Souks, Slippers & Snake Charmers- Wandering around Marrakech.

Arriving Marrakesh airport after an easy 3 hr flight,  I was surprised at how far away from home I felt. Set between the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains and the vast red sand of the Sahara desert Marrakesh feels like another world. The first thing I was aware of was how different the light was, the sky is a deep blue and the city itself seems to radiate a pink sunset glow, even in the middle of the day.

Marrakech Rooftops

Marrakech – view from a rooftop bar in the new town of Gueliz despite the building being made of concrete and metal they still have the characteristic blocky shape and rose colour Marrakech is famous for

Marrakech

Marrakech

Koutoubia Mosque one of the few tall buildings in Marrakech

Marrakech

Part of the city wall that surrounds the Medina, the walls are made of mud and stone with square holes left after removing the wooden scaffolding which also serves to ventelate the buildings.

In the morning I visited Palais Bahia, a beautiful building which includes a series of relaxing courtyards and rooms designed and converted in the late 19th century is a great place to see Moroccan architecture and design.

Palaia Bahia Marrakech

Palais Bahia

Orange Trees in the Palace gardens, as well as providing some much needed shade, the smell from the Orange blossom is amazing.

Palais Bahia

The beautiful tiled central courtyard leads off to rooms for entertaining guests and the Harems

Palais Bahia

The peaceful gardens, planted with aromatic trees and flowers are a great place to cool down, look out for tortoises hiding out in the greenery…

Within the Medina are the Souks, a network of passages and streets within the old town  where you  can shop for spices, medicines, leather, Argan oil and of course carpets and textiles.

Marrakech

Following the locals into the Souks is the best way to find your way and eavesdropping on fellow shoppers making deals gives you an idea of how hard to haggle.

Marrakech

Its easy to get lost within the maze of passageways that make up the souks, but finding your way is half the fun.

Marrakech

Wandering in the Souks, unfortunately a photograph doesn’t capture the sounds of haggling and amazing smells  of leather, freshly baked bread and herbs and spices.

The heart of the city the famous market square Jemaa el Fna, here you will find snake charmers, musicians and dancers, food and even a travelling dentist with his stall of used teeth and dentures!

Jemaa el Fna

Jemaa el Fna just before sunset, there are numerous cafes and tea shops on the rooftops surrounding the square a great place to sit and watch the chaos below ( a glass of wine would be nice at this point, but the cafes around the square are all alcohol free)

Marrakech

There are stalls selling all sorts of street food and drinks, from the best fresh orange juice to grilled meat skewers to dried fruit and nuts and herbs.

I only spent a couple of days in Marrakech before heading off into the  Mountains, but wish I had longer. It is an easy city to get to and an even easier one to explore, the architecture, the food, the people and the sights and sounds are unfamiliar but not daunting.

I only decided to visit Morocco as I had a gap in my ‘travelling about finding myself schedule’ in March, I wanted to spend a couple of weeks doing something active, preferable walking or trekking. Morocco was never a place I had thought about travelling to, but after some not very in-depth research it seemed to tick all the boxes:  short flight from the UK, good weather, mountains, somewhere I had never been.  I soon found a reasonably priced package walking in the Atlas Mountains with flights and accommodation planned out for me, perfect…  

My trip was arranged by Exodus Travel flights and all: Atlas Panorama

Advertisements

One thought on “Souks, Slippers & Snake Charmers- Wandering around Marrakech.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s