Wait! Don’t start yet! Put some –appropriate- music on first!
Marrakech is a place that either you love or you hate. For an Eastern city on the African continent, you need to adapt your expectations appropriately and get prepared that it does not look at all like Europe. The “red city,” as Marrakech is called, is distinguished by its intense colors and strong contradictions. At one moment you are at the futuristic Menara airport or in a charming Riad with an indoor pool and the next you walk in the narrow streets of the Medina, in a food market where chickens are slaughtered in front of you while flies are allover food (which the residents buy without seeming to be disturbed) and donkeys pass by you.
This is a city that moves to its own colorful frenzyness and we can either go against it or try to find our place in its chaotic world. Whatever you expect, whatever you have read before you visit it, the first time you find yourself in the souks, inside the maze-like streets of the Medina, where motor bikes’ drivers drive dangerously close to you, the odors fill your nose and hygiene conditions are far from the ones you’ve got used to, a little shock is expected, especially if it’s one of your first trips outside of Europe, as it happened in my case.
During our stay in Marrakech, our love for the city gave way to our aversion and vice versa on an hourly basis. There were times when a picture, an experience or a scene unfolding in front of us would make our hearts flutter with enthusiasm for the place to come another little later that would fill us with questions about whether Morocco was, a country for us.
But this is what an authentic travel experience is all about. Experience a place in all its aspects. After the first days that you become accustomed and understand what Morocco is, you simply relax and enjoy all those pictures that Marrakech offers generously.
The unique architecture with its impressive details, the colorful buildings between debris, the unique mosaics, the hidden gardens and the magnificent Riads; the souks with their people who try to attract your interest and sell their goods, children and young people who will try to show you the way (in order to gain some money), women who only reveal their eyes, faces troubled and wounded by the desert but also smiling ones, elderly porters with an old wooden trailer for your bags and horse-drawn carriages.
These images and so many more are mixed with the smells of their spicy foods, while the Imam is heard calling on prayer. Marrakech is unique and it’ s worthwhile to experience it because only that way you will understand it.
A post with 15 amazing things to do in Marrakech is coming.
*I would like to thank Ryanair for my air tickets. You can fly straight from Athens to Marrakech, twice a week, every Monday and Friday, with the flight lasting 4 hours and 25 minutes.
All photos by me
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