Blog2024 ≫ Winter holiday to Marrakech part 6 - Marrakech

Up early on day six of our holiday to go into Marrakech itself. There was a free transfer bus from our hotel, but we had to book a trip there and a trip back in advance. Lucky we knew this or we'd have missed out. We didn't get first pick of our days, I think we'd have gone earlier in the holiday, probably swapped this with the Ourika Valley trip. Still, we're breakfasted and ready to go.

We were really expecting this to be hectic, intimidating, constant harassment, and this coloured the whole day slightly. One thing we knew, the bus will drop you off near the centre, and people will be waiting for you claiming to be with the hotel, to help you out. They do not work for the hotel. This happened, we got out of the bus and several people are showing us passes, laminated ids saying they are official and they will help us into the centre. No thanks mate, no sorry, you don't work for the hotel, we're fine. One person did look particularly hurt at my insistence, and after Clare and the boys said, er, he does work for the hotel, we think he was on our bus. I still don't think so, if he was why did he wait to announce this until he got off the bus? Hmm, I am still worrying about this.

The bus did not drop us off at the square we expected, so annoyingly we did need some guidance into the central markets etc. But we could not ask anyone. Clare turned her data on this day, so we could work the maps. I had offline maps but couldn't figure it out.

We got to the central square, it was a bit early to be fully up and running. It's the same spot where they launched the celebrity version of Race Across The World recently, but they were there at night when it is busier. We did see the animal hawkers that I had feared, some snakes, someone with a monkey, and an upsetting stall with more domestic type animals. Who is buying a kitten in a market like this?? Maybe the guy with the snakes. We kept our distance from these. We went to a cafe type place that climbed up to a roof terrace overlooking the square. Good spot, and we had coffee - good coffee, the coffee in the hotel was not - but they could not provide us with the juice we really wanted. We could see oranges in the market, even oranges growing on their own roof terrace, but no orange juice to be had today. Here is a view over the square from this terrace. I have a nice scrollable panorama of this picture too.

Panorama over Marrakech

The centre is hectic with mopeds, event the very narrow streets. It was nearly as Indiana Jonesish as we had imagined. Lots of stalls and shops that were quite similar. We did not look too closely at anything which is a shame, we were expecting to be pounced on and not allowed out of the shop again, but it wasn't really like that. It's not like we could have brought back a carpet or anything but we might have bought more if we were more relaxed.

We did see some earthquake damage, I think, but not too much.

We went into The Bahia Palace for a quieter cooler look around, it was ok. Not all that old.

Me in the Bahia Palace

We had some lunch and cocktails in a pretty fancy bar up on the rooftops called Dardar. Relatively very expensive I would say, more like London prices. But nice. They had a lightswitch that I think I might want for home. I was quite taken by the Moroccan decor generally.

A light switch I liked

Back at the hotel in time for candyfloss from the snackbar, and a seat by the fire pits. Then I went to the "international light show" later. It was a dance show put on by the excellent entertainment team, UV lights, flourescent outfits, and a dance to represent each nation. I don't think there was a UK dance actually.

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Paul Clarke's blog - I live in Hythe near Folkestone. Wed to Clare and dad to 2, I'm a full-stack web engineer, + I do js / Node, some ruby, python, php ect ect. I like pubs, parkrun, eating, home automation + other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, Television, squirrels, pirates, lego, + TIME TRAVEL.

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Yep, deliberately unstyled.