Spending a few days in Marrakech, Morocco I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I had my ideas and of course I had done plenty of research, but you never really know until you have experienced it yourself. It was my first time stepping foot in Africa and my first time visiting Morocco. Although we had some mishaps it was a very enjoyable trip. There is plenty to do in a few days and of course some things to know before you go!
Prior to leaving the States we tried to grab a little bit of Moroccan currency, Dirhams. Please be careful when you attempt to exchange money. The guy was so wrapped up talking about his own past trip that he tried to give us UAE Dirhams. We then found out they had no Moroccan currency so we decided to just wait till we got there.
Upon arrival into Marrakech you get off the plane, walk on the tarmac, and hop on a very short bus ride to the terminal. It is hard not to notice how beautiful their airport is. Once we got through customs and exchanged our currency we spotted our driver outside. We were on our way to our hotel, Riad Cinnamon.
Riad Cinnamon is located in the Medina, the heart of the city. There are tons of souks everywhere. The streets are very narrow so cars can not go down them. Pedestrians and motor bikes whizzing by is all that we really saw. Our ride to our hotel could only go so far before we had to get out and walk to the hotel. Luckily we had a “guardian” from the hotel who met us, took our bags and we walked about 5 minutes to the Riad.
The Riad was really nice. We had a room that had 3 bed with a loft area which was perfect for the 3 of us. Breakfast was also included as well as a cell phone for when we were out about. We ended up paying a little extra and eating dinner at the Riad every night. It was awesome because it was obvious how fresh and cooked to order everything was.
The first day there we had our guardian, Hussein, walk around the Medina. Many things were closed because it was Friday and that is the day of worship for Muslims. The places that were open tried to get us to stop and buy things. They speak French, Arabic, and English. I was also told to be careful with my camera and to not keep it out. Hussein, wanted to make sure none of our stuff was stolen.
We were pretty tired from all the traveling so we headed back though the maze of the Medina back to the Riad. We hung out on the roof top and took it in the sunset before heading back to the room to relax. Then our first Moroccan meal, delicious dinner. Afterwards we headed to sleep.
Hussein made sure we got breakfast when we were ready to eat and then arranged for us to have a tour. It was by horse and carriage. It was cool that the guy took us and waited at every destination. We should have spent more time at the first destination, but we felt bad that the guy was waiting on us for so long .
The first place we visited was Jardin Majorelle. It took about an hour of standing on the line just to get tickets to get inside. It is gorgeous inside exploring all the blues and yellows. The memorial for Yves Saint Laurent is located inside. There is also a YSL Museum that we didn’t go see. It is a must see!
After we left there we headed over to the Saadian Tombs. It is a mausoleum containing about 60 members of the Saddi Dynasty. It is really nice for a grave site. There was a line to one of the rooms in particular, but after standing on the line for the Jardin Majorelle, we were not interested in another line. So we kept it moving.
As we were riding around the gentleman would tell us different facts about what we were looking at. Our next stop was a Herboisterie. A gentleman took us into a room and explained to us about the different oils, soaps, and more that can be used. Of course everyone knows about Moroccan argon oil, we definitely had to buy it from the source amongst some other things. The guy also did demonstrations to show us how the many things he had actually worked. We definitely didn’t live there empty-handed.
Bahia Palace was our next stop. It was beautiful, but I wish I knew exactly what we were looking at. Get a tour through there if you can. It is mostly a ton of empty rooms. We were trying to use our imagination and guess what each room may have been used for. It was beautiful. We also got turned around and couldn’t find our way out.
Once we did we got back into the carriage and headed to meet up with Hussein so he could walk us back to the Riad. Before heading back we stopped at a little place that sold sandwiches. We all ordered turkey sandwiches with fries. While we waited we were served some infamous Moroccan Mint tea. When we got back we ate and then a few hours late our dinner was prepared.
My friend and I found a Scrabble board in our room and played a few rounds. During the middle of the night she got sick and spent plenty of time in the bathroom. We soon realized it was some hot sauce she got in a plastic bag. She had put it all over her food and it made her very sick.
The next morning we tried to get her to eat some bland food and drink some tea to settle her stomach. I also had medicine so she took that. While she did that we enjoyed the views of the Atlas Mountains from the rooftop. We went out to the souks shopping with Hussein leading the way. He was great he even helped us haggle.
After awhile we decided to come back and relax and enjoy the views from the roof top some more while sipping on some mint tea. We then ate dinner. Which was delicious. Hussein also showed us how to make Moroccan Mint Tea, which we found out has some serious steps to it.
Here is where things went wrong again. We totally forgot that they washed fruit in water. The strawberries were huge and I ate a couple as did my friend. She also was eating all kind of stuff that could have continued to upset her stomach and it did.
Second night in a row she was in the bathroom sick again. So the next morning Hussein offered to either bring a doctor in or take her to the pharmacy. They walked to the pharmacy and they purchased the medicine for her. Meanwhile I was sick for about an hour or so from eating the fruit. So I took some of her antibiotics and I was feeling better a couple of hours later.
We were leaving that day so we packed everything up and headed out to the airport. Besides getting sick we had a great time. We truly felt that staying at the Riad Cinnamon made our trip great. They went above and beyond in service and we appreciated it. We would definitely go back.
Have you ever been to Marrakech, Morocco?