From Marrakesh, if you enjoy...
From Marrakesh, if you enjoy this kind of things, you can go to the mountains of Atlas. But you should prepare yourself previously and get a guide.
It´s hot, hard, but also, very beautiful.
The berberess are wonderful people, and their caracteristic tea, tasted in this ambiance, is unique.
Nice place to eat out
I always want to find nice local restaurants to eat out while abroad. This one was not anything spectacular from outside, but the food was just great. (although pizza was just average) It was one of our favourite restaurants in Marrakesh. We found it during the second day of our stay. After eating in the hotel first night all prices seemed very reasonable. Let's say good quality for reasonable price. Apart from regular dishes the restaurant has put together 2 menues. One costs 200 dirham and the other 150 dirham. We decided to try the first one. And there was too much food so we could not eat that all. The starter was an amazing salad from greyfish, that was followed by a very delicious fish, that chef personally served us. First those fishes seemed so big but fortunatelly some of it was not for eating. :)
After two courses I we were very positively surprised but the third course- fruit salad was also just great. I must admit that most of it was left unfinished, but not because it was not delicious but because we were full already. we also tried chocolate vulcano the other night and I must admit that I have had such a good one only in Argentina before and now found out that also maroccoan are good in preparing one. Just next to the restaurant is a piano bar where you can relax after the dinner and listen to the live music. This place we went most during our stay
The giant square, Djemaa el-Fna, really is the heart of Marrakech. It is a crazy place, filled day and night with so much activity you don't know where to look. Make sure you take the time to visit the square and experience day to day life in Marrakech. These days, Djemaa el-Fna is a UNESCO world heritage site, but back in the old days it used to be the place of public executions, earning the name 'Dead Men's Square'.
During the day you can enjoy a glass of tangy, freshly squeezed orange juice while you watch the snake charmers making their cobras dance. Or perhaps you would prefer to buy some fresh dates or nuts to snack on whilst you have your hands decorated by the henna artists.
You may stand for a while and watch the colourfully dressed water-sellers at work, or ponder over why there is a monkey on a chain dressed in children's clothes. Just watch out for the cars and motorbikes that cut across the square towards the southern end.
Make sure you have a mint tea at one of the cafes surrounding the square that has an upstairs terrace - this gives you a great place to take some photos of the square from above.
At night the square changes into a giant food market, with the smoke rising up from the food stalls creating a mysterious haze across the square. You should have dinner at one of the food stalls at least once during your stay. Or if you are not game, perhaps just a glass of spicy ginseng tea from one of the carts.
After dinner, walk around the square for a while, dodge the beggars, and check out some of the small bands, who are surrounded by locals enjoying the music. Or perhaps listen in to one of the story-tellers, trying to get a gist for his tale spoken in Arabic or Berber. You may also see magicians or even medicine men - so if something ails you, you may well have come to the right place!
1800 species of cactuses
In the Majorelle garden you will find lots of colourfully tropical flowers and trees like bougainvillaea, waterlillies, hibiscus, yucca, bamboo, 400 species of palmtrees.
A very special part of the garden is the one where all the cactuses are. I red in the guidebook there are 1800 different species of cactuses in this garden, too many to see and count them all. Usually cactuses are not my favourites, but the setting here is wonderful. By the contrast of the green cactuses with the rosa ground around you can see and distinguish very well every single cactus. (picture 1, 2 & 5).
In the total ambiance of the exotic Majorelle garden the cactuses are in perfect harmony with the bright blue and turquoise coloured villa (picture 3) and other blue ornaments in the garden (picture 4).
Jemma al Fna'a and the Koutoubia Mosque
"For the wealthy"
Actually they weren't so terribly expensive but it was only visitors in them, except of course for the drivers.
"Jemma al Fna'a"
This square is described as the largest in Africa. In daytime there are food stalls and some selling drinks with a few snake-charmers, fortune tellers and tooth-pullers scattered over a wide area.
"The square at night"
At night there are legions of food stalls, mostly with full meals but some snails only. You get a mountain of small snails and a sort of tooth pick. After scooping out and eating the snails, you drink the liquid they were in!
The main entertainment is now provided by story tellers, dancers and musicians.
No, you can't go in to either the mosque or its minaret unless you are a Muslim, but it's great just to see it. It's said that Sevilla's Giralda was modelled on this mosque.
"Detail of the minaret"
"Towards the edge of the square"
which means towards the main souks - and the next travelogue.