Marrakesh Day 1

My friend Annie and I took a 3:30 PM flight to Marrakech from Charles de Gaulle. We arrived at 6PM Marrakech time, 7 PM Paris time. After a rather long line at passport control, we made our way past customs to the airport terminal, where we waited another hour and half for our friend Liz to arrive on another flight.

I was rather excited at the airport.

Item 9 on my bucket list now has a check mark next to it.

We had arranged for a transfer service from the airport to our riad. The driver took us to the bustling Djemma el Fna Sqaure. There, one of the staff members of the riad met us, as the van couldn’t go further. He led us through a rather narrow, tightly packed street, which we thought was a side street. Then, he started down an even narrower, dark street at the end of which was our riad. We thought the street was essentially an alleyway. The next day, we realized that every street in the medina is like this.

The hotel decor is exactly what you would expect in Morocco. I got a kick out of it.

In the hotel courtyard.

Traditional Moroccan mint tea at the riad.

Lights at the riad.

The next morning, we had breakfast in the courtyard before going up to the terrace where some other guests had eaten. We were joined by some nice sparrows.

We mapped out our day. It soon became evident that, given my sense of direction, I would be in charge of getting us from place to place.

The street upon which our riad is situated. We later found streets much narrower. Most streets in the medina (old city) look like this.

After wandering around the souks (marketplace) and residential parts of the medina for a bit, we escaped the bustle and haggling in favor of the Marrakech Museum.

Mint tea at the Marrakach Museum café.

Inside the Marrakech Museum. The architecture and decor are worth the trip.

Tile flooring of the museum. My foot is artfully arranged as a reminder that this was, in fact, a floor, and for reasons of scale.

Pretty doorframe at the museum.

Hammam area of the museum.

Everything in the medina is Kaitlin-sized.

Doorway study, Marrakech Museum

Pretty tiles are all around Marrakech.

Another view of the inner courtyard of the museum. I took a lot of photos there.

Koutoubia Mosque. Non-muslims cannot enter the mosques in Marrakech, but the exteriors are always impressive.

Kouboubia Gardens, just behind the mosque, are lovely and lush. For a moment, you forget you’re in the dusty desert. Marrakech has a number of wonderful gardens. I visited more on Days 2 and 3.

Tower of Koutoubia Mosque from the gardens. Orange trees seem to be the tree of choice in Marrakech.

After Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens, we walked around the ramparts of the city before heading back to the square for coffee and later dinner.

We ate dinner at one of the most widely recommended place in Marrakech– which happens to be a fast food restaurant. They serve shawarma, which is like a meat wrap, with French fries. It was 20 dirham (2 euros) and absolutely delicious.

An artistic (read: focus-challenged) photo of my cafe creme at Cafe de France in Djemma el Fnaa Square, complete with a view of Koutoubia tower in the distance.

Day 2 coming soon!

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