October 06, 2017

Fancy Pants

IMG_1065s WHERE TO STAY Riad Yasmine We stayed in two riads during our stay in Marrakech and both were amazing, but Riad Yasmine really made me feel at home. It was such a paradise to come back to at the end of each day, and I could have easily spent another week laying by the pool, eating  breakfast on the rooftop terrace & waking up late in my beautiful room with it’s wooden bay window. The serene colours, plants, and epic playlist all added to this feeling of having discovered some kind of hidden treasure in the middle of a chaotic city. Yasmine definitely played a massive role in my love for Marrakech, and I will one hundred percent be going back for our next visit! Also, their mint tea was the best I had during my stay, and I’ve been craving it ever since! WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT One word, tagine. The food in Marakech is next level and every night was spent eating something new and delicious. Both Jedd and I agreed that our favourite meal of the holiday was on our very first night at an incredible restaurant called Dar Zellij, where we dined on lamb and beef tagine, flavoured with spices and apricots. The whole experience was memorable, with excellent service, the most beautiful setting, and incredible food! Other places we went which were delicious were Terrace Des Epices, which was such a vibe. The whole place was set on a rooftop and felt very European, and served loads of other food as well in case you’re over tagine. Limoni was another favourite, just around the corner from our riad and the most beautiful interior. They describe themselves as Italian Moroccan, and the food was amazing. We also went to Nomad and Le Jardin, which seem to be Instagram favourites. I’d recommend going for sure, but they definitely didn’t meet my (pretty high) expectations. Le Jardin is incredibly beautiful though, and the food was tasty. WHAT TO SEE Le Jardin Majorelle I did what every blogger in Marrakech does, visited Le Jardin Majorelle of course! We got there around lunchtime after a walk from Riad Yasmine into the new city, exactly the time everyone tells you not to go because of all the hundreds of tourists. They were right of course, tourists everywhere! The sea of people and camera’s kind of fade away while walking through the cacti and sitting at the fountain, and somehow there’s a quiet spot for everyone in the end. I’d obviously seen Jardin Majorelle countless times on Instagram and knew roughly what to expect, but the deep blues and yellows set against a perfectly blue sky, surrounded by cacti, is truly something else. It’s an inspiring space you could lose yourself in for a while, and I probably wandered around for almost 2 hours taking pictures, exploring, and grabbing a bite at Cafe Majorelle. Tip: If you’re planning on catching a cab after visiting the gardens, take a walk back to the main road to find one. All the taxi’s waiting outside the entrance charge ridiculous prices – as in we paid 5 times the amount we should have to get to our next destination!  Ben Youssef Madrasa The largest madrasa (Islamic college) in Marrakech, and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, without a doubt. Ben Youseff is the kind of place that photo’s just can never do justice – the scale and detail is just impossible to capture, it absolutely needs to be experienced irl. Everything about Marrakech has inspired my home aesthetic to be brighter and bolder, but this space in particular gave me serious home inspiration – those tiles! that detail! Tip: Try and get there before the tour groups to really be able to appreciate the space, it’s really worth it to visit first thing in the morning! THE SOUKS & THE PEOPLE When I say I was a hot mess while walking around in the day, I mean it. Temperatures reached around 37 degrees and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get slightly lost in the souks, but it’s all part of the adventure that is Morocco. Initially it’s amazing and you’re taking so much in and not thinking about the heat at all, when suddenly 3 hours of sweating and thousands of people shouting at you has flown by and you’re ready to get back to the riad for a swim and to take a break for a few hours, only to realize you’re kind of lost and it’s going to take at least another hour to get there. This is around the time I started having flashes of death via pool of sweat and getting really uber dramatic and poor jedd having to deal with all my moaning. It’s fun though, the most fun, and probably my favourite thing to do in Morocco was to get lost in the souks and talk to all the people. Speaking of which, the people are amazing. So friendly and so happy. I had a couple of comments thrown at me because i happen to be a woman, and that was especially hard because while it’s not in my nature to hold my tongue in general, it’s especially hard when it has anything to do with sexism. I would unfortunately recommend covering up a little because of this even though it’s so hard in the heat, unless you’re made of tougher stuff than me and a few comments don’t bother you. Other than that, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with the people and have the most amazing memories with a few of them. Tip: Be warned, you will get lost, but it’s all part of the experience! Download to get around, it saved us every day and no other map app could handle the maze of the souks. SHOPPING & BUYING A CARPET The souks are where it’s at, obviously. Before diving into the madness on day one, Jedd and I had decided not to buy any carpets. We’d read that Marrakech wasn’t cheaper than anywhere else because of all the tourists, and also had no idea if we would be able to take it back home on the plane. We headed out into the souks and saw carpet after carpet among all of the other shops and of course, fell in love more and more. Then one day, we stumbled into the actual carpet souk where there is nothing else but carpets EVERYWHERE and all of our previous conversations disappeared. We bought two carpets right then and there, because we felt like at that point we had walked around and seen enough to know these were the ones. As for the experience, it was amazing. I had read and been told beforehand not to go into the shops “just to look” and not to ask prices without the intention of buying, and that all made me feel a little nervous. In reality, the shop owners were the loveliest men who just want to show you their carpets and tell you their stories. Of course they want you to buy, but also completely understood if we were just looking. The second carpet we bought kind of just happened to us, we walked into a shop and were just looking at it and knew we loved it, when the owner stated throwing prices at us. He literally haggled himself down without us uttering an amount and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse! What I had read was wrong, and I’d definitely recommend not listening to everything you hear. It’s WAY cheaper than anywhere else in the world, the product is breathtaking, and the experience pleasant! Tip: I would recommend having an idea of the kind of money you want to spend on certain things, carpets for instance, and being upfront about your budget from the very beginning – this way you’re not wasting their time and they’re not wasting yours by showing you things you can’t afford.