Saturday, 30 March 2013

Marrakech #4

I used to travel and do everything that the guide book tells me to do.  As a Filipino, I treat my holidays as if I'll never have an opportunity to visit the country again.  I love travelling, obvious naman, but I hate going through the hassle of sorting out visa.  3 months it took me to move back in the UK.  The waiting was such a pain it put me off obtaining visa again.

Our last day in Marrakech was as uneventful as our previous days.  Marrakech as a city is small and you can pretty much cover all the tourist spots in 2 days in my opinion.  If you have days to spare, I suggest going on day trips.  Our riad offered different day trips but we had to decline as we wanted this trip to be as relaxing as possible.

With 5 hours to spare, we went beyond the Old City Wall.  I wanted to buy Argan Oil from the shop that the guide book suggested (yes, I can get into the hype too) but we found it to be a rip off.  Luckily, it was in the modern Mohamed V area and we were able to walk from there to Hivernage and Medina. I was hungry at this point so we consulted the guide book as usual.  It lead us to Hivernage Hotel and Spa where authentic French Moroccan pastries were to be had.

My useful tips when travelling to Morocco:

1.  Brush up on your French.  If you can't speak French or have 0 French lessons like me,please bring a phrase book.  
2.  Wear clothes conservatively.  We went in the spring(highs of 29 degrees celsius), most people are covered up.  It's okay to wear skimpy clothes in the hotel but bring pashmina/shawl when you go out.  You can still look good covered up.  Trust me I did it.  :P
3.  Don't wear heels.  For the love of God, heels aren't good for walking in cobblestones and exploring the souk.  
4.  Splurge on food.  I found loads of good restaurants in Hivernage area.  
5.  If someone says, this is the way to the square, just say thanks.  Most likely they are lying to you and they are only trying to get you to buy from their store.  
6.  Haggle your way.  If you are like us and ended up in un-metered taxi, haggle the price of the fare.  You also have to haggle in souk.  Take half the price of the offer or less.  

Now you are good to go.  :)

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