In the spring of 2011 my dad and his wife decided to take us kids out to majestic Marrakech, Morocco! We rented an amazing Riad (read: house) in the middle of the ancient medina (read: maze) with beautifully decorated rooms and wonderful home-cooked Moroccan food.
The medina, with its many little shops, is a great place to buy all sorts of leather goods, “authentic” designer handbags, beautiful silver jewellery, carpets in all size or hot and spicy spices. The small little streets are not easy to navigate but it is so wonderful to just get lost there. You truly feel like you’re part of Morocco for a little bit.
And yes, we ate couscous. A lot of couscous… Marrakech, and Morocco in general, has some amazingly tasty food served in big tagines with couscous as the base of the dish. In the city you can find so many lovely little cafés where you can enjoy a lovely meal or a hot cup of (sweet!) mint tea.
To see a bit more from Morocco we arranged a driver who took us to the beautiful Ourika Valley, a few hours outside of Marrakech. Here you can do some serious hiking and afterwards treat yourself to a refreshing drink at the creek down in the valley. We also got into some serious racing action in the desert. That’s right. We rented a few buggies and cruised through the dusty sand which was pretty cool.
March is not really the best period to visit Marrakech if you’re looking for sizzling hot summer days, and even though we lucked out with the weather, our last day in Morocco was pretty rainy. The best way to ignore the dripping weather is to get your ass (and the rest of your body) pampered at a traditional hamam. Well, pampered… Don’t expect them to be soft on you! Other recommended sights within the medina are the Madrasa Ben Youssef (the Islamic school) and the Musee de Marrakech.
A week in Morocco is way too short to see many different places but I do feel like you can really experience the culture by staying a week in the Marrakech medina while taking trips to the countryside. I would love to do a roadtrip to all the imperial cities (Fes, Marrakech, Meknes and Rabat) and ending that trip in romantic Casablanca. Well, let’s just put that trip on the wish list for now!