Travels

Our favourite city of Morocco – Marrakesh!

on
14th June 2019

Marrakesh is a place that travelers either love or hate. But it’s also one of these places where you need to adjust your expectations accordingly and be prepared that it’s a place like no other. As for the both of us, we absolutely LOVEEEEE Marrakesh! People say it is unsafe to travel after dark, but I have my trustee husband who made sure we stay safe when travelling at night (okay, I really think travelling with a man, esp when he looks like one of them, really helps!).

In fact, we’ve been back to Marrakesh twice already and we still feel like we need to come back to experience even more of it. Why twice? Cos we arrive Marrakesh, spend a day there and off we head to our Sahara Desert Tour and then returned back to Marrakesh again for a couple of nights more. And let me tell you again; we ‘crave’ to return back to Marrakesh (this year!). After much thought, Irman convinced me to explore other countries first before coming back to Marrakesh in 2020 (soonest pls!).

Well, let’s back track abit shall we?

We head off from Casablanca to Marrakesh on our Day 2. The train ride was about 2 hours 45minutes but along the way, there was a 1/2 hour delay due to multiple stops.

Casablanca Tram Station

The tram that bring us to the main train station!

Casablanca Train Station

As we wait for our train! Our first ever bagpack trip!

Casablanca Train Station

We survived this trip without any extra luggage/baggage! We enter Morocco with one bag and leave with one bag too!

ONCF Train Interior

Each compartment has 6 seats! And if you buy the first class tickets, you will have designated seats! Just pay abit more will do 🙂

Once we reached, Marrakesh, we approached the ONCF ticket counter and purchased more tickets for the next few stops. Yes, it pays to plan properly and be kiasu to avoid any mishaps, esp in a foreign country. We managed to secure the night tickets to Tangier after we got back from Sahara. We also decided on buying the entire couchette as we do not want to sleep with random strangers. And true enough, we met the ONCF officer who claimed to love Singapore so much and has a good impression of Singaporeans, that he gave us good service. He allowed us to buy the entire couchette with payments for 2 adult tickets and 2 children tickets. Of course, our bagpacks = children. If not for this arrangement, high chance I will have to sleep in a Female Couchette (separated from Irman, no way!) After settling the night tickets, we walked over to Supra Tours to book our bus ticket to Essaouria! Then, checked in our riad at Riad La Porte Rouge!

Our First Riad at Marrakesh - Riad La Porte Rouge

Below are the lists of things to do/look out for when you are at Marrakesh:

(1) Rely on your Google Maps to avoid being targeted by the young kids on their streets. The moment you looked lost, they will know and they will approach you to pretend to help with some tip in return. As mentioned in the previous post, do purchase the Orange Maroc SIM card and you can just depend on Google Maps when you get lost in their narrow winding streets.

(2) Visit the Bahia Palais which has countless rooms and courtyards at the heart of the sprawling example of nineteenth-century Moroccan architecture. It has stunning pieces of ornate decoration which can be found at every turn and every corner of the palace – even on the ceilings. Why this palace? Well, as the name suggest Bahia is translated as ‘brilliance’ and that’s definitely not an overstatement. So you can definitely escape from the heat of the midday sun to the palace’s shaded spaces and get lost in all of the intricate detailing.

We finally found Bahia Palais

Bahia Palais

Nadzirah posing at Bahia Palais

The interior of Bahia Palais!

(3) Visit the Bahia Souk which is just around the Bahia Palace. You’ll just get lost and get to explore how the locals shop for their spices.

(4) Got naked in their Moroccan Hammam Spa! Moroccan hammams are part of many Moroccans’ daily life. Similar to a Turkish bath, a public hammam is a steam room where people go to clean themselves. This is usually a weekly ritual and is considered a social activity in villages and towns, with men, women, and children all participating. Baths are separated by gender and many people will spend hours here chatting with friends. My advice, do one Hammam at the start of the trip, and once more before you leave Morocco! Its rejuvenating – seeing those dead skin cells peeled from you body! We were so inspired by the Hammam session that we end up buying the Hammam Scrub and the Black Soap at the Souk!

(5) Mesmerized by the Koutoubia Mosque (especialy during sunset)! The mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech, Morocco which has a minaret, 77 meters high, includes an arrow and orbs. It was said to be completed under the reign of the Berber Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansour (1184-1199), and inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat. Try to be in the area during sunset, it is beautiful!

Koutoubia Mosque

No, not tower of Pisa k… I think my angle was bad!

(6) Sip Maghrebi mint tea, also known as Moroccan mint tea just like the locals! Ni barang baik lor, boleh potong kaki!

Having mint tea while overlooking Marrakesh night life

After this shot, we never fail to have one every day every pit-stop every corner!

(7) Dine in at this gem – Dar Cherifa

Situated in the very heart of the souks, this building is a hidden secret, only found by the discerning and curious visitor. Well, we got to know about this place from our groupmate during our Sahara Tour. The meal can be pricey but it was the best tajine ever! The meat was so tender!

Dar Cherifa - They serve the best tagine!

We had our 2nd Anniversary Lunch here! So tranquil!

Tender and delicious Lamb Tagine

Look at that! I can taste it now!

Tender and delicious Beef Tagine

Nak nak nak!

(8) Try as many Tajine(s) as you can. And if you can, do ask for their recipe! We love the simplicity of their egg tajine breakfast so much, that we requested for the recipe from the hotel manager!

Spicy Egg Tagine Breakfast at Palais Sebban

How can you resist this!? Egg Tajine!

(9) Enjoy Marrakesh International Film Festival in the middle of Jemaa El Fnaa. We were lucky to experience their Movie Festival for a couple of nights!

Marrakesh Film Festival at Jemaa El Fnaa

Mass movie screening!

(10) Jemaa El Fnaa, where the nightlife is for Marrakesh! Jemaa El Fnaa is the big open square at the heart of Medina. Expect snake charmers, street entertainers and over-enthusiastic henna artists at every turn. Although it is a bit of a tourist trap, you have to wander around Jemaa el-Fna at least once. In our case, we were there every night! Grab some food from one of the street vendors in the evening, before heading up to one of the rooftop bars to watch the sun set over the action below. Feel free to timelapse if you got a good spot at the rooftop!

Doing time lapse at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh

Enjoying the sunset at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh

Lamb meat - simple and delicious dish at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh

Eat like the locals! Simple dish but OMG the taste is phenomenal! Stall #53 at Jemaa El Fnaa.

Playing a difficult game at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh

Their version of funfair!

Crepe and Virgin Mojito at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh

Suddenly, wanted something european – we had crepe!

(11) Go big with the riads! Honestly, as we both get older, I am very particular of where we are sleeping and I must say that the next time I’m back in Morocco, I would splurge on accommodation! The Riads in Morocco is really one of a kind!

Palais Sebban Interior

Palais Sebban Interior

I’e got alot more to say about Marrakech but this sums it all! All I can say is: we will come back Marrakech again and perhaps stay alot longer here!

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IRMAN & NADZIRAH
Singapore

Hi, we are Irman and Nadzirah. We love to travel around the world, especially together. Needless to say, together we find ourselves in pretty exciting experience as we travel round the world. Well, this blog is not just about travelling but to document every snippets of our life together from being just friends, to lovers to travel partners, to home owners and to many more milestones to come!