It's never too late to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I would have liked to post this earlier but I was struck by the January blues and a bad cold on our return to Amsterdam!
We travelled to the beautiful city of Marrakech after Christmas to escape the harsh Winter weather.
It was 10 days of pure magic! We rented a house 30mn away from Marrakech with my cousin, her husband and their 2 children.
In retrospect it was a really good idea to be immersed in the Moroccan countryside with locals instead of staying in the crowded center of Marrakech. We would drive to Marrakech for the day and come back to our peaceful and spacious villa in the afternoon to relax by the pool in the leafy garden. A lovely Moroccan lady from the nearby village was here every day to prepare the most delicious tagines and couscous. It is very common to have a cook when you rent a house in Marrakech. I have to say it was a real treat to be looked after by such a pleasant lady.
Last time Simon and I came to Marrakech was about 15 years ago. We were back packing around Morocco for several weeks by buses, trains and taxis. We travelled to pretty much all the major Cities: Casablanca, Rabat, Fès, Ouarzazate, Marrakech and Essaouira and a long journey to see the desert. I was blown away by the beauty of the country and the friendliness if its inhabitants.
I was really happy to come back with our 3 children and rediscover Marrakech 15 years later. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how much it has changed. First you land in a brand new airport and everything from customs to picking up your luggages was really smooth and easy.
Thanks to Google map we didn't get lost in the Medina this time! The children were so impressed to walk in the tiny alleys and to see so many stalls.
I had the souvenir of being constantly interpellate by sellers but this is no more the case. From time to time a smiling seller calls you but in a friendly way. Lucien had bought a brown djellaba to look like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (his hero!). He had a lot of success walking in the souk!
Marché aux Epices:
a colourful square with many sellers of woven baskets, spices and rugs. Be prepared with a smile. Buying even the smallest thing in Morocco requires a lot of patience and negotiation. It's part of the game!
One of the many stalls selling dry fruits and nuts. I am amazed how they use space to a maximum. There is just one small hole for the man to stand. From there he can reach it all!
Lucien and Ophelia walking the streets of the Medina. They were in deep discussion about what they would become in the future ;-)
Hand made leather camels and hanging rugs at the Marché des Epices.
The famous Babouche, the Moroccan leather slippers in many shapes and colours. Some have hard soles to wear as day shoes.
Two men were playing chess on a bench on this hand drawn board. There is something beautiful about the pink of the plastic lids, the black of the board the this aged turquoise bench.