3 must have experiences in Marrakech – GUEST POST
I am delighted to be publishing the first of what I hope to be many guest posts on Foreign Aussie! This one comes to you from Ellie Jones, the creative behind 'Aussie of the North' a travel and adventure blog which aims to inspire and inform would be travellers. In her post she informs us of three must have experiences in Marrakech! For more great content visit; www.aussieofthenorth.com
The adventurous don’t think twice about visiting somewhere outside of their comfort zone but for those who might be a little more cautious, some reassurance that a place is worth visiting can go a long way. Well, I am the former type of person! and after some sweet talking I convinced my friend (who is the latter) to join me for a week in Marrakech. It was everything I hoped and more! Here is my list of 'must have' experiences in the bustling Moroccan capital;
Get lost in the Souk
For this adventure head to Jemaa el Fna, the heart of Marrakech’s old town. On two sides of the square you have restaurants and bars, on the other two you have entrances to the Souk. Depending what time of day, the square is flooded with people and stalls. Come sunset, there are food stalls set up for some exceptional street food. I’ll warn you now, you WILL get lost in the souk! But that’s ok, you’ll find your way out eventually. Fighting off vendors and haggling in the Souk is a whole other topic! but don’t be turned away by the hustle and bustle. There's so much beautiful produce up for grabs at bargain prices, from lanterns to leather, silver jewellery to carpet, art work to pottery. Oh and let us not forget the food and spices, there's an explosion of colour around every corner. It may be touristy but there's a good reason for that! It's a must do experience whether you stay for an hour or six.
Visit Majorelle Gardens
One of my favourite things about dessert countries is how colour is incorporated into their lives amongst the sand. Most houses are plain terracotta on the outside and an array of colour on the inside, but the best exception to this is Majorelle Gardens. Bought by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980 these beautiful gardens were saved from being turned into a hotel. Think lapis lazuli blue walls and tiles, add in some green and yellow and you have the colour palette for this garden. When the sun is shining through the thick green trees or reflecting of the pond water you feel a million miles away from the city that stands outside the 6 foot walls. If you find gardens enchanting or need some calm after a little chaos, the entry price is well worth it. Especially knowing it goes towards maintaining this beautiful oasis.
Get to know the locals
We had two opportunities to meet some locals, the first was when we did a quad biking excursion. It was run by some very down to earth Morroccan's and it was nice to know that our money was going towards a small community business rather than a tourism giant. During the tour we chatted to our guide and asked about his life rather than just talking about ours. He appreciated us taking an interest so much that he took us to meet his mother and little sister! both whom didn’t speak a word of English. They served us traditional sweet mint tea and bread with honey. The room had black and white tiles with fuchsia pink curtains and cushions while the next room over was covered in bright green decorations. Our second meeting with some locals was on a day tour of the lower Atlas Mountains, we were taken to a large Berber house which ran the towns flour mill. This was a little more touristy as they did tours of their house for groups and explained how the communities worked. The son showing us around spoke 4 different languages fluently! I highly recommend both these activities in their own right but however you do it, experiencing local living should be a priority.