So I have two news for you! One bad and one good. The good one is that I managed to go through all 5000 photos. The bad one is that I wasn’t able to pick just a couple of good ones, so I’m gonna overload you with pictures now, haha:)
A few days ago, I returned from Morocco, which I visited for the first time. And I’m still super-stoked about it! We arrived in Marrakech, where we spent one and a half days, so I’ll try to tell you all my findings about Marrakech first.
We were accommodated directly in Medina, which is the center of the whole city. You’d be looking for a regular European hotel for a long time here, there is only a few of those. Most of the accommodation is provided by so-called riads, which are small Moroccan-style hotels. All these riads have an iconic rooftop where you can chill and watch the sunset, which of course we couldn’t miss.
We managed to explore most of the old town in one day. We saw pretty much everything from the markets, the Bahia Palace to the mosques and Jemaa el-Fnaa square. And impressions? Well, to be honest, the city did not really convince me. Here are my findings:
- Dirt, smell and trash are unfortunately present everywhere you go, which is probably one of the proofs that Morocco really is a part of Africa.
- We were told several times, that Marrakech is very safe. To tell the truth, I didn’t feel safe at all. This could be proven by what happened to us when we were returning to the hotel in the afternoon. The streets are so narrow and winding that it’s incredibly simple to get lost, which is exactly what happened to us.
We were trying to figure out where we got lost, when suddenly two kids at the age of about 12 started asking us where we needed to go. We told them the name of our riad, and they told us they knew where it was. Come on, they were just kids, so why not believe them. They went in front of us the whole time, so they looked really harmless. But suddenly 4 more kids, a little bit older (I’d say around 16) joined us and walked behind us, which was quite uncomfortable. When I saw the way they were communicating between each other, we stopped and refused to go on with them. They suspiciously insisted, so we turned around and started going back from where we came. Of course, all six of them tried to convince us that we were going in a wrong direction. At that time, we saw some Europeans entering their riad, so we joined them and got in with them to get rid of the kids. We explained the situation to the baffled receptionist, who made us a tea and advised us to wait a while inside. In an hour we thought they’d be gone, but all 6 of them were still waiting in front of the riad, so we split. I stayed inside with all the cameras and money and Andrés went to find the hotel. He returned about twenty minutes later knowing the right way, and somehow he got rid of the kids.
However, this experience didn’t seem to have anything in common with safety.
- Also the endless effort to sell us something was something that I couldn’t put up with. They would touch you and literally pull you into their shop. They’d try to cheat on you with the price of everything as well. Interestingly, we got a taxi from the airport to the hotel for 250 Moroccan dirhams and vice versa for 100 MAD. This fact is actually exactly what I wrote about Tanzania. Africa is still Africa I guess.
- Local people hate being photographed, so they’d hide their faces as soon as they see a camera. And if you manage to take a picture of someone anyways, and they notice it, they’d immediately come to you and ask for either money or delete the photo. We paid more than 20 Euro for a photo and a video with the snakes on the square.
- It was a bit uncomfortable how local guys looked at me. Sometimes they whistled or shouted stupid inappropriate notes. So I recommend to cover as much as possible if you are visiting Morocco in general. I’m not saying you have to wear a scarf on your head, but long jeans and a T-shirt are perfect. I had a loose long-sleeved dresswith the length under my knees, and I couldn’t miss how everyone was looking on my legs.
- Also I think it’s important to mention the fact, that they confiscated our drone when we were arriving in Marrakech. Later, we discovered, that flying with drones is forbidden in whole country. Luckily, they returned it when leaving the country because we declared it. Of course for a bit of money.
To summarize this, I sincerely expected more from Marrakech, but on the other hand you all know very well that exploring cities is not entirely my thing and that I feel much better in the nature 🙂
And what about you guys? Have you ever been to Marrakech? Did you enjoy it there? Share your experience! <3
Some pictures taken by Andrés Berechovich