I, Michaela, was allowed to do this adventure alone. I had registered for a wedding photography workshop in Marrakesh and was able to arrive two days in advance and stay one day longer to get a little bit of an impression of the city. I was there in October 2018.
You keep hearing from all sides as a woman you are ignored or put down in an Islamic country and you have to be careful and and and …
I got to know Morocco very differently. Because of these prejudices and stories, I had a queasy feeling, so I was very happy that Lisa Scrima, a German photographer who also took part in the workshop, wanted to arrive a little earlier and stay longer to see the city. So we got together. We shared a room and did everything in town together. We only met briefly on the phone beforehand, but it worked really well.
We lived right in the old town in a riad. If you ever come to Marrakesh, rent a room in a RIAD. There is nothing more authentic than accommodation. That are 4-sided courtyards that look totally inconspicuous from the outside and resemble a palace. Despite the hubbub in the old town, the Riad is a small, relaxed and clean oasis. Just great. So we stayed at the RIAD VERT with Isabel, a French woman who owns small hotels in Marrakesh and Spain.
Isabel was helpful and friendly and took great care of us. You also have to know that when you arrive at a riad, you will be greeted with a cup of mint tea. I don’t really like herbal teas, but out of courtesy I drank one anyway. MMMMHHHH, I can only recommend this tea, it tastes great and just fits into this ambience, everything just harmonizes and I enjoyed my tea.
On our first day Lisa and I walked from the raid through the old town to the souks. The souk is a large covered market full of small stalls and shops. Full of a thousand colorful things, you can’t get enough of it. The souks lead to the Djemaa el fna, a large open market in the south of the old town, which is particularly known for its nightlife. there we got ourselves a little drink and let everything work a little. Just great. I have never experienced such different impressions at the same time, on the one hand it’s dirty and you smell donkey dung. On the other hand, great spices everywhere, the great smell and colorful handmade goods. All the houses look from the outside as if they were made of red clay, but inside everything is covered with beautiful tiles and decorated with intricate carvings. You can’t get out of being amazed.
We went back to our riad and had a very delicous dinner there. I had a sweet lamb tajine with couscous. Simply great – there is no way to describe it.
The next day Isabel made us an appointment in a hammam. An experience in itself. We were scrubbed, soaked, scrubbed again, peeled and washed there for 2 hours. I think I lost at least 0.5kg of old skin. And finally a massage. We went deeply relaxed then on to the Bahia Palace. You can visit this for a few dirhams (Moroccan currency), luckily it weren’t many people there and we were able to take great photos. see below in the gallery.
The palace, like the riads in town, is filled with thousands of tiny tiles and wonderful woodwork. What I found a little shame was that there were unfortunately no signs that explained a little what it is and how old it is and what it was made for. But still great to look at.
After that we had lunch in a small restaurant and were again surprised with great taste. It was all so delicious. Also the fresh orange juice that you get everywhere, oranges are soooo sweet here.
What you have to be prepared for are the prayers, at regular intervals you can hear the prayers from loudspeakers that are attached to the mosques. Also early in the morning and until late at night. No earplugs help either.
My conclusion on Marrakesh – it is totally exciting and exotic. I liked it a lot and I will definitely come back. There is still so much to see here. I will then be happy to post an update to you.
Fortunately, we had the opportunity to visit a camp in the desert in front of the city. A small camel ride and a demonstration of the local traditions were included and we were able to get a little glimpse into the riding skills of the Moroccans. Awesome.