22 Sep 2014

Marrakech in a blink

Posting the "mermaid" photo (that was actually taken in the secluded Kasbah in Morocco) really made me miss the country. Sure, the trip was 4 months ago, but what the heck, time for some reminiscence, and photos, of course.



It started off as a secret trip for Mr Mackey's birthday. I did my research, I planned the itinerary. Since we only had more than a week and there were so much I wanted to see, I figured it'd be best to have a private car + driver so we can enjoy a hassle free trip. It turned out finding a not-so-expensive-but-good travel company is the hardest part of the planning process. In the internet age, you'd think anything is possible. Nope, you get lost in a million and one review, and the oh-so-weird websites, the @gmail.com contacts, etc. 

Then I found out Francesco was leaving for his own Morocco trip in 2 weeks, doing a private tour that was more or less very similar to my plan. I patiently waited for him to come back, hassled him with questions after questions about his driver and car. Lots of emails back and forth with the travel agent (who also has a @gmail.com email, by the way), an incredible mind game to keep the secret from Mr. Mackey (which I lost), we left London on a warm summer evening. 

We arrived in Marrakech late at night. None of those crazy airport security procedure. We literally walked through the landing strip into a double-storey building with wide opened doors and windows. The night was mature. The air was warm and still. The smell of dry earth lingered in the air. Mr. Mackey whispered: "it's the scent of Africa". 

Hi there, Morocco!



We arrived at the Riad  when Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main market square in Marrakech is closing. Rubbish was being swept to the side of the road, the left over smell of a busy market day was damp and heavy, a few young lads were chasing each other around the empty stalls, shouting and laughing at the same time.

I sensed real life, and I loved it.

The way I loved the after party scene more than the party itself: after all the make-up and party tricks are over, things are laid out bare and sincere. 

Sitting under the orange tree in the empty courtyard sipping mint tea, listening to the sound of the night, luggages by our feet, London seemed like a really distanced past. 



Dah Marhaba is 5 minutes walk from the main square, small and cute. The rooms are basic and clean. If you tend to spend alot of time in the hotel while travelling, you might want to find somewhere with more facilities. For just one late night in Marrakech, the place was perfect for us.

We absolutely loved the family vibe, the beautiful blue doors, the cute orange trees, and the fabulous breakfast. The staff didn't speak much English, but their friendliness and enthusiasm made up for everything. 










The  morning walk in the souk was quick and brief. I didn't want to spend too much time in a busy town. 

By lunch time, we were already in the car en route to Essaouira. 



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