22 Jan

When I told people I was going to Morocco, EVERYONE suggested Marrakech, and they were all right. (Everyone also said not to spend too much time in Tangier, and they were right about that as well. Haha!) Marrakech is beautiful! It looks like an oasis amongst the dusty landscape with gardens and palm and orange trees everywhere.

Just off of the (overnight) train and it's already prettier than Tangier!

Marrakech was the only city where we hadn’t pre-booked a place to stay, so after taking care of that we explored the medina and the souks.  The souks were pretty cool! They have everything from knock-off bags, shoes and clothing to Moroccan fabric to spices and pastries for sale. The streets of the souks are all covered by a thatched roof and are somewhat organized in little “neighborhoods” off of the main street according to what’s being sold. The medina in Marrakech is much bigger and cleaner than the old medina in Tangier.

Shopping in the souks.

The main plaza of the medina at night full of food, people and performers.

We honestly could have spent one more day in Marrakech to see some of its big, famous gardens and a few other sites, but we did get to see some interesting things while we were there! First we went to the Badi Palace ruins, which used to serve as the king’s summer residence and was used for royal events. Our favorite part of the palace was probably getting to walk through what we think were old dungeons.

Looking down into the open-air pavilion of Badi from the top of the wall.

Wandering around in underground hallways.

Next we went to a mosque. Yes, we got to go inside a mosque…one of the only ones non-Muslims are allowed into. It definitely wasn’t what I had expected, not that I had any previous idea about them anyway. It had a large, open courtyard with a pool in the middle and rooms surrounding it. Above that there were tons of rooms that people used to live in, almost like a monastery (this was the part I wasn’t expecting). It did NOT have a dome. In fact, none of the mosques we saw in Morocco did. I really could’ve sworn that domes were typical of mosques and Moorish architecture but clearly I was wrong.  

Medersa Ben Youssef mosque

Checking out the different rooms.

We also checked out a palace that had been restored and turned into a museum and another site that had been fairly recently excavated. Even though we both loved Marrakech, we were excited to get back to Europe. Mostly to eat some familiar food!



One Response to “Marrakech”

  1. vanessa January 24, 2011 at 3:53 am #

    What an interesting place, both this place and Tangier…really different. Amazing sights and memories. I am so glad you decided to give this to yourself. All of this will be part of you forever.
    Love you Marisa

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