Marrakech

Marrakech Travel Blog

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The big mosque
We arrived in Marrakech very late at night. We had reserved a rental car for that day but the desk was already closed, so we were left no option but to take a taxi to the hotel we had reserved and hope they were open. We walked a long way past all the construction going on at the airport to where the taxis were stationed even at this late hour a good dozen were waiting to take passengers back to Marrakech. As we approached one came up to us but then they all started fighting. We had never seen this before so we just stood there really tired, and as much as we were awake scared that we would never get to the hotel this way. After a few drivers pushed each other around one finally took us, we payed 200 dihars or about 20 Euro for him to take us to the center of Marrakech where our hotel was located.
Gardens by the mosque
Once getting there we had to ring a bell and the guy at the desk came to open the door, I sat by the door and played with an old grimy cat while my dad filled out the passport papers they make you fill out in every hotel in Morocco. Went up right to the room and fell asleep right away.
That morning Continental breakfast served in the hotel, the waiter brough us a croissant and bread, a lot of bread. It was not exactly a very varied breakfast like I like. This hotel was for Westerners though, it had normal toilets and showers and sheets and blankets on the bed. These luxuries cannot (or people would rather them not) be "wasted" on Moroccans in this country, as we would soon find out.
Since we would be leaving the same day we left our bags at the front desk and asked directions to the central square of the city where the Zoco or shopping and entertainment area is located.
Mosque and a reflecting pool

We walked down the broad avenue of Mohamed V for a very long time until we saw a mosque with gardens and decided to stop. After a while, all the mosques look similar since we are not allowed inside. So we basically just walked around the gardens for a while and I looked at all the cats, there were cats everywhere! Even more than in Casablanca. We saw a lady feeding a kitten but half the cats looked starved to death. the gardens were amazingly beautiful, under the heat of the sun it was amazing that the flowers could be sunch brilliant colors and everything so well kept and watered. By the garden was a Muslim grave site, but again we were not allowed in. It looked pretty normal anyway. We walked up some more and got to a square where the streets turned smaller, I was pretty sure we were lost so we walked up the street to ask for directions again.
Most cats I have ever seen.
this street was very peculiar because there were so many tiny shops that had all of the businesses from old times. There was the carpenter, electrician, shoe repair man, car engineers, all things like this and then almost no cars but full of donkeys and horses. Once we got the directions from some people selling car parts, we had to turn back in the direction we came from, but we decided to continue going through the small streets instead of the big avenue. There were many women asking for money on the small street and there was also a dwarf man sitting around telling a story or something in Arabic with a bunch of people gathered round. Pretty strange.
once we got the the Zoco we were surprised by a lack of activity, we had been told that there would be many shops and entertainment but all there was were people selling orange juice and vegetables and dates.
roof covered medina
We bought some orange juice which had too much pulp for me, and we bought some dates and almonds. there was also a snake guy who tried to put a snake around my neck, and I would have liked to get a picture taken but my father being the forgetful professor he is, walked on wihtout me not noticing that I had left, so I had to go. He also had my camera. :(
Then we went into the Medina which was nicer than the one in Casablanca, but you could tell it was also more aimed at tourists. Between the small shops there were often french restaurants, we went into one and everyone was European and they were playing that ketchup song so I felt like I was right back in Spain.
I ordered some Moroccan food but it was not too good. Back at the main square after walking around for hours I ordered an orange juice with no pulp and found a little kitten by the side of the bar.
the gardens of the mosque
It was getting late and we wanted to start our adventure through inner Morocco so we decided to take a taxi back to the hotel to pick up the bags and then to the airport to rent the car.
To get the taxi there was some trouble, but this time we were prepared. The taxi drivers started fighting to take us, so we took the opportunity to ask who would give us the better price. The taxi drivers fought about this until one guy offered to take 80 dirham for taking us to the hotel, waiting for us to get the bags and then taking us back to the airport. Less than half of what we had paid the previous night for a longer trip! Yeah go us we save 12 Euro!
We picked up the bags and went to the airport, and the rest of this is my dad being silly.
Getting there the first thing they asked for was a voucher which you are supposed to print out when you make the order.
orange juice is sold everywhere
Of course, my father forgot it on his printer so we had a big mess, the guy called someone in the offices of Marrakech and had a guy come pick us up in a car to bring us there. So we wait in the parking lot, this time in the hot sun I was melting, and the car doesn't come so then another guy comes and takes us there in some random car from the parking lot. When we got to the offices we realized that they were virtually right next to the hotel we had stayed at, and they made my dad go to an internet cafe to print the voucher. I had to wait in the smelly office for a really long time while he did that because apparently all the computers were full.
When he got back with the voucher the lady asked for his credit card. He got out his wallet and uh oh, it was not there.
door to a little mosque

We spent so long trying to figure out where he had left it, a good 20 minutes there with the lady getting more and more frustrated with us. Then I lifted up the lonely planet guide and there it was, under the book. So we gave it to the lady and she said it didn't work. It needed to have a magnetic strip. So then my dad had to use his American card.
So we finally got the car.
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The big mosque
The big mosque
Gardens by the mosque
Gardens by the mosque
Mosque and a reflecting pool
Mosque and a reflecting pool
Most cats I have ever seen.
Most cats I have ever seen.
roof covered medina
roof covered medina
the gardens of the mosque
the gardens of the mosque
orange juice is sold everywhere
orange juice is sold everywhere
door to a little  mosque
door to a little mosque
Everywhere there is McDonalds
Everywhere there is McDonalds
items in the medina
items in the medina
Marrakech
photo by: sweetet