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Camel trekking in Sahara

It’s the moments like this that you travel halfway around the world for. The photo was taken in Merzouga, Morocco – camel trekking in sand dunes Sahara at sunset.

 
 

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.

 

Sunset in Jaipur


 

Urban Feel

Jaipur Rajasthan, ‘The Pink City’, is another urban feel city after Delhi and Mumbai, its diesel-soaked streets, crazy traffic, very smoky from pollution…Everything in India can seem like a challenge. The stress is a challenge. Walking the streets is a challenge.

Well perhaps on first glance, yes they are, but take another look and instead view them as Urban Art.  Overall it was an unreal, awesome travel experience.

 

 

Feel free to comment and leave me a message to share your love and post. I enjoy receiving a sweet comment or like if I’ve inspired you. Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and find out when new posts are made about my other travel experience. Happy posting ;))

 

 

An Indian Wedding

I have always found ceremonies and traditions from other cultures absolutely fascinating, especially when it comes to wedding celebrations – in a foreign country.

Touring around India had given me an amazing experience. I got invited to a wedding – An Indian Wedding was a surreal experience for me.

My friend suggested me to get henna. I thought henna is such customary in Indian weddings since I did not bring any nice clothes to travel, henna would look good on me when attending an Indian wedding reception.

 


A women had gotten henna done on her both hands.

 

Traditionally, the brides would wear henna on their hands up to sleeve long and on their feet.

 


This henna shop situated on a busy street market. To my surprise, the henna tattoo artist did a great job on my hand. 

 

The henna substances dries up fairly quickly. It had stayed on for two weeks. The henna paste is 100% natural from henna plant and essential oils (usually cajeput, orange sweet, wild orange or lavender).

 


A Henna beautifully painted on my hands.

 

Apart from the fact that I was a tourist, I did not know both bride and groom. They were my friend’s family friends had gotten married. I was delighted to attend. And it was delight mixed with a great deal of curiosity.

My experience of watching Bollywood movies has left me feeling a little curious about Indian wedding receptions. I wondered how she must be feeling about the whole arrangement. She looks so young and sweet.

 

 

From the moment they walked into the reception, it was quite obvious. They are a beautiful couple. She was smiling but looks tired. They got lots of blessing from their related families, relative and hundreds of friends attended in the reception throughout the night.

Well I guess the whole wedding thing was a lengthy process to sit and thank the guests of a few days long celebration. Indian wedding is not only a single day ritual. Traditionally, wedding celebrations in India extend almost a week long and feature pre-wedding, wedding ceremony and post wedding reception.

 


The celebration outside the reception on the street.  Lots of singing and dancing..

 

 

 

I was delighted to see the whole Bollywood style dancing where the entire bridegroom side were dancing in the streets.

 

 

The food was tradition and well presented. The wedding reception went wonderfully.

 


Post wedding ceremony during the wedding reception.

 

 


Post wedding ceremony during the wedding reception with related families and relatives.

 

 

After dinner we joined the dance floor where we danced the night away – dancing the Bollywood way.. :))

 

 

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