Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Marrakech #2

Two things I love about the holidays(apart from the obvious sunny weather) are the morning lie ins and the free breakfast.  In fact, I am dreaming of going to another sunny destination in May preferably a country that won't require me visa.  Despite my UK residency, I still need to apply visa on almost every country I want to visit.  

We decided that we would relax on this trip and maybe just go to few tourist places in Marrakech.  My friends recommended going on a nature day trip but seriously, I am here to relax, meaning, as little time as possible spent travelling and rushing in the mornings.

First stop, Saadian Tombs.  Let's get this out of the way, the entrance is not free but it isn't expensive either.  It is only 10 MAD per person and you get to choose your tour guide inside that speaks various languages for a fee of course.  
 I love this photo of me.  I feel like DH captured Marrakech in a nutshell in this photo.  Not that I can explain why.  It looked so exotic.

We arrive before lunch and the area is almost deserted.  We passed by Saadian Tombs the next day on our way to the spa and it looked very full.  I suggest going in the mornings before the big tourist rush.  The place is very small and you have to queue up for one of the tombs' room.

From Saadian Tombs, we took the taxi to Majorelle Garden.  The garden is located outside the old city wall.  It will take 30-45 minutes walking if you have good sense of direction. *wink*  If you are as bad as me, I suggest taking the taxi.  DH haggled our fare from 50MAD to 40MAD in french but ended paying 50MAD as a goodwill.  In Morocco, it is good to know and speak a little french to survive.  Oui or Bonjour don't count.  It has to be numbers.

The Majorelle Garden was owned by the legendary Yves Saint Laurent, YSL.  RIP.  According to the guide book, YSL saved the garden from being destroyed and made into apartment complexes.

The entrance is 50MAD but it's worth the every dirhams.  We spent few hours inside taking photos and just enjoying the scenery.  
The intense blue colour is called Majorelle blue named after the French Artist.  My useless fact came from many hours spent on the internet.  Thanks google. :)
 I can't help but laugh whenever I see pictures from the Majorelle Garden.  Whilst we were having our photo taken by another tourist, another tourist tried to take photo of the background where we were having our photo taken.  He tripped and then tripped again while trying to get his balance.  We asked if he is okay cause it's the polite thing to do whilst the person who he tried to get past didn't say anything.    He didn't respond either.  We later saw him re-counting the story to his wife.  Maybe with a deflated ego.  Luke and I couldn't contain our laughter for a while and tried our best to avoid him.

From Majorelle, we walked to the square and had another disappointing meal.  I think as a general rule, avoid eating at the square.  It maybe cheaper compared to fine dining but the quality at the square is not to my standards.  I trust guidebook suggestions but this time it failed to impress me.  We headed to the Riad after to relax and get ready for our dinner at Comptoir Adarna.

I think, made in Marrakech website is a good insight on everything about Marrakech.  Never mind the shopping, it is better to know where to eat and how much your budget is.  When on holiday, there is a big possibility of overspending.  This is what happened that night.  Our meal although we don't have budget, came to 85GBP.  It's like eating out in the first world although we were in the third world.  In Morocco, the meals are as expensive as the alcohol so if you drink like a fish, prepare for the large bill.

Having the bill aside, DH and I had a good time.  We arrived at 8PM without reservation and was lucky to get a seat.  We stayed for 3 hours to watch the belly dancing at half 10.  It was good fun and I was asked by one of the belly dancers to dance with her.  Although I am a bit shy about it(with no belly dancing training), I couldn't refuse her offer in case I offend her.  Luke thoroughly enjoyed the performance whilst I was totally weirded out by girls being objectified.  They were dancing on the table.  I am no feminist and I've seen worse than this but being in a Muslim country, I reverted to my conservative roots.  We retreated to the Riad and woke up early for our Hammam experience.  Google hammam and I will tell you my experience in detail on my next blog post.  :)

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