A couple of months ago a friend and I found a cheap deal to Marrakech, Morocco costing £90. This covered flights and bed & breakfast in a Riad.
After a bit of uncertainty, reading stuff on the internet and people saying things about a country they have never been to or know nothing about, we started packing.
I must admit, the airport security is fierce, but as a traveller I like that, knowing we are being protected and I don’t understand people complaining.
From the moment you step off the plane you are immersed in the beauty and wonder of Marrakech.
The Riad “Mama’s House” had a car organised for us to take us there and although it was 10pm, the manager Ramadan Ramadan, dressed true Moroccan style, had mint tea and wine waiting for us on the roof terrace which was decorated with sheets of multi coloured cloth and sofas, really rustic.
The next day we were served a typical breakfast, pancakes, breads and sponge-type cakes, with juice and coffee. The winter sun, 22degrees, was beating down at 8am and we headed to their mad market square…the Medina.
Everything is on sale from fake sunglasses, trainers, football kits ….everything! You have to be on guard or before you know it a snake charmer will have a snake around your neck wanting money. The guys with monkeys are the same; keep your distance unless you want a £5 selfie.
The further you venture it gets darker and the market traders are in full swing will sales banter. They will follow you trying to get you to spend. Don’t be intimidated- it’s just their sales pitch. Bargain them down to half and work from there. Be cheeky with them, not rude, they love it.
The next day we booked a beach trip for €25 to Essaouira, a 2 hour journey, and worth it. Stunning beaches, strong water though. Camel rides, goats in trees and an up and coming arty town with yet again traders waiting!!! The restaurants and bars are cheap, the food fresh and amazing and the people great.
On our last day we strolled around the botanic gardens and the Kings Palace eating street food and soaking up the atmosphere of this semi-tamed place.
The owner of the Riad, Mohammed, invited us to lunch with his family, proper Moroccan style. A huge lamb tagine with different breads, hands only, truly special and genuine people. During our stay we befriended two Muslim girls from the Midlands and they said we all must go see the real Medina-at night.
It was mental, indescribable like an organised post-war apocalypse party with local musicians competing on who could be loudest and people dancing, fire-eaters and performing artists. It was great way to spend our last night. We found a roof-top restaurant and ate overlooking all of this chaos happening below a deep red sky, superb!
Yet again, Ramadan, now nick-named Yoda, because of his crazy outfits, had tea waiting for us. We talked until the early hours about our different countries and life styles. Before we went to bed he gave me a parcel, inside was one of his outfits for me. I was stunned and flattered, can’t wait for Halloween!
After breakfast we said our goodbyes and headed for the airport safe in the knowledge that I will return.