Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Morocco...last days!

Anyway continuing from the last post...we're onto day 3! After another lovely breakfast at the riad (it was different everyday and authentic) we marched on over to the taxi rank and paid 10 dirham (about 75p) each to get to our sight-seeing spots. Marrakesh is made up the medina (the old walled city) and the new city. The medina has a total of 19 gates and we were dropped outside this gate, Bab Agnou which is the grandest of them all.
Bab Agnaou
We spent a little while exploring the Saadian Tombs which is a rather grand necropolis built by the Saadian Sultan Ahmed El Mansour in the 16th century for himself and his successors.
2 Saadian tombs
There was no question on how grand and elaborate this place was as a final resting place for these ancient leaders of Morocco.
5 Saadian tombs archway
Soon we moved on to Bahia Palace, once a royal residencey which is another stunning example of beautiful mosaics, elaborate carvings and stucco work.
12 Bahia palace10 elaborate decor11 Bahia palace decorative doors
Dress (From a stall in Tai Po, Hong Kong) Belt (Accessorize) Shoes (Topshop) Hat (Accessorize) Bag (Salad, Hong Kong)
13 painted ceilings at Bahia
One thing I definitely noticed was how vibrant and colourful Marrakesh was!
8 colours
After the palace we set out to find the spice market...
16 follow the leader2
I was a little suprised to see these 'piles' of spices were pretend! The stall owner simply rubbed the spices onto the conical shapes to give the illusion of spices piled high!
17 spices in mellah
We stopped for lunch and had a brilliant view of a whole bunch of Storks chilling out.
20 storks
On the way back to the Riad, we stopped by the Koutoubia Mosque which is the focal point of the city. I think this shot shows just how hot it was, 4pm seemed to be the hottest time of the day!
22 Koutoubia
Something I would throughly recommend is to try the market food in Jemaa el-Fna square. It was atmospheric, fun and a cheap meal! I also was constantly amazed at how the market sellers knew a myriad of languages with snatches of Spanish and even Polish! Needless to say, we stayed away from the roasted goats heads and opted for a BBQ feast!
24 market dinner
After dinner, we had a go at playing the street games. Here is my friend 'fishing' for bottles of coke!
25 the square at night
The following day, we ventured out of the Medina and into the new city. We stopped by an Artisan store and found Tagine pots in all manner of sizes!
27 little and large
We then went on a walk to the next destination...
28 stop
We loved this club...too bad it wasn't open! The signs say le club...for happy people only and la boutique...for fashion people only! We decided to jump for joy and was amazed that this only took one take! The boys on the other hand took many, many takes and it seems that guys only do star jumps!
29 jumping for joy
We managed to walk for about half an hour until we realised that our lonely planet guide was a few years out of date! Luckily for us, a very lovely local offered to take us in the right direction! Though we were taken via a dirt track (which henceforth was referred to as the desert by us) and I was a bit wary of being led astray...
31 follow the leader
...but faith was restored when we arrived! The man would not take any money from us. We were used to giving tips to people in similar situations in the Medina (old city) as sometimes kids would follow you and ask for money. However people in the new city are a different breed and not out to make money from tourists!
34 Jardin Menara
Tee, shorts, shoes(Topshop) Hat (Accessorize)
We finally spotted some camels but they were specifically for tourists to sit on and take pictures...
32 camels
A direct view of the Koutoubia Mosque from the Menara gardens.
33 new city and mosque
Unfortunately, the Menara gardens was little more than a big square pool (with a whole lotta fish) and a small pavillion. It wasn't worth the tired feet! We ended up hopping back in a taxi and went in search for lunch at the square we began to see as home, Jemaa el-fna Square. After losing a man who was clearly being paid commission to convince tourists to go to his restuarant, we made it into a restaurant where I had another tagine dish of Kefta (meat balls) which was delicious...even if the rice was decorated in a er, interesting manner.
35 kefta tagine
After lunch, we wandered into the Souks where we spent a few hours haggling and trying our best to get things for as little as 10 dirham...75p. A small but rather hilarious detail that I missed out from day 2 in the souks was how the Moroccons loved my friend Lucy, who is fair skinned and blonde. At one of the shops within the souks, we got chatting to the owner and I was offered a camel in exchange for my friend.. It doesn't matter that he probably wasn't serious but he gave her a hug that lasted a little too long...and it was one of those moments that I laughed so hard that I couldn't stop crying. Definitely a holiday story that I'll never forget!
42 shoe sellers
For dinner we went to another restaurant in the square called Aqua Cafe, so named because it would spray mists of water every few minutes. It was actually, a bit distracting and they soon turned it off when they realised that our extended table was getting quite wet! It had a lovely view of the square...at sunset.
36 sunset
The view of the food stalls in the square with Koutoubia Mosque in the background.
37 Djemaa el Fna at dusk
We headed off to have ice creams at another restaurant and I happily devoured FRESH strawberry ice cream. I've never had anything like it, as it was strawberry red rather than the usual diluted pink ice cream, it was almost like a sorbet and so delicious. Morocco is absolutely amazing for fresh fruit and it's definitely a must!
39 ice cream
A final meander through the souks as we made our very last walk back to our Riad.
40 souks at night
The lamps were so beautiful and a few of my friends returned home with pretty little Moroccon lamps. I barely bought anything on the holiday compared to my friends...but I'll save my purchases for the next post!
41 lamp sellers
The rest of the night was spent packing in anticipation for our flight the next morning...and so ended our trip!

A shot of our passports the following day when we landed back on British soil, we were such an international group! Such is the beauty of studying a business related degree. Here you can see British, Turkish, German, American, Taiwanese and Chinese passports!
44 passports
I adored Marrakesh and staying for 3 and a half days was more than enough to see the main attractions in the city. If any of you plan on visiting, I would definitely stay in a Riad for a more authentic Moroccon experience, brush up on your French and get ready to do some haggling at the market stalls!

PS: On a side note, Miruku over at Milk Tea is holding a give away featuring some really kawaii prizes! I'm just excited that I've found a fellow Arashi fan!
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48 comments

  1. it looks so beautiful! ah yes i have a blonde friend who always gets a lot of attention when we go away, very amusing- for me at least!

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  2. amazing photos! come follow me http://www.fashioniceice.blogspot.com xoxo

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  3. Amazing photos! I especially love the fact that you were from all over the world. I'm dying to go to Morocco!

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  4. Wow! It looks amazing - Morocco is one place I've always wanted to go but I never realised it was so perfect for a mini-break - I want to go now! I love the heart cardi you're wearing in the icecream pic, where's it from? xxx

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  5. oh wow, this looks like so much fun! i love the jumping for joy picutre!

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  6. It looks so beautiful there! All the food looks super yummy too :)

    tweet tweet tweet

    x

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  7. Wow Morocco looks amazing!

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  8. oh this looks so great! i've never been to morocco but i'd love to go. i love your jumping shot and all the passports! looks great! xx

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  9. The passport shot is so cool. And yes, most of the camels are for tourists... I did have my pic taken with one. Hahaha! xoxo

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  10. this looks amazing! I loved the little star lanterns against the sky :)

    as if the spice piles are fake! :O I'm shocked!


    A man once offered my Dad a camel for me, haha I think my Dad was pretty close to accepting :p

    great post :)

    olivia
    x

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  11. Morrocans sure do love their colors and elaborate designs!
    The lamps are absolutely amazing! Aw; I wonder where can I get something like that in SG;

    Anyway; your meals always look so sumptuous! NOW; I feel like heading to one of the famous Marrakesh restaurant in town that I've heard of but never ventured into!

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  12. a camel for your friend!!! LOL. thank goodness times have changed now :P

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  13. Pretend spices? That's wild! It looks like a fantastic trip.

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  14. I don't know what's funnier, the fake spice mountains ou a guy trying to buy your friend. Ok, it's the guy trying to buy your friend. Ha!

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  15. It all looks like so much fun. It sounds like such a great day. That palace looks gorgeous.

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  16. great photos i'm jealous :p keep having fun ^^

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  17. Wow it looks like you had a fabulous time there. I enjoyed seeing your photos. The palace looks amazing.

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  18. Winnie, I love your Morocco photos! I'm totally living vicariously through you in these latest blog posts ;) I've always wanted to go to Morocco, and was so bummed I didn't make it over when I was studying abroad in southern Spain. I didn't realize that it was only three hours of the UK!
    Thanks for sharing your adventures with us!

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  19. Beautiful photos, seemed like a great trip!

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  20. That's fabulous ! Thank you for these beautiful pictures !

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  21. Ooh, I love the idea of street games - and the photograph of you and your friends jumping in the air is adorable! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time, Winnie!! :)

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  22. hey it's cool !
    come check mine :D

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  23. so much color + life. i love it!

    xo Alison

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  24. I think the same, some of this shoes must be in museums, are incredibles masterpieces!
    im glad to hear your opinión darling!
    i like very much your blog, is amazing!
    great photos, i love it!
    kisses from http://sweetsyte.blogspot.com/

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  25. nice photos. thanks for sharing your trip with us. i cant believe what a lively place it is. and how beautiful it is. would love to ride a camel!!
    hope youre having a wonderful week so far darling

    xxx

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  26. Salad! I have a million salad belts! You always make me miss HK. Lovely post, I'm so jealous of your trip!

    x

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  27. Wow I really enjoyed looking at all of the photos! I've always wanted to go to someplace in North Africa and Morocco is beautiful. Looks like you're having an amazing time:)

    x
    Tina

    P.S. I love those 'piles' of spices, they're so cute.

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  28. Such amazing scenery; I've always wanted to go to Morocco and now I feel like I know a lot more about it. I bet the food was amazing and I adore that striped ceiling picture and how ornate everything is. Methinks a trip for final year inspiration is needed!

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  29. Look at all those different passports! Can I add in my Japanese one? haha
    And that tent-looking pot is super popular here. I have no idea how to cook anything in it though :P Love yours pics!

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  30. WOW it looks like you had an amazing time!

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  31. These are beautiful photos. It looks so great there. I hope you've had a great week. I certainly have. Thanks for your comment on my Taylor Lautner post. I appreciate it. I got so many wonderful comments on that post. Enjoy the upcoming weekend.

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  32. I can't wait to go on holiday! Look at all those different passports haha!

    - Adele
    MOLTOCURIOSA.COM

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  33. that looks like such a beautiful place to visit! I might have to add it to my list of places to see! xx

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  34. Thanks for mentioning the giveaway! I love your dress from the Hong Kong market stall, and the naughty rice, haha! Someday we have to Arashi-fangirl together. The best thing about living in Japan is non-stop Arashi!

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  35. oh fun fun fun. i wanna go with you too. : )

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  36. wow love your pics looks like you had a lot of fun :)

    the food looks delish!


    http://aforteforfashion.blogspot.com

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  37. its soo pretty, you must be having a blast!

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  38. Owwww Winnie seeing your last bunch of photos I am just so jealous now! :D Looks like you just had so much fun, and I am very impressed by the amount that you crammed in. I am predicting you bought.... some cool jewellery? A tagine? Some sort of beautiful scarf drape thing? :)

    Claire @ Jazzpad

    PS Thanks for filling me in about the camel experience haha!

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  39. what a magical place. x.

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  40. thx for the sweet comments..
    but they are not my friends,,they are my sister and brother..hehehhee

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  41. amazing photos and amazing post! i wish i was there as well!

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  42. great photos! wow, you have very great trip! wish I could going to there someday :)

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  43. That photo of the lamps is so beautiful! Ooh and the gate looks amazing. Annnd what a stunning looking palace!

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  44. Oh so many nice pictures :) So beautiful and so many colors.

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  45. What fabulous pictures! The food looks good enough to eat! I hope you had a wonderful time x

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  46. I'm glad you had a great time in Morrocco, i went about 3 years ago .. and did not enjoy it so much!!

    Sal xXx

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  47. Looks like an amazing trip. Morrocco is on my 'list' of go to places in life. xo Mish

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