A £50 return to magical-Marrakech was too tempting an offer to refuse. So in January I packed my bags for a chilled weekend of yoga, good food and culture, and here’s why you should do the same…
1. The Maze That Is The Medina
Despite being a short 3 hour flight from home (in my case, the UK), Marrakesh could not feel further away from my familiar: A pastel-washed labyrinth of markets, Mosques and mayhem. With recognizable landmarks far and few between within the walls of the city, enjoy getting lost where the hustle and bustle is incessant, the Mosque’s cry for prayer will enchant you and the treasures for sale in the Souq are irresistible for shopaholics and collectors alike. Rooftop cafes are oasis’s from the chaos of the Medina, with breath-taking views of the Atlas Mountains, and late night strolls around El Falma could lead to a monkey or snake being plonked on your shoulders… it’s impossible not to be seduced by the shabby-opulence of deeply-traditional Morocco.
2. The Food
As a life-long lover of North African spices and aroma, I was in my absolute element indulging in tagines, cous-cous platters and sweet-‘n’-sticky Baklava. The best of which being the food in the ‘locals market’ on the north-west side of the city, just beyond the walls of the Medina; serving the locals the finest sausages, stews and suppers at local prices. Not to mention the refreshing peppermint tea served at every opportunity – make sure they go easy on the sugar though!
3. The Markets
Marrakesh seriously tested my self-restrain. The textiles are vibrant, the spices are aromatic, the leather is supple and the silver is cheap. Taking an empty suitcase comes highly-advised for fellow shopaholics, and my top tip is to haggle on just about everything – it’s all part of the fun!
4. The Mountains
A short hour-long drive out of Marrakech will guide you to the dramatic, snow-capped Atlas mountains. It’s hard to believe the snow is real when looking from the scorchingly-hot, claustrophobic capital, but the rural landscapes of Berban Morocco is otherworldly. A day trip will set you back about £15 and is well-worth the trip.
5. The People
There had never been a more controversial time to travel to a Muslim country than when I visited Morocco in January, following Trump’s travel ban. What I experienced couldn’t be further from the fear-mongering garbage the tabloids would have you believe: the Moroccan people are warm, hospitable and funny, not to mention eager for visitors to experience the magic their home offers. It was fascinating immersing myself in a totally different culture and observing the Moroccan people’s customs, one of which being the Hammam experience (which is well worth the read if you want to hear how I found myself naked with a bunch of lovely Muslim women throwing water on me)…