Marrakech with the Missus

At the tail end of December 2009, Heena and I spent 5 days and 4 nights in Marrakech (Morocco) celebrating our 1 year anniversary.

It was much needed time in the sunshine. The days were sunny and warm, but the nights were very cold, although not as freezing as London.

Here’s what we did: we spent time absorbing the sights sounds and scents (+ sometimes yucky smells) of the Souks, which are the markets and small shops throughout the alleyways of the Medina.

We also did the touristy things such as visiting some ancient buildings but didn’t fully understand what they are as my French needs brushing up and we don’t understand Arabic.  I’m hoping Heena will write a post about it with researched detail soon on her blog so I can link to it.

[update: Heena has written a wonderful post with more details about our time in Marrakech - published on Valentines Day 2010]

We took an excursion into the Atlas mountains where we climbed up to check out the Ourika waterfalls.

The magic of the trip was the quality time we spent playing cards, board games, and some singing and dancing :)

Some tips and resources if you are considering a short vacation to Marrakech:

  • We stayed at the Dellarosa Hotel, about a 15-20 minute walk to the Medina
  • Our vegan meal at Earth Cafe was delicious – possibly the only vegetarian restaurant in Marrakech
  • We needed to get a taxi from the airport to the hotel.  The first taxi driver we met tried to screw us over for price.  Lucky I had called up the hotel the night before – they said it would cost 150 Dhirams.  The first taxi driver tried to take us for 300!  Lesson: always check with the hotel how much the taxi should cost.
  • The climb up the mountain to the waterfall could have been fatal if it wasn’t for my shoes which had some grip – I almost slipped a few times right off the slippery mountain rocks!  Pack sensible walking shoes with good grip!
  • Devise a strategy when walking through the narrow alleyways of the Souks – all the shopkeepers will attempt to lure you in to buy something.  We had a strategy – I would hold Heena’s hand and charge straight ahead with rhino-like focus while Heena would smile at them with a look of “I’m sorry but he won’t let me stop” – kept it polite whilst successfully getting from point A to point B in the shortest possible time.
  • We drank loads of mint tea, loaded with plenty of sugar – BEWARE: I’ve now become addicted to sugar in less than 5 days and have to start weaning myself off it in my hot drinks.

No trip’s complete without some holiday snaps: