, taking in the scenery (Mt. Toubkal!) and hopping across riverbeds. After a bit of a hike we reached a small house with a rooftop terrace, where we were cooked a tasty tagine by a local Berber woman. On our way back into the city we stopped for a camel ride - it really was the perfect day!



I wish I had time to do a day trip to the Sahara desert but that will have to wait for another time - I can't wait to go back!
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