Thursday, 6 September 2018

marrakech | مراكش


I wanted to write the title of this post in Arabic as well as English as a way to pay homage to my background and culture. I was in Marrakech almost over two months ago but the experiences that I went through are still fresh in my mind. Like the rest of Morocco, Marrakech was a huge sensory overload- one that can be overwhelming if you've never visited the country or city before. As a Moroccan native, I'd already visited multiple times before with my parents. Despite this, I had never actually done Marrakech the true touristy way. We would always stay far out of the medina and even Gueliz, the new town, favouring resorts and hotels to the hustle and bustle of the medina. We would subsequently spend our days by the pool and only ventured into the city in the evening before escaping back to the Europeanised version of the city.


I wanted to change this.

How could I, out of all people, continue experiencing one of the most vibrant cities in the country through the watered down perspective? Even the European tourists I love criticise so much were getting out there and exploring more than I was. Katie and I spent a few days smack bang in the middle of the Marrakechi medina in an oasis of calm that was Riad Aya (even though we may have gotten henna on the bedsheets and had a whole issue sorting that out afterwards)


I don't know where to start but perhaps summarising it in some bullet points would be a good beginning:

  • crazy, unbearable heat that drenches your backpack straps (which your friend will then have to feel when you alternate) gross but very effective way to bond with someone lol. 
  • 3 hour slots of pure tranquility on a terrace, by the pool and the smell of spf engulfing you. 
  • orange juice. so much orange juice. 
  • warm tones everywhere. and tiles.
  • lush gardens that I still can't wrap my head around- how are they still so green when they're basically in 30 degree + heat for most of the year...
  • questionable cat calling. seriously: lady gaga and shakira? 
  • early breakfasts in the courtyard.
  • haggling. 
  • someone's sleep talking. to this day I don't know who the missing third person was. 
  • visiting all the historical monuments the city has to offer from ruined palaces to tombs.
  • spending 2 hours looking for a place and going through some sketchy places only to realise you literally walked past the entrance before. I even looked and read the signs but still missed it. 
  • a lost phone in the middle of the medina- miraculously still there and actually got it back.
  • (after paying 50 dirhams because the hustle don't stop) 
  • wild roads. if you don't cross, you never will. those cars will not stop. 
  • a whole load of languages. 
  • random garages filled with watermelons. and a sleepy vendor beside them. 
  • getting the best seat in a restaurant, looking at the menu and realising it's much more overpriced than you thought, feeling too awkward to just get up and leave, pretending to get a call from someone and loudly declaring that you're on your way down just so you can avoid confrontation with the staff. then assuring yourselves that you don't owe that restaurant anything. 
  • 3 hour car journeys to the waterfall (mostly spent asleep) 
  • navigating the souks- thanks Katie. 
  • a nose bleed and banged heads. what a day...
  • the constant drumming in the main square. 
  • finally learning the word for stamps in Arabic (it'sتنابر btw) 
  • going straight up the terrace as soon as we got in late at night to just lay down and talk. 
  • wondering what on earth a group of lads could be doing in Marrakech (?!) 
  • borrowed wonky sunglasses. 
  • cats!!! 
  • buying a ridiculous amount of 1 litre bottles of water. 
  • forcibly drinking mint tea because you don't want your friend to miss out on the experience. 
  • "excuse me miss can I have [your] snapchat?" 
After reading through this bullet point list, I think that it encompasses my time in Marrakech perfectly. A collection of fast paced events that have made this trip one that I'll never forget. 

And I don't know if it's strange to thank the person you travelled with for, you know, travelling with you, but I can firmly say that having experienced Marrakech (and Ouzoud) with Katie has made it even more memorable. So here's to internet friends/pen pals turned travel buddies. I hope we have many more trips together. 

Dalal 

18 comments:

  1. This sounds like it was such a lovely trip! And the photos are stunning Dalal!

    Sophie | Sophie's Spot

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    1. I had such a great few days! Thank you

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  2. I love that you summarised it all in bullet points Dalal! I'd absolutely love to visit Morocco one day, I can't believe I was literally half an hour ferry trip away though a few weeks ago *sigh*!

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. I didn't intend for it to be the main body of the post but I feel like it's much more easier to read than long paragraphs. It's such a shame you didn't take the opportunity to explore a lil bit of Morocco but there's always next time!

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  3. These pictures are só beautiful!

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  4. I'd forgotten so many of those things, you literally took me right back to the heat and sensory overload!!! Your pics are stunning, making me dream of it all over again xo

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    1. Thank god for journals, right? It was an experience and a half reading through the diary entries and the details of each day- it's still so fresh in my mind.

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  5. Omg this sounds AMAZING, and g your photographs are absolutely A1 omg?!?!

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    1. I'd love to create a portfolio of some sort with all my photos...maybe I should get started now. Thank youu!

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  6. I love this bullet list! Marrakech looks so pretty
    http://sputniksweetheartn.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thanks Aiko. It's such an amazing place!

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  7. Your photos are the best, it looks like a paradise and you are glowing in that last pic. Love the bullet points too, it sounds amazingg! xox

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  8. Love this post and these photos are amazing! It takes me back to when I went Marrakech around 2 years ago! I still remember how amazing the mint teas are!!

    venus | https://venusaby.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Ah I hope you had a lovely time there. Mint tea seems to be so popular but I’m just not a fan of it haha

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  9. All your photos are SO stunning and who wouldn't want to know the word for stamps in arabic?! The warm tones and mint tea to compliment the trip sounds just divine x

    eleanorclaudie.com

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    1. Thanks Eleanor!! I spent the whole morning trying to find the word so that we could buy them for Katie’s postcards- I was getting so frustrated that I didn’t know it haha. You should definitely visit Marrakech!

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