I have always had a long standing fascination for North Africa (hmm, wonder why??!) Guess it’s partly because I’m African and love the diversity and heritage our culture bestows on us. Interesting though, I haven’t really traveled much of Africa as I’d like to, which is why when the opportunity came to visit Morocco (North Africa) the city of Marrakesh I was over the moon! I couldn’t wait to experience this part of Africa and see how their culture and life differ from ours (in Nigeria (West Africa)).
It was a really cheap package deal which cost £208 inclusive of flight, hotel (half board) and airport transfers- we flew with Ryanair from Stanstead Airport, flight time 3 hours 40 mins and we were in the Oasis city and souks soaked with fertile and happy life!
We had a super smooth flight and we were picked up by the package holiday company at arrival. Literally stepping out of the airport with 29 degrees weather, I felt even more alive and happy! 🙂
I wanted to stay outside in the sun at the airport for a few hours but there was a lot of that waiting for us at the resort. We arrived relatively early so had the morning to sort out hotel check in and necessary logistics. For those who may be interesting in exploring our package deal it was with Clearsky Holidays http://www.clearskyholidays.com/ we stayed at Atlas Targa Club – a resort 20 minutes from the city. This resort is great for everyone i.e. singles wanting some time to relax and unwind from the busyness of life; families needing time to get away with entertainment for the kids and couples just looking for a hide away place.
Most people we met at the resort opted to stay in for the entire duration of their holiday in Marrakesh. The resort provides entertainment during the night, sports activities in the day and all day catering (all inclusive in the price).
We decided to spend the reminder of the first day in the resort as we left London really early- the flight from Standstead was at 06.10am meant we left home about 3.00am. Soaking in the pool is my ideal form of relaxation as I enjoy swimming with my skin totally absorbing some Vitamin D.
In the evening, there were some buffet dinner and drinks and live music prepared at the hotel. I didn’t expected the resort to be great as we didn’t pay much but I was pleasantly surprised! 🙂
Our second day was spent at the Souk, who wouldn’t! I met very friendly people in Marrakesh, then again Africans are known to be the friendliest people in the world! 🙂
I was particularly impressed with myself too, you know why? I was able to practice my French! I always look forward to times when I can use French to just reassure myself that a gap year in Paris wasn’t totally wasted! Haha, I really don’t do much justice to the language having studied it for so many months all those years but hey, it was nice for once.
The Souk for those who don’t know is a market place where you can buy relatively everything. Spices were on display with amazing aromas. The Souk in Marrakesh is arguably the largest Souk in Africa. The ability to walk for hours in a market might appeal to so many but not me.
I was particularly intrigued by this market, though. It was very hot but the market seem to be covered with so many traders that one hardly felt the sun. We walked past carpet shops, elaborate lampshade shops, slipper shops, silver and pottery shops, shops selling leather, silks, ceramics, spices and pastries, the rich aromas and the constant chatter and noise of the traders made it a worthwhile experience.
Walking through the lanes and politely rejecting invitations from all sides, but opting to walk into a shop or two for some items. Some friends can’t stand the thought of haggling, they find it daunting and exhausting and I can relate to their pain but for me, growing up as a young girl in Nigeria, my mum sometimes will take me to the market where she would haggle with every seller for hours. There would be times when she’ll say ‘No’ to a seller and after a long while roaming the market for a good deal, the seller may plead with her to buy from him/her or she would change her mind and return to the seller….I must say, during these times, I get really exhausted and can’t wait to go home!
Nonetheless, it is a fun experience done once in a while and now a skill I enjoy practicing…. I bought myself a cute leather bag for a relatively good price- who knows, I may have paid excessively for it, at the time, it felt like a bargain!
I admire the beautiful outfit on people – everyone looked gorgeous in their attires and as you know by now, I love experiencing fashion and culture through the lens of the locals so we headed to a shop selling traditional Moroccan attire for men and women…. Men tend to dress is Djellabas and women in Kaftans with head scarves; some with face veils and a small number in full burqa.
We concluded our trip at the Souk and walked towards the Riad to enjoy the scenery and bumped into these exceptionally dressed men- there I am joining them in the party! haha
Anyway, that’s it for now, stay tuned for ‘3 Nights in Marrakesh- Part 2 (Jardin Marjoelle)’…..
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