Thursday, 26 March 2015

Marrakech 2015

Apologies for the delay in getting round to writing this post, life & a knackered pc got in the way!!  Anyway, Marrakech was absolutely fantastic - utterly mental - but fantastic!  We left a grey, rainy, freezing cold Glasgow & landed in bright sunshine & 26 degrees heat, fabulous.  The riad had sent a driver to pick us up at the airport so in we jumped & experienced the madness that is driving in Marrakech!  I think know we all had our eyes shut for much of the journey!

The drive only took about 15 minutes & we were dropped off at a taxi rank where a couple of staff from the riad were waiting for us to take our luggage.  From here it was only a 2 minute walk to the beautiful, calm haven of Riad Houma.  As we checked in, we were brought mint tea & Moroccan pastries & then talked through a map & shown the easiest way to walk to the main square, the Place Jemaa el Fna.

However, as the sun was still shining brightly and well, you know, we live in Scotland, we all dumped the bags & headed for the roof terrace to catch a couple of hours rays before heading out for our first exploration of the medina.

Wow, we knew it was going to be busy but Oh. My. God!!  We were prepared for the hustle & bustle of many people & stall holders trying to entice you into their shops in the tiny narrow alleyways but we were not expecting to dodge mopeds bombing down there too, it was mental! We were all walking about with huge grins on our faces at just the whole experience, the sights, the sounds, the smells (which alternated between the sweet smell of orange blossom, the earthy scent of spices, the delicious waft of bbq & the sudden onset of erm, sewerage!)

We headed off into the souks & got totally lost for the next couple of hours so by the time we ended back at the riad, it was gone 8pm & we were all starving.  We'd arranged to eat there on the first night & sat down to a delicious 3 course meal, discussed what to do the next day & then headed off for an early night.

The next morning we ate breakfast on the terrace in the already very warm sunshine & then again headed off towards the main square where we hopped on the open top bus to take us on a tour.  This was a really great way to see everything & note down where we wanted to do.  It headed through Guéliz, a newer part where you found shopping & familiar sights (Maccy D's , Pizza Hut or Starbucks anyone?!) then on to Palmeraie where there are huge golfing resorts & I spotted a Nikki Beach.  From there it stopped at Le Jardin Majorelle, which is where we jumped off.  After a quick bite to eat, we enjoyed a peaceful hour wandering round the gardens before jumping back on the bus & heading back for some sunbathing.

That night we ate at Kosybar, which Nikki at Midlife Chic had recommended. It was fabulous & we had a great table that overlooked the Koutoubia Mosque & the storks nesting on the walls of the  Palace.  We finished the night with wine on the terrace of riad & thanks to wifi & Spotify, a hilarious 80s pop quiz!

The next day was spent generally mooching around exploring & then more sunbathing in the afternoon.  We ate that night at Le Salama where we all shared a huge tasting menu with many, many dishes - Morrocan tapas if you like!  Just as we were leaving, the gorgeous belly dancers arrived, much to the pleasure of all the remaining diners.  Again, we finished the night with drinks & pop quizzes on the roof terrace but man, it was cold that night!

Our last morning we went exploring again round the Kasbah, which was a fabulous area that I wish we'd found sooner.  After a visit to the Saadian Tombs to see where all the past royalty are buried, we found a fabulous café (where we realised that we'd been paying way over the odds for food & drinks in the main square!) & then did some last minute shopping of argan oil & orange blossom goodies.  Shockingly though, this was the only shopping I did - I KNOW!!  I had planned to do a last minute whizz round the medina to buy bags & babouches (leather slippers) but the sodding cash machine was broken & the next one was too far away to go as we were running out of time :(

So there we have Marrakech in 3 days - not nearly enough time so we'd like to go back next year but stay for a week.  We wouldn't hesitate to return to Riad Houma, the staff were amazing, so polite & attentive (if a little too relaxed at times!!), it was beautiful inside & in comparison to a lot of riads, was really easy to find.  I'll now stop blethering on & start preparing for our trip to New York in 3 weeks, eeeek!!


  1. Wow Sarah, what a fabulous place! I can well believe that you needed more time, it looks like there was so much to explore. Your photos really capture the place perfectly, and what better way to top it off than with a trip to NY?! xx

    1. It was soooooo fantastic but I think we only just saw the tip of the iceberg, there's so much more to see & explore! We've started planning the return journey already!
      I'm now frantically planning NY now we're down to just the two of us (rather than the 6 as originally planned) but he weather is still looking a bit dodgy - might have to rethink the wardrobe, eeek! Xx

  2. It looks like a fabulous break, Sarah! Fantastic photos. It must be a bit of a shock back to the cold and wet of home! Lynne xx

    1. We had a fabulous time but no, it was not nice coming home to the cold! It's like winter here again today, brrrrr.....! Xx


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