for this trip we wanted to try something a little bit different. Getting out of our comfort zone, trying something new, something that's a bit more off that beaten path. We also wanted to experience a different culture, a different religion and a different way of living.
Not sure how we came up with Marrakech, most likely because convenience is always winning and since it's only about 3 hours flight time from London we quickly checked the Airbnb availability and booked the trip.
Day 1: Arriving in Africa
It's amazing how quickly you can escape the western world. You get your double shot Flat white at your favourite London Coffeeshop, board the plane and three hours and a cab drive later you find yourself somewhere that feels like infinitely far away from everything you're used to.
Getting around in Marrakech can be quite tricky which is why we decided to get a guide for the first day. The streets and markets can be quite a maze with barely any street signs, so getting a local to show you around is of great help.
After the trip through the souqs we took some time off from the heat and spend some time at the hotel pool as well as the rooftop terrace. For the end of the day we had booked a camel ride at the local palm grove. Especially at the late afternoon North Africa gets some incredible smooth light which led to some great photos.
Day 2: Tour through the Atlas Mountains
Leaving the city behind on our second day, we headed north towards the Atlas Mountains. You can easily books day-trips online and in advance. A lot of the villages that surround Marrakesh are quite remote and still feel like time has stopped many centuries ago.
The tour was in a private 4x4 and our guide was really friendly and helpful, he never got tired of stopping the car for me to hectically get out of the car to take a picture. The trip also included lunch and tea at a traditional berber house, featuring a delicious meal combined with a stunning view over the Atlas mountains at almost 3000m altitude.
Day 3: Lost and Found in Marrakech
On our last day we felt confident enough to explore the city on our own. We started the day early in the morning by visiting the Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden which was owned and re-designed by Yves Saint Laurent in the early 80s. It's an incredibly vibrant and colourful place, I'd recommend going there in the morning as it's less crowded and the light is going to be a lot softer.
Next on our checklist was the Ali Ben Youssef Medersa, a former islamic school that used to be one of the biggest in the country. Today it has been converted into a museum, exhibiting beautiful architecture with walls and ceilings filled with marble ornaments and wooden carvings. Not far away from the school is the Musee de Marrakech, a converted palace that was once home to the rich and powerful. It offers a great insight into the life of the moroccan upper class of the 19th century.
At the end of the third day we were pretty exhausted, the heat was getting to us and we decided to ease out the last day at one of the balconies at the Djemaa el-Fna, also known as the Large Square. It's pretty much a big open space right in the heart of the old town, getting incredibly busy after the sun sets as little food stalls start popping up all over the place, offering traditional moroccan street food as well as drinks, herbs and spices. By securing a spot at one of the rooftop restaurants we managed to escape the trouble and were rewarded with a beautiful last sunset over the mosques and markets of Marrakech.