Smell of spices and dust. Hectic, unorganised, chaotic. This heavy atmosphere infiltrates your mind. Makes you feel awake, changes your pace. Smoke. Smell of fuel and cigarettes. Crowded souks. Smell of leather and mint tea. Nothing can really prepare you for this frenetic and intense city.
Watching creased bare mountains from the small round window, sleeping hills in the distance with the highest peaks gently covered by soft cloud blanket and greenish lakes tucked in between them. The pop of the colour in otherwise monochromatic scenery. Even behind the plane window, you can feel the dust and dry heat of vast, uninhabited territory. Thousands shades of brown, beige and dark green and me thinking “its much more hilly than I thought”, when the mountains suddenly (or rather slowly ?) changed to a flat rectangular landscape. A cubist abstract painting. No big cities on a sight, probably only few berber villages. But in the end there is that one city. Marrakech, lying in the middle of almost deserted land.
More than six months passed since my first visit and I am still not sure how to describe it. I'm still not even sure what I actually think about Morocco. But no doubt to say - it’s definitely worth a visit. For me, fo one reason in particular - “riads”. If you ever go to Morocco, stay in a riad and make it a careful pick. With a pool. Not far from an old town - most probably you’ll be walking there and back, morning and night, so you donť want it to be too far. You want to minimise your chances to get lost in the labyrinth of walls of old Medina. Also make sure you’ll like it there, because its gonna be your sanctuary. Providing the ultimate quietude from dark and moody Marrakech with a lots of dusty roads and unstopping noise.
Roaring mopeds in the narrow alleys, clatter of metal and indistinctive chatter. Smell of spices and dust. Hectic, unorganised, chaotic. This heavy atmosphere infiltrates your mind. Makes you feel awake, changes your pace. Smoke. Smell of fuel and cigarettes. Crowded souks. Smell of leather and mint tea. Frenetic and so intense. Fulfilling. Overwhelming. Maybe too fast. And here, the riad comes on a scene. Riad, with a carefully chosen incense smell and calming music, softly running water in the pool. Trust me on this. Marrakech needs its riads as well as you need yours to fully appreciate the city in a whole.
Stay in riad - we stayed in Riad Safa and I can only recommend. Location its not too far from old center and quiet convenient. Book your stay here.
Yves Saint Laurent Majorelle Garden - Address: Rue Yves St Laurent, Marrakech 40000, Morocco; Open: 8am - 5:30pm (everyday); Read Cereal article here.
Bahia Palace - Address: Avenue Imam El Ghazali, Marrakech 40000, Morocco; Open: 9am - 5pm (everyday); Read more here.
Ben Youssef Mosque: Address: Kaat Benahid, Medina; Open: 9am-7pm (6pm winter); Price - 20dh; From March 2018 for next two years closed for reconstruction.
Jama El Fna - come here in the evening to see all the “show”, but do not stay long and be careful, because literally everybody will try to sell you something. They go even so far to “steal” your hand and draw some hena on it. Of course, not for free.
Maison de la Photographie - Address: 46 Rue Souk Ahal Fassi, Medina; Open: 10am-6pm (everyday); Price - 40dh // Read Cereal article here.