4.29.2009

Morocco

We stayed in Marrakech for 6 days, but took two day trips. One across the Atlas Mountains to Ouarzazate and one to Essaouira on the western coast.

Highlight pics from Morocco:

Gueliz, Marrakech's commerical district



Food stall in Jemma el Fna



Souks



Marrakech Museum of History and Art. The building is the actual attraction.



Marrakech Museum of History and Art. Very detailed decoration.



Knitting at our riad



Atlas Mountains (En route to Ouarzazate)



Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site



Holding a goat, they like to climb the Argan trees and eat the nuts. The Berber women use the Argan nuts to make cooking oils and cosmetics.



Essasouria



Essasouria is know as the 'Blue City', conversely Marrakech is known as the 'Red City'
(The reason apparent in the coloring of the buildings).



video
View of Bab Doukala from our rooftop. Several times every day they sound the call to prayer.
It starts at 4:30 AM


Where we stayed:

Dar Vedra, a riad own by two Frenchmen. The staff was very nice and the riad was beautiful. Breakfast is included and if you'd like you can request lunch or dinner. We ate dinner there one night, the chicken and olives was fantastic.

Restruarants:

La Maison Arabe. We were intending to go to a different restaurant, but they were full and so we ended up here. We arrived about 8 and it was empty except for one other couple, but they were really anxious about whether we had a reservation or not. It did start getting busier about 8:30. They have live musicians (at least for dinner) and the beef and pear tagine was sooo good!

Dar Moha was the place we had intended to go, we ended up going on Saturday night instead. I recommend requesting a table in the garden when making your reservation. It is a prie fix menu. They only offer one starter, which we were told was a traditional Moroccan salad. It consisted of nearly a dozen small dishes of vegetables prepared in a variety of different methods, my favorite was the pumpkin. I'm not sure what was in it, but it was good.


Chez Chegrouni is right off the square (Jemaa el Fna) and it has good, cheap food. We went there the first night we arrived and went back for lunch later in the week.

A couple recommendations:

Take along a french dictionary or phrasebook. Next to Arabic and Berber French is the most common language. Most shop owners and waiters speak at least a little English, but it is common for restauarants to have menus only in French or Arabic.

If there is something you're planning to buy I'd research it first or ask the manager of your riad for advice beforehand. Bargaining is expected in the souks, so having an idea of what price to aim for helps. And knowing what the item should look like and its key features will help you to avoid buying a bogus item. Most of the people are nice and trustworthy, but like anywhere else in the world there are those that will take advantage of naive tourists.

Things I wish we'd done:


The only thing I wish we'd been able to do is go camping in the desert.

That and taken a picture of the cat we saw eating a chicken head.

If you're interested more photos of our trip can be seen here.

If you have any questions about Morocco leave a comment or send an e-mail to yarnymarn@gmail.com

2 comments:

  1. that's where i'd like to go, thanks for the tips on where to stay.
    i also would like to camp in the desert if we go there.
    by the way, did you not visit the petit and grand tranon in versailles? those are my most cherished of all.

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  2. Hey Zaz!
    Thanks for reading my blog :)
    I didn't get to see petit and grand trianon. I wanted to and now that you say that I regret it even more. Hopefully I'll get to go to Paris again and then I'll make sure to go to trianon.

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