24 hours in Marrakech Morocco


 

I’ve always wanted to explore North African Sun – Marrakesh, Morocco finally. As principal of solo travel I stayed at a tradition riad hostel in the old town. The riad is about 20 minutes walk away to the souks and the Djemaa el Fna Square neighbourhood, which offered the chance to observe Marrakech on a local level.

In Morocco, you’ll find amazing architecture, and one of the best dream travel destinations for traveller where it seems it’s almost impossible to take a bad photograph. To me, this beautiful country appealed to me a colourful world, veiled women, distinct muslim culture..there seems to be no shortage of interesting subjects.

 

11am

Part 1: Hammam Moroccan Bath

After breakfast, the riad housekeeping lady took few other travellers and I to the local Hammam – the Moroccan style public baths. It is a bit similar as the Japanese onsen – hot spring public baths, though the Hammam retreat was my first time.

I was surrounded by naked women. To be honest I was kind of embarrassed. I received an intense head-to-toe scrub-down experience, a full body cleansing and exfoliating until several layers peel off like strands of dirty spaghetti by using Olive oil black soap. You’ll be amazed dead skins that falls off your body and you’ll literally leave in new skin. Later lay down on the stone floor which took one-and-a-half-hours to complete. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable cultural experience you won’t forget.

 
 
 
 

2pm

Part 2:  The souks

You can’t leave Marrakech without at least a quick visit to the souk’s. Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco. The souks are situated on the narrow streets — some covered and some open-air comprising mainly the bazaars, colourful handicrafts and workshops for which Marrakech is so well known. You can also find all kind of things there, from fine leather goods, spices to beauty products, tea pots to tagines, beautiful jewellery cheap but nice souvenirs and much much more. Seriously you can spend a whole day to walk around the souks.

 

colourful

 
 
 
 

lovely lamps

 
 
 
 

the shop front

 
 
 
 

 

jewellery and nice souvenirs

 
 
 
 

handcrafts

 
 
 
 

100% natural products – herbs and moroccan toothpicks made by plant

 
 
 
 

rug sellers, art sellers

 
 
 
 

dutchy by morocco

 
 
 
 

eyes on reflections

 
 
 
 

the leather goods area

 
 
 
 
 

Part 3: The men and women

 

the men business

 
 
 
 

beauty products shop

 
 
 
 

white on man v. black on woman

 
 
 
 

street view

 
 
 
 
 

5.30pm

Part 4: Djemaa el Fna Square

This buzzing square is at the heart of Marrakech in the Old City. There are different entrances to get into the Square where you may get lost easily. I only had a chance to visit once in the afternoon. I highly recommend visiting twice, once at daytime and then at night, it’s important since it becomes a completely different place each time particularly the crowds and the foods stall in the evening.

It’s amazingly interesting to visit the square. It was crowded with jugglers, acrobats, storytellers, musicians, snake charmers, horse riding services and juice stalls. We stopped at the snake charmers performance in the centre of the square surrounding by crowds and locals. And yes, that’s how I ended up being entertained by snakes. Looks can be deceiving but again, as the tourist it all seemed pretty fun!

 

snake charmer performing

 
 
 
 

pattern of hanger

 
 
 
 

me and the snake

 
 
 
 

fresh orange juice stalls

 
 
 
 

a soft drink or fresh juice?

 
 
 
 
 

6.30pm

Part 5: The neighbourhood

The Koutoubia Mosque is very close to the riad hostel. It’s the city landmark and the largest mosque in Marrakech. The 65m high medieval Islamic architecture can clearly visible from far. As this is a 1000 years historic old building and place of prayer, it has been restored and still the most important mosque in the city.

After turning many, many corners, I decided to stay back in the hostel – enjoy some mint teas, relax my feet in a beautiful authentic Moroccan house, shisha on the roof top.

 

the Koutoubia Mosque

 
 
 
 

earthy outside, colourful inside

 
 
 
 

no evil please!

 
 
 
 

open air

 
 
 
 

let’s have a cup of mint tea

 
 
 
 

open top in the house

 
 
 
 

can you imagine one dish one household, how many satellite dishes in Marrakech?

 
 
 
 

inside the hostel

 
 
 
 

shisha-ing in Morocco

 
 

The remarkable colours of Morocco shown by photos like these are amazing. Next it will be the wonder of Sahara desert. See you in next post.

 

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Posted on 16/04/2012, in 'Travel, Moroccan, Photograpy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Great photos and journey. You must have been exhausted!

  2. kieranmaynard

    Thanks for taking us through Marrakesh! I especially like the photos of the hostel. Cool place! When I studied in Marrakesh I was told the Koutoubia mosque’s name means “library,” and that the meaning of Djam Al Fna is unclear but could mean “gathering place for annihilation.”

    • Hi Kieran , glad you enjoyed the photos.
      FYI, one blogger explained “the name ‘Koutoubia’ derives from the Arabic kutub (books) and means the ‘Booksellers’ Mosque’, reflecting the fact that the trade of selling manuscripts was conducted in a souk close to the mosque.” True or not the mosque is beautiful.

      Perhaps you’ll enjoy my latest post Desert Road Trip too: http://wp.me/p178yL-ka

      Cheers! ;))

      • Kieran Maynard

        Interesting! I remember someone said it had something to do with books. We’re you able to go inside? As I understand only the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca is open to non-Muslim visitors.

  3. Your photographs are wonderful, so colorful and expressive!

  4. Absolutely stunning! I want to visit Morocco so badly. It’s like an enigma in my mind because I’ve seen it from the banks of Spain but never actually visited!

  5. Great photo-documentary from a wonderful country.

  6. Just been to Morocco with you and I want to go again!

  7. I have always wanted to go. Beautiful post!!

  8. Reminds us of parts of Dubai and their Souks and their spice markets.

  9. Amazing, colorful account of your journey! Thanks so much – I have always wanted to come to Morocco as well!

  10. Beautiful Pics! What a colorful place!

  11. I’m in love with your photos! I NEED to go to Marrakech!

  12. So many colours! Brilliant.

  13. Your pictures are colorful and evoke beautiful memories of my visit. Makes me want to go back!

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