We’ve just returned from a four day trip to Morocco. We went in search of sunshine; we got some of that but also a bit of hail, rain and the madness that comes from the heart of Marrakech – in the souks and the Medina.
We arrived at our riad Tuesday evening and were warmly welcomed by the staff with a cup of Moroccan tea. We wandered up to the rooftop terrace for a nose before heading straight to bed.
The following morning we enjoyed our first hotel breakfast that consisted of Moroccan tea, fresh orange juice, fruit salad, bread, yogurt and a sweet treat that changed daily from pancakes, to marble cake, to a Moroccan take on the crepe.
The perfect breakfast that I could have easily enjoyed for at least another week!
The weather was set to be pretty miserable but we made the best of it and went to the streets of Marrakech to get our bearings.
You know when you’re on holiday, say a city break and there are people trying to usher you into their restaurant? Imagine that times 10 in Marrakech.
They’re quite persistent everywhere you go but you soon get used to it. Our hotel gave us plenty of tips; when you’re not interested you’ve just got to play the ignorant Brit and ignore them and when it came to buying things: take a third off, then another third. They bump prices up when it’s obvious you’re a tourist. Damn my pale skin and blonde hair!
It brightened up over lunch but soon enough we were hit with another downpour so we headed back to the riad for a rest before settling down to dinner.
Our riad was the full works with a restaurant open all day, a rooftop terrace, a spa and they were great at organising all activities further afield.
That evening we enjoyed our first authentic Moroccan meal. We both started on different variations of spring rolls; mine filled with vegetables and James’ filled with cheese.
Then moved on to a chicken tagine with lemon and olive, and a lamb couscous.
Having a riad with all the essential amenities including great food meant we really didn’t need to leave the building, however the next day we booked ourselves up an adventure!
We awoke the next morning and filled ourselves up on another lovely breakfast in preparation for a day of sightseeing on a quad bike.
We were driven out to a remote part of Marrakech where we were then greeted by our guide and given brief instructions on how to use the bikes. Having never been on one before I was a little apprehensive, even using my foot to try and brake a couple of times*.
*not recommended as I ended up with large bruises on the back of my leg.
Our tour took us across all sorts of terrain and I was amazed at what the bikes could handle – the steering was a little stiff, so I went over all sorts of lumps, bumps and puddles.
After about an hour we stopped for a break in a tiny village, greeted by young children running out to say hello. We were welcomed into a villagers home for some Moroccan tea and bread.
We thanked the locals for their hospitality, got back onto our bikes and headed back to our starting point. En route our guide, obviously thinking I’d nailed this quad biking malarkey, took us across a small assault course with large dips and banked corners. A little too much for a first-timer so I had one go and then let the boys go crazy whilst I caught some rays.
A great way to see some of the less crazy parts of Marrakech and perhaps get a little muddy.
Next up, Moroccan Palaces and kittens!