Africa

Exploring Marrakech for Míriam

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Last summer, during an excursion through the I walked from RondaIsabel told us about her next travel plans: Italy, Indonesia and a Getaway during the December bridge to Marrakech. "If you want to sign up, you already know it!" We think: "why not?" We quickly searched for flights as cheap as possible to Marrakech, which we hired on the Destinia website, and made the reservation immediately to be able to coincide in the same Riad. December was still far away, but as we were investigating our destiny, we felt more like the moment arrived.

And finally December arrived. After hitting an impressive early morning to go to the Reus airport, from where our plane left at 7 in the morning, we arrived promptly at 8:30 to the Marrakech-Menara airport. There we expected the person who would take us to our accommodation, the Riad Miski. On the way, we saw how the driver was advancing cars, motorcycles and bikes. I was surprised at how chaotic the traffic was, but Isabel told me: «in Egypt it is worse!"". We immediately entered the medina and hallucinated when we saw how a seven-seater minivan could make its way through alleyways full of people, motorcycles and bikes going up and down.

To get to riad, the owner welcomed us and invited us to go up to the terrace to have a mint tea. After the early morning and having spent more than six hours in dance, we appreciated the detail. Christine, which is the name of the owner of riadHe gave us a map of the city and indicated the most interesting places to visit and also marked the odd cafe and restaurant to eat. In addition, he gave us some advice regarding prices, an interesting thing when it comes to haggling. I was excited to get a henna tattoo on my hand, but I had read around that sometimes black henna is used (instead of the natural one) that contains chemical ingredients that can cause very bad skin reactions. In addition, he told me that most tattoos that make tourists do not have the authentic Berber designs. The good tattoo artists, he said, are women who are scary and take you, I don't know where ... and here I felt like it. My joy in a well!

Anyway ... since it was just after nine and we had breakfast for more than three hours, we went to have another breakfast at a more normal time. Christine recommended the Café des Épices, which has a terrace with a good panoramic view of the medina. It is a place full of tourists, but the location is very good. They serve breakfast and sandwiches, mainly.

After the snack and visiting the coffee terrace, we head towards the souk, ready to get lost. There were some shops closed and we didn't find too many people. It showed a little that it was the day of prayer and that the tourists had not yet arrived in mass. The sellers immediately recognized where we came from and, although they minimally invited us to come in and look, they didn't get too heavy either. Finally, we found the exit of the souk and we arrived at the Ben Youssef Mosque. The mosque itself cannot be visited (if you are not a Muslim, of course) but there is the option to see the madrasa (Koranic school) attached. In fact, you can buy a ticket to visit the madrassa, along with the Marrakech Museum and the Koubba Ba'Adiyn, which is what we finally did.

The Marrakech Museum is located in the Dar Menebhi Palace and the truth is that we look more at the palace than in the exhibitions of modern art that were exhibited there. Next we went to see the Ben Youssef Madrasa, which we found really spectacular for the cedar decoration and stucco filigree. We were dumbfounded trying to photograph every detail of the decoration! Personally, I loved getting lost a little because of the small rooms and side courtyards ... On leaving, we visited in passing the Koubba Ba'Adiyn, a ruined dome-shaped mausoleum. Maybe we should not have left it for last, since after visiting the madrassa we were not so impressed.

At lunchtime, we decided on one of the sites Christine had recommended: La Terrace des Épices, which is the version in Café des Épices restaurant. The restaurant is on the terrace, as the name implies, and has a nice view over the souk. The pity is that we could not enjoy the views very much, since we had to protect ourselves from the rather cold wind that was blowing. We ate from the menu: first tomato salad, pepper and cucumber seasoned with spices, and second, lemon chicken tagine with olives (all very tasty!).

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