As I stated in a post before I went away I didn’t intend to post so much while I was in Marrakesh and apart from the odd story or two, I didn’t .
Yay , total holiday detox !
I have, as expected taken LOADS of photos – not so much fashion or beauty. I have gone slightly feral . I was having way, way too much fun AND my holidays are precious. I don’t get that many . I tend to saviour those that I do.
It was good to not feel a constant need or pressure to post, or scroll. Most importantly my friends were there to have a good time too – not to fanny about filming me for Insta. I guess when you can style a white shirt and tie your own shoe laces it’s not a necessity ! I may have been away – but I am still the sarcastic chuff I always was – maybe more so know after a much needed break.
We stayed at the all inclusive Adults Only BeLive Collective Hotel ; a beautiful hotel that is situated about 20 minutes from the Medina. There was a free daily shuttle service into the center of Marrakesh but we decided to go for the £15/ £20 taxi option. As there were 6 of us it worked out around £3 each per journey and we could go at our own pace.
Ideally it would have been nice to have been staying slightly nearer to everything but due to the extreme heat it turned out to be a great base . We tootled off into the vibrant hot centre of Marrakesh in the morning before it got too hot . We returned to the hotel in the afternoon to cool down and chill around the pool with a cold beer , or cocktail. Best of both worlds.
Koutoubia Mosque above – the tallest mosque in Marrakesh. As we are not Muslim we are not allowed entry but its exterior looks majestic.
It is worth noting that Marrakesh is a closed currency which means you can only change and use your currency once you arrive in the country. Saying that you needn’t worry too much – most places accept payment with € & £’s which surprised me but also made life a lot easier. Cards are accepted in most places too.
We hired a guide to take us around the Souk & Medina. We ended up with a lovely informative guy called Rachid – firstname.lastname@example.org . You can contact him direct on that email to book. This was organised via our hotel. I would highly recommend you do the same. It would be very easy to get lost & you could have potentially ended up walking around in circles . We made a list of what we wanted to see / buy and Rachid ensured we saw / bought it all. He even gave us a quick bartering lesson !!
Did I feel threatened? Not once.
Did I feel safe? Absolutely .
Did having a guide help. Of course. As for the people they were nothing but warm and welcoming.
There’s still some evidence of damage from the earthquake in the Medina. It’s scaffolded but health and safety isn’t quite like it is over here in the UK. Don’t be surprised to walk past guys that are chucking bricks down onto the street below . Bricks that just miss your head !
4 days away with my friends never went so fast and as for Marrakech … well she had a-bit of everything.
The chaos of the Souk.
I told my friend Lisa while lazing around the pool one day that the Souk felt like the contents of my head and she looked slightly concerned. I told her it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing – I just have lots of tabs ‘open’ and find it hard to shut one down or concentrate on one thing at a time …
The call to prayer.
The red city.
Beautiful sunsets. You know I LOVE a good sunset. The sun set around 7.20pm and turned the sky into a wash of red & orange.
Mint tea in silver teapots. A little tip from our guide Rachid – Ask for it without sugar as it’s very sweet already . If it’s necessary you can add your own. Moroccans LOVE their sugar. It’s actually quite refreshing
Argan Oil . On our guided tour with Rachid we were taken to a Health store within the Medina that was run by a local family. We learnt about spices and Argan oil from their beautiful son Mohammad . Good move – he could have sold tea to china. Easy pickings with 6 ladies hanging on his every word 🙂
The monkeys in chains in the main square, or the tiny donkeys carrying such heavy loads it looked like it might break their backs. That’s the part I didn’t enjoy . I’m guessing their images will haunt me for some time yet . As I have said before animals serve a different purpose over here. They are a ‘means to an end.’
The Tranquil gardens at Jardin Majorelle that are open daily . I would advise getting there first thing when they open at 8am, or later in the afternoon. It gets extremely busy around lunch time.
I know I am one , but there’s nothing more annoying than a tourist! They advise you book online which is what we did the evening before. We were offered the 8.00am or 11.00am slot. We plumped for the 11, but with hindsight wished we’d not been so lazy and booked the 8. It was busy but manageable. It cost us £23 each.
Expect to see lots of Instagrammers in the wild
As an ‘instagrammer’ myself I cringe slightly at some of the poses and time it takes for these people to get their ‘shot’. Their total lack, or awareness that there are other people around waiting to get a photo too – one that doesn’t include them? On the other hand I also kind of admire their “ I don’t give a shit attitude”
The Kama-Karzy traffic. I have never witnessed anything like it in my life … cars, bikes, mopeds over loaded with people , buses, donkeys, horses – you name it . I will definitely never complain about driving in Sheffield again!
Charlie the hotel cat. She wasn’t , as far as we know, actually called Charlie. We nicknamed her that because she looked like my friend Rachs dearly departed old cat Charlie.
Golfers, so many golfers – who knew there are 13 courses in & around Marrakesh. I certainly didn’t. Our hotel was a wash with them; something I had not expected. Playing golf in such extreme temperatures deserves a medal in itself. Most days it reached a staggering 38 degrees. Aqua aerobics in the fun pool at the hotel was as energetic as I got.
Cocktails in the pool. Not very strong but very refreshing!
Talking to people that I’ll probably never see again in my life time … but who have become part of my memories & who will unbeknowingly feature in stories I share in the future.
For me however the hussle & bustle , the extreme dry desert heat, the spirit of the Souk & the welcoming smiles of the people we met is the main thing I will take away with me. Their resilience, their “get on with life” attitude when only 3 weeks earlier they had suffered a devastating earthquake. Well I think we could learn a thing or two from them!
I’ve really had a fabulous time. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure that I’d like it. Its not after all our usual typical holiday destination.
As a Muslim country with strict alcohol laws , you can’t just grab a beer each & anywhere. We where staying in an all-exclusive hotel so around the hotel we had no problem obtaining an alcoholic beverage. Outside of the hotel it wouldn’t have been so easy. Luckily we had researched before hand, located and booked some amazing spots for our evening meal and drinks.
Most nights we did end up back at the hotel – dancing like our dads to cheesy pop songs and downing shots that I insisted we have before bed!
The roof top terrace at Kabana , really chilled atmosphere. Serves a great Gin & Tonic and vast selection of cocktails. The food was absolutely delicious. It’s a great place to watch the sun set. The toilets are something else!
Book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Below So Lounge Bar & Nightclub which is part of the Sofitel Hotel . We stumbled upon this while looking for places to get a drink near Nobu. It’s very plush. When we visited it was quiet but can imagine it gets very lively on a weekend. The Gin and tonic was the best I had all holiday. Expect to pay around £8 – £15 for a drink.
Nobu in the French quarter. Absolutely Beautiful setting – panoramic 360 degree views . Unfortunately we had terrible service here.
It’s another destination ticked off my bucket list.
I loved it.
I am however a firm believer that with the right few people by your side you could be anywhere and have a good time ❤️ sorry to sound like a show off but I have that in abundance.
Where are we off to next ladies ? x
“Tsbah ela khir!”
*We booked a complete holiday package with Easy Jet. At the time of booking it cost us around £520 for 4 nights, including flights and private transfers *