We arrived in Marrakech in the late afternoon to crazy (but probably normal) traffic. After weaving around a bit our driver got directions from a random guy on the street and we found our riad. It was run by a French expat and the chattiest man I have ever met. When we arrived he sat down with us over tea and gave us a map and literally all the advice ever. After that we were feeling very prepared for the next few days!
But first, a nap. We were feeling pretty tired after all the driving so we didn’t do much that night but find dinner. The riad was very cute and as is the norm in Morocco, generally full of cats. Hilariously some of the cats actually belonged to the riad, so our host was continuously trying to shoo the other cats out but keep his in. One of them was super derpy and always had its tongue sticking out; that one was my favourite.
Jardin Majorelle and Koutoubia Mosque
The next morning we walked over to the Jardin Majorelle, a very fancy garden designed by a french artist. This was also where all the white people in Morocco go to hang out it seemed. The gardens used to be owned by Yves Saint-Laurent and are very well maintained, as well as a nice escape from the hustle and bustle outside (which I think is why all the tourists were there). There is also a nice little Islamic art museum inside.
On our way back to the medina we passed by Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech. We also wandered by some official looking buildings that must have been important because I got in trouble for trying to take a picture of one. By this point we were pretty hot, so were excited when we found another Cafe Clock, like the one in Fes. We went up to have some drinks on the rooftop patio and ended up staying for dinner, watching all the hip young locals go crazy dancing to the band.
On our way back to the riad we strolled through Jemaa el-Fnaa, Marrakech’s main square. That place is bananas at night, full of people dancing and singing, makeshift carnival games, ladies doing henna for tourists, a million things for sale, pop up outdoor restaurants with people aggressively trying to get you to eat there, PLUS snake charmers and guys with pet monkeys. It was both exciting and stressful, because there were crazy things happening everywhere but also if you looked at anything too long or started taking pictures you would immediately be asked for money.
Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs
Bahia Palace is a big fancy palace with a lot of intricate architecture that Chris appreciated. We visited the next morning while our stamina for looking at things was still good.
We also we wandered by the Saadian Tombs; I don’t have much to say about those other than they were pretty elaborate.
Afterwards we wandered back to the main market area of the medina, wandering around and looking at all the things for sale. It started to rain a bit so we went and sat upstairs in a nearby restaurant, having tea and dinner while we watched the vendors perform an elaborate dance of covering and uncovering all their merchandise as the rain started and stopped.
El Badi Palace
It was still drizzling the next morning but we decided to check out El Badi Palace anyways. The palace is actually ruins now, but huge and neat to explore. There are also a lot of cats living there.
Museum of Moroccan Photography
For a bit of a change of pace, our last stop of the day was the Museum of Moroccan Photography. There were a lot of neat old photographs showing Morocco over years. Afterwards we found a super cute restaurant with a nice rooftop patio for sunset and tea. It was our last opportunity for tagine before leaving the country, so we stuffed our faces a bit. Tagine (can’t believe I forgot to talk about it before now) is pretty much the trademark Moroccan dish, a kind of meat stew cooked in a clay pot.
The next morning, it was over to London, our last stop!