Morocco..... At Last

Trip Start Jun 08, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Sunday, April 9, 2006

Well, getting out of England was a small trial for a start, finding the correct leaving gate from Gatwick was like selecting a chocolate from a chocolate box with inconsistent flight numbers and boarding times on every possible form of notification. The only consistent link to my flight out was the word "Marrakesh" and a boarding gate number, which inevitably got me on board - a bit of a puzzle though and strangely enough I have similar recollections flying out of the same airport 5 years ago to Bordeaux. Hmm yes, I am confident that the English will run the Olympics will run without a hitch in 2012 given their capacity to give oh so clear instructions.

Anyway, enough about that - on to Marrakesh. Arriving last night I found that the one and only thing that I had tentatively organised for this trip, a bed, wasn't actually organised at all. I was swiftly told that a reservation doesn't actually mean that you have a bed.... sooo I am yet to figure out what a reservation does actually mean in Morocco but I ended up quiet happily with a mattress on the roof of hostel for 3 nights, my mattress looks straight out over the central Medina and it only costs me 10 Durum per night (about 70p). It suits me fine as it's nice to be in the open air, the stars and the sunrise having been couped up in England for the last 6 months. It's pretty nippy in the evenings, but luckily for me Matt (a guy that I met at the airport) lent me his sleeping bag as he is sleeping in a dorm and doesn't need it, true to form I am only travelling with the bare essentials which quiet often means not enough. All is good outside and the chanting from the mosques in the the early hours of the morning is a nice reminder that I'm in unfamiliar surroundings.

Right then, more on Marrakesh - snake charmers, souqs, fresh orange juice, herbs and spices, dried fruits, mosaics, leather, poorly horses and wild cats are just a few things that spring to mind. From my roof top bed room I can smell pastries and breads getting made at daylight and I have already gorged myself on Tangine, couscous, fresh strawberries (the very best strawberry's ever) and oranges - the food is truly outstanding. The air smells not unlike that of a smaller city in Thailand with a mix of spices, incense and dirty over tones. The houses are all orange stucco with square art deco type edges. I think those who hate getting lost might have a few problems in Marrakesh, the tightly woven streets make it near impossible to know where you are at any given point in time and I have to confess that all that I have seen and found today has been by fluke and I most certainly wouldn't be able to retrace my steps. The hassles that the men supposedly give unaccompanied women seem to be over publised and over rated as well, on the whole they have been fine whilst I have been wandering around, not a scratch on what a lone woman experiences in the likes of Cuba where the men are a right pain in the hole and really draining if you're unaccompanied. However, it is only day one and I am in the hub of the tourist area, so I predict that things may change beyond here. Anyway, that's my summation of things given my one day of wandering the souqs and museums.

This has taken me an awful long time to write as I am typing on a french key board, which is oh so frustrating when you're used to touch typing. Till later...
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