My honeymoon in Marrakesh is probably up there as one of my most memorable holidays and a reminder that you don’t have to travel far to experience a whole new world.
Having never been to Africa before I have been hesitant in the past to visit. This was pretty much down to all the stories you hear about being harassed for money, haggling in the heat and being blonde! Yes, there were many jokes about the number of camels they could buy me for but before I even knew it I relaxed and came to enjoy it for the crazy environment it is… and go along with the joke!
The mad thing about Marrakesh is that you can go from loud, unruly noise in the medina and kasbah to the ultra serene peace and quiet sanctuaries of the Palaces and gardens dotted around the city. It’s a city of contrasts. One thing is unyielding (and I’m not talking about the heat) but the beauty.
The beauty of the mysterious holes in the medina wall, the beauty in the dazzling array of bright goods on display in the Souks, the soothing beauty of the morning prayer from the Koutubia Mosque, the intricate beauty in the architecture at Ali Ben Youssef, the exotic beauty of the courtyard Riads and the beauty of sophisticated Islamic garden design. So many wonderful sights, smells and sounds to behold in this magical place.
Around every corner there would be an old, weather worn gate adorned with the most exquisite Arabic handwriting through to jaw dropping golden doors leading to mysterious wonders. The amount of times we wandered through unknown doors to find a secret cafe or rooftop with glorious views over the medina. It’s a well known fact that the Saadian Tombs were only discovered by aerial photography a hundred years ago in 1917. Because of its narrow alleyway entrance it went unnoticed for several hundred years.
Le Secret Garden Marrakesh might not be as well known as the Marjorelle Gardens (Yves Saint Laurent’s co-restoration project and absolutely gorgeous) but it soon will be. Another major restoration work that taken ten years to complete, only opened in March this year and is a fantastic example of an Islamic garden. The tower also affords some of the best sights in Marrakesh for only 30 dirham (only around £2).
We also checked out some of the local art and museum handicraft artefacts at the Musee de Marrakesh
as well as vintage Moroccan photography at the newly opened Maison de la Photographie (pic above). Plus they have a fantastic free rooftop terrace where you can see stunning views all across the city to the Atlas Mountains.
Last but not least I can’t finish without mentioning the Djemaa el-Fna market square. Yes its huge. Yes its busy. Yes its full of madcap people… and animals. You just simply have to go and experience it!
P.S. This is just the tip of the iceberg 🙂
P.P.S. The people are very friendly.
P.P.P.S. The food and mint tea is gorgeous (top tip: buy fresh dates from the Souks… they taste of caramel!)
Please see my main blog for loads more photos of our trip… click here…