Cape Town knows how to charm its visitors. Nowhere else…
“Here, come here. Take a look. I have the best porcelain, good quality and I make you a good price.”
– “No come here, have a look in my shop.”
From every corner the shop owners in the heart of the souks are shouting to try to get our attention, everyone apparently can offer us the best deal. We are lost in a sea of colors, the scent of spices fills the road. It is a wonderful experience finding ourselves in a complete different world only a few hours by aircraft away from Germany.
When Ji from The Classy Cloud asked me whether I wanted to go on a short city trip to Marrakech I was sold immediately since I have been fascinated by Morocco and Marrakech for a long time after reading all those stories in books and having seen incredible pictures of that place.
Ji and I met last year in Munich. I had just come back from a layover in Punta Cana and had one night in Munich and she had a few days off. We have only talked on instagram before we met up for lunch that day, but being both flight attendants and bloggers we had so much in common and we chatted away for hours. And oh, those avocado toasts we had in Stereo Café are to die for.
Now a year later I found myself booking a flight to Marrakech to explore the city together.
I couldn’t help myself to book a stay in Lisbon for two nights since I had to change flights there anyway to get to Marrakech. Lisbon is without a doubt my favorite city in Europe. I lost my heart completely to that place one my first visit. The friendly people, the incredible nightlife, walks through the historic district Alfama and of course the delicious Portugese food- I was completely sold and loved the fact that I had the chance to return again.
Early in the morning I took a taxi back to the airport of Lisbon to board the next flight to Marrakech. I am always nervous when I am flying standby but luckily everything worked out fine and I got a seat already at check-in. The flight time was only a little bit more than hour and when we touched down I couldn’t hold my excitement. The wait at immigration at the airport was really long since they are really strict with checking the passports and landing cards. Oh I was so relieved that I picked up my new passport before leaving for this trip. My old one was only valid for four months and somehow I didn’t think that this would be an issue at all, but then one night before my flight I checked only for the immigration procedures and was shocked to find out that you actually have to have a passport that is valid for six months or more when entering Morocco. So not being prepared I had to get up really early before my flight to pick up my new passport at the town hall.
After changing some money and haggling with the taxi drivers I was finally sitting in the car and a short car ride later found myself in the old town again in front of the La Sultana entrance. Since Ji was arriving a little bit later I decided to take some pictures of the hotel and our room, but this not before enjoying some delicious fresh mint tea and the sweetest Moroccan pastries.
After that I found a comfortable spot at the pool and did my research on Marrakech.
A few hours later Ji arrived and we were ready to go out and explore the city together. The La Sultana is only a short walk away from the famous main square and market place Jemma el-Fnaa where everything is happening. On our way we passed vendors who were selling cut coconuts and pineapples and apparently the best oranges in the whole world.
Once we reached the main square we saw how crazy this place is: there are men with cobras, monkeys- all trying to get your attention, food stalls and shops.
We went up a roof top terrace and bought a drink and watched the happening for a while.
After that we were ready to dive in the world of the Medina and the Souk: we looked around the shops which all had the most beautiful things to offer. Painted bowls, colorful clothes, handmade leather shoes and so on… After we got the first overview, we walked further without really having a destination. We passed a building with a sign in front of the door that said „Palais Sebban“, that got our attention and decided to go in.
We looked around and climbed the steps up to the rooftop terrace. We were the only ones there and it felt really special to have this place for ourselves to enjoy. The sun set over Marrakech and we enjoyed the view over the city from up there.
We ended the day in a local restaurant that we got recommended and ordered some dishes to share. The food was delicious and we simply had so much to catch up.
The alarm was ringing really early this morning as we had a lot planned for the day. I have to admit I love sleeping in but because of that always miss the best light to take pictures.
While we got ready we had someone knocking on our door with a big tray, we ordered room service the evening before and enjoyed some coffee and fruit in our riad before taking a taxi to the famous „Le jardin majorelle“ also known as the „Yves Saint Laurent Gardens“. When we sat in the taxi it just started getting light and we were the first ones to arrive at the entrance just shortly after the garden opened it doors. The garden was lovely, full of palm trees and plants that I can’t even name.
Usually I am always behind the camera and to find me on my photos is rare. That’s why it was Ji’s mission to put me in scenee.
As she knows exactly how to pose in pictures it was great to learn some of her tricks.
As the garden started filling with people we already had our pictures taken and went back to the hotel to have a big breakfast on their terrace. They had a great selection of pastries, juices and fresh fruit and I tried some egg benedict’s with salmon and we also shared some Moroccan pancakes.
Since we were so full after that, we decided to just relax at the pool area for a few hours before heading out again.
Our plan was to take our laptops with us and do some work, but the sun was shining and somehow we ended up taking a nap.
In the late afternoon we took a taxi to the Hotel Royal Mansour that is famous for its gorgeous spa area. „Wow!“ We really didn’t get promised too much, the spa is held in white and decorated with ornaments. The perfect place to take pictures in that setting and we weren’t the only ones as a photo shooting was taking place that moment.
A bit later we headed to the main square again for some fresh orange juice (so delicious) and some more shopping at the Souk. Luckily my suitcase was almost full, otherwise I am sure I would have bought everything. I couldn’t resist to take the bowls with me that I saw on our first day and really tried my best to haggle with the shop owner. Unfortunately I don’t seem to be a natural talent at haggling.
For the evening we had a reservation at the NOMAD restaurant. We had some trouble at first finding it but just arrived in time to watch the sunset from their rooftop terrace. We couldn’t resist to order everything from the menu since everything sounded really delicious. We started off with hummus that came with homemade bread and a pomegranate salad, as main course I had freshly caught fish and Ji went for the lamb tagine. For desert we shared a orange cake.
The service and food was on point and we really had a wonderful evening at the restaurant. I can highly recommend to make a reservation before hand.
It was our last day already. The time we had in Marrakech was short, but it was definitely not the last time for us to visit this magical place.
The alarm went off again very early. Our plan for this day was to visit the Hotel Palais La Mamounia to take a look at the property and do a little photo shooting in their beautiful ball room.
When we got there, the staff was nice enough to lock it up for us and it was the perfect place to put my favorite long, red dress in scene.
We couldn’t leave before taking a look at the indoor pool. Words can’t describe how special it is.
Next time when I come back I definitely need to come back to spend some more time there and maybe book a treatment at their spa.
When we came back to our hotel La Sultana a surprise was waiting for us. They set up a table for us at the pool and had breakfast waiting for us.
We enjoyed our food and the last moments of our trip.
For me it was time to pack already after this and make my way at the airport.
It was time to say goodbye to Ji and to Marrakech. I got a first taste of the city and will be returning for more.