Marrakech has always been a place firmly at the top of my travel bucket list…
The city intrigued me, not at least the country as a whole. I was drawn to visiting through stories of it’s crazy streets, vibrant colours and the promise of getting lost, deep in the heart of The Souks. After searching out cheap tickets (£75r) via EasyJet, and booking some last minute accommodation, we jetted off for a little bit of sun, relaxation and culture.
The taxi journey was one way to welcome us to the craziness that Marrakech has to offer, which is something we became accustomed to in no time. Our taxi dropped us as close as they could to our Riad, before we were met by the hotel and led through the windy streets to our final destination. We had booked Riad Sara very last minute, and had bagged a very cheap deal (£110 for 3 nights through trivago.com) so weren’t expecting miracles. It was however a beautifully simple Riad, with everything we needed for our short stay – so I would thoroughly recommend, especially with the close proximity to the Souks and Square.
Just a short 10 minute walk (or an even longer one walking directly through the Souks, you will find the madness that is Jamaa El-Fna Square. Relatively tame during the day (although I did have quite an experience with a lady doing henna tattoos, who quite literally didn’t give me a choice in the matter – so be very aware and on guard with all of the traders around the square) Littered with the locals selling their wears, monkeys on leads and cheap orange juice as far as the eye can see. You daren’t stop for a milli-second, or look at anything with interest, as when you do the vendors are quick to hassle you. Just be firm and polite with your ‘no thank you’s’ and they will leave you in peace.
Wanting to escape for a brief second we found ourselves high up on a restaurants roof top overlooking the crowds and having our first taste of Morocco. The food is cheap around the square, and you won’t pay much more than £5 for 2 courses – which is great for the budget travellers like us.
After an afternoon of snooping in the souks, we escaped the growing crowds for sunset and watched as the square really came to life. Food vendors popped up ready for the long night ahead, men danced and music played, whilst the crowds gathered in circles, throwing their money into the hat as they watched grown men fight. It was a spectacle to watch and listen from above, and ended up being quite a mission weaving our way through the crowds to the safety and calm of our Riad.