Marhaba my lovelies,
I’m very excited to bring the third instalment of my travel diaries and it is on the culturally rich and beautiful Morocco.
I don’t know where to begin with this stunning country, from the labyrinthine alleyways, colourful market stalls, spa experiences, cultural heritage, beautiful ancient mosques to the bustling souks. It had been on my wish list for ever and I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit it in the Summer of 2010. It’s truly a magical place and I would def recommend it to everyone, it’s a must!
I stayed in Marrakech which is a chaotic, bustling and a lively city. It was full of history and culture though sometimes a little too noisy and loud but the pros weigh the cons. We were minutes away from the very popular central market square in Medina named D’jema el Fana.. You can hear the loud sound of the musical instruments playing away in the market as you approach it, your senses are overwhelmed by the sight, sound and smell of the square. The aroma of the food reaches the nose, stimulating the sense of smell and enticing shoppers to try their food. It is just heavenly!
There’s so much going on from snake charmers, henna artists, water sellers in fringed hats to belly dancers. No matter where you look, there is something interesting that will catch your eye! As you walk from stall to stall, sellers will be enticing you to come to their shop.. They are also more than welcoming if you wanted to take pictures of their shops.. Please do ask them first though!
Just a word of caution; I would be a little careful and alert of your surroundings as the touts do forcefully try and sell you things, so avoid eye contact and just move onto the next stall. Keep an eye on your personal belongings and wallets.
(Me getting my henna done, do notice the glitter on top!) 🙂
I also picked up a few jewellery pieces for myself and sisters which were very bohemian and eastern looking, a big trend these days!
Our next stop was to explore the cultural heritage, this is where we made our way to the Bahia Palace.
The Palace is simply stunning, we wandered around the numerous rooms and courtyards and admired the colourful mosaic, fountains, intricate woodwork and striking architecture which made this palace a must see! The tour guide also shared the many tales of the Sultans who lived with their wives at the palace.
(Sadly my pics had been accidentally deleted on my laptop and therefore I only have a couple of pics to show but the above pic shows a glimpse of the archways which was stunning!) 😔
In the afternoons, we would visit the souks (open air marketplace). The souks are full of intertwining narrow passageways and local shops full of character. You could leave me here all day and I wouldn’t complain but the maze really had me confused.. I did take a few wrong turns… Ssshhh no one needs to know! 😁
You would seriously be spoilt for choice here, so many things to marvel at; spice stalls, carpet shops, artisans, local bakery, perfumes, fragrance oils to souvenirs and so much more.. It really felt like Ali Baba’s cave! (All the stories from the Arabian Nights were coming back to me!) Ha!
(One of my purchases from the souks, traditional ethnic shoes!)
Another popular stop is the Koutoubia Mosque, which is the largest mosque in Morocco. The mosque serves a spiritual purpose. In Muslim countries, five times a day a muezzin calls out the “adhaan” a call to prayer to all Muslims and so is the case from atop of the Koutoubia Mosque minaret. All I can say is this truly is a memorable experience and an experience beyond the five senses, mind and intellect!
Sadly I have no pics to show of the beautiful mosque as my pics as mentioned earlier had been deleted on my laptop but I’m sure when you all visit this enchanting country, you will find it magical just as I did!
Other places I visited;
There is just so much more to share but sadly not enough space. I have to say Morocco has been one of my personal favourite places to visit, you can really immerse yourself and discover both the traditional and modern side to this stunningly beautiful country. I need to plan a visit again!
(Fishing boats in Essaouira)
Please do share your experiences with me, I would love to hear your stories x