Day trip to Essaouira
Two days after my fall, and with one day of our holiday already lost to doctors and clinics, we decided to press ahead with our original plan of a day trip to the coast, as sitting in a taxi watching the scenery go past seemed a lot easier than tackling the streets of Morocco on foot. And so it proved – we had a lovely relaxing, though long, day out which showed us that something at least of our holiday could be retrieved despite the unexpected and unwelcome change in our circumstances.
Leaving after an early breakfast we headed west through a fairly dry and dusty landscape interspersed with villages and small towns. Most of these serve as markets for the Berber farmers in the surrounding area, so were full of life and interest for us. We stopped several times en route – for coffee, to visit a carpet co-operative (and succumb to temptation there!) and to see the local oddity known as “goats in trees”. We arrived in Essaouira in time for a leisurely lunch in the main square. The light was beautiful, the sea air refreshing, the activity around us fascinating but much less frenetic than in Marrakesh. After lunch Chris had a walk around the port area and took lots of photos, while I sat on a bench and did the same in the square. I then managed a short hobble around a few streets in the old town before it was time to head back to Marrakesh. It was dark as we approached the city and a huge red moon was rising – a sign of hope after the mess of the previous day and a wonderful end to our day out.
We travelled by grand taxi and paid 900 dirhams for the whole day (£72) which was good value given how long we were out and how helpful Mokhtar was in making accommodations for my restricted mobility. With more people sharing the taxi it would of course be cheaper, and I believe you can also book tours by minibus, or of course hire a car to drive there yourself. For more about our day out please see my separate page on Essaouira.
Supratours bus to Tan Tan
Supratours have 2 buses departing for Tan Tan.
Journey time 10 hours.
Tickets are around 175 dirhams.
Supratours have there office next to the train station in Marrakech.
Please use prices as a rough guide only.
Djamaa El Fna Square -Day Time-
The Square Djamaa El Fna is the only place like this in the arab world. Since a long time this is the most important place in Marrakesh. By day the square is a commercial place, you can find orange juice, jewel and everything you can dream of finding!!!!
This ‘dar’ originally was built as a mansion by royal chamberlain Sidi Saýd, a brother of ‘Minister’ Bou Ahmed - who extended the Bahia Palacre- in the 19th century. This ‘dar’ can be considered as a kind of a palace or at least the house of a rich person with a couple of courtyards. Nowadays it houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts with (antique) artefacts like clothing, jewellery, leather, woodworks, carpets, daggers and pottery.
We missed Dar Si Said during our first stay in Marrakech due to renovations and now it was the first sight to visit, also because it was rather close to our riad (Riad Safran). After paying the entrance fee we entered the museum, but to be honest we were not very impressed by the exhibit rooms, partial because of the lack of proper information in English and a museum brochure.
But once we reached the second courtyard we had to change our opinion. This inner court was filled with trees, in the centre a gazebo with a small fountain and tiles. It is surrounded by other exhibit rooms with beautiful carved doors and colourful stucco work. This courtyard is a nice quiet and green oasis in the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.
From here we entered the main rooms on the first floor, were we met a guardian. After telling him we liked the ‘dar’ very much he became even friendlier and we got a private tour explaining us everything (‘and more’) about the rooms with their fantastic cedar wood ceilings, the symmetric stuccowork, fantastic zellij tiles, the domed dance/reception room, bedroom of the harem woman, wedding dresses, and an antique small ‘merry-go-round’. Although officially not allowed he invited us to make pictures of this stunning part of Dar Si Said.
He deserved our tip as well did another guardian, who allowed us to enter the tiled courtyard of the harem (normally not open for public) with its fountain. Due to these tips we saw a lot more of this palace and its really fantastic Islamic style decorations.
Dar Si Said is smaller than nearby Bahia Palace, but I think it is more beautiful and nicer decorated.
Admission fee: 10 dirhams (2009)
Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Thur and Weekends 9.00 -11.45 and 14.30 -17.45
Friday 9.00 -11.30 15.00 -17.45
Welcome to Marrakech
"The first day in Morocco!"
Since I don't know much about this country but I have something share with you. Firstly, I don't recommend a single woman to go there alone because the moroccan guy will keep on following you. Here is my story. I do not have a travel guide with me because my friend suggested me to join the tour but I don't like the place. Then I bought the ticket and started my journey.
On the ship, I noticed that I had to do the custom declaration. I just followed the people and filled in a form. When I nearly arrived the port in Tangier, I was so scared. There were lot of people here. I feel uncomfortable. So, I stayed with the English girls for the whole trip in Morocco.
On the first two days, we stayed in the Azayla which is a fishing vallage. We stayed in a hotel. When we went out for sight seeing, the guy, he was the receptionist, he made his friends to be our local guides. It was so strange. Actually, we didn't need them but they kept on following us all the time. No matter we went to the market, the beach, the cyber cafe, the restaurant, etc. They would suddenly come out. The worst thing is, they knew where we lived. We felt annoying. Hopefully, we decided to take the night train to Marrakech. We said goodbye at the train station.