Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Extravelganza- Marrakech, Morocco

So when I last left you, I had traveled to Vienna, Paris, and Madrid. This covered the first week of my two week break... let us resume with the next stop: Marrakech, Morocco.

As you may remember I had visited Stephanie (a friend from back home in Tennessee) in Paris where she is studying abroad. After a few days in Paris she left with me to visit Madrid. After Madrid Stephanie and I visited Marrakech Morocco. We had to stand in an obnoxiously long line to have our passports checked and to check my bag [we flew with RyanAir and they are real sticklers about carry on requirements.] We also had to run through passport control what seemed like 80 times by the end of the day. I suppose that is all part of the deal with going to a different continent.

The view from our rooftop terrace, notice the mountains along the skyline.
The flight was mostly okay, except for two ridiculously turbulent sections. I feel rather certain we were all prepared to die right then and there. I've never heard a plane full of people clap and cheer so loudly once we actually landed.  Our hotel sent a driver to pick us up, which was really helpful. By the way, our Hotel was beautiful! It was actually a bed and breakfast that can accommodate 7 guests total, however the owners say that they like to have no more than 5 guests at a time. The owners were two old British brothers... it made no sense but they were rather amiable.We got fresh squeezed orange juice upon arrival, as well as with each decadent breakfast we got. It was loaded with pulp, which I absolutely hate, but somehow it was still the best orange juice I have ever had in my life. Stephanie and I had a double room that came with snacks, tea, and silk robes (which we lounged in every night.. how could we resist?!?)

Some of the gorgeous lanterns. I had to sneak this picture, most of the time
they would get really angry if they saw you trying to take any pictures.
Most of our time in  Marrakech was spent exploring the Souks. "The Souks" is the name for the really big (mostly open air) market area. There were tons of stores selling beautiful plates, lanterns, scarfs, and leather things (mostly belts and handbags). Of course there were also people selling cheap jewelry, (probably fake) soccer jerseys, shoes, sunglasses, and other miscellaneous junk. I picked up some presents for friends and family back home, but I would have loved to get a lantern! They were so pretty when they were lit up and there were so many options.
 Unfortunately they were just too big to actually be able to take with me on the rest of the trip. Stephanie and I did decide to splurge and get henna tattoos though. It was impressive to see just how quickly they could apply all of the designs! In addition to the Souks, we toured a palace and some old royal tombs. Everywhere you went there were cats. Between all of the pictures that I took and the ones that Stephanie has I think we could put together a great cat calendar to sell to old ladies!

The patio immediately outside of our door, as well as the stairs to the
rooftop terrace of our B&B
Stephanie and I spent a little time each evening on the rooftop patio right outside our door, it was so relaxing in wonderful. We had a breathtaking view of the other houses around, as well as the gorgeous High Atlas Mountains. We also had warm sunny weather each day, I even got a little bit of a tan! We were there over Easter, which felt kind of weird. Since Morocco is predominantly inhabited with Muslim people it was just like any other day.

The edge of the Souks on the first day.

Sunset at the Souks, Day 2.

 After our time in Marrakech, Stephanie went back to Paris because she still had classes to attend during the week. I flew to Sevilla, Spain.

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