First and foremost I’m not kidding you when I say that M found round trip tickets from Rome to Morocco for just $80 by RyanAir. It also happened to be over a 4 day weekend. This is singlehandedly the best deal I’ve come across in all my travel in Europe, and I wasn’t even the one who found it!
Which also gave us some freedom on choosing a place to stay because we essentially paid less for a 3 hour flight then it costs to take the train from Naples to Rome and that’s only 1.5 hours away from each other!
Which is why we decided to go a bit more upscale on this trip at a place called Riad Wow.
After arriving at the airport we took a taxi over to the Riad where they immediately served us some refreshments on the terrace while our room was being prepared. If there is something you cannot get enough of in Morocco, its the mint tea! The way they make it is phenomenal with fresh mint leaves and sugar cubes, and in 4 days we probably had almost 15 pots of mint tea!
OUR LODGING RIAD WOW
We stayed in 2 different rooms over the 2 nights that we were there.
View from the lobby, quite a lovely place. The staff is very nice, the massages are wonderful, and they are helpful with any questions you may have so I would definitely recommend this as a place to stay when visiting.
After we had our tea, a few snacks, checked into the room, and freshened up, we set off to walk to the Souq’s and do some shopping.
Walking to the Souq we passed by these ruins just off one of the main squares
Just catching a quick ride on this horse and buggy.
Finally finding a start point to the souq, we walked right into the maze instantly getting lost in all of the many side streets, nothing to do now but explore to our hearts content.
Inside you will find all sorts of things, whole shops dedicated to plates, shoes, silver, leather, the list goes on and on.
Street art is one of my favorite things! I try to pick up a piece everywhere I go. I didn’t end up with anything from Morocco because these weren’t canvas’s I could roll up and put in my bag, but its always nice to stop for a quick peak.
Then there was the matter of the chickens
& eggs. Still trying to figure out which came first the chicken or the egg?
Inside the maze of shops its easy to meander the alleyways stopping to look at anything that catches your eye.
We met a guy in the Souq who knew a good restaurant a few streets away and led us there to have some lunch. Definitely very good and authentic Moroccan food. The fresh bread never hurts as a side.
After lunch we stopped by one of the spice shops to take a look at the wares.
Lamps. Aladdin’s could be located somewhere inside there.
Bags. See what I mean, shops for everything.
On almost every list of things to do and see in Marrakech is Medersa Ben Youssef, an Islamic college in Morocco. Founded in the 14th century and named after Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (1106-1142) Known as one of the largest theoretical colleges in Northern Africa, the dormitories can hold up to 900 students. Closed in 1960 the school was refurbished and reopened to the public as a historical site in 1982.
Touring the area. The designs are geometric in shape and contain no humans or animals as is the Islam way.
The sun was casting the perfect shadows into the hallways, which is always what a photographer is on the look out for.
Oh Romeo, WHERE ARE YOU!? haha. I’m stranded over here.
Once we had our fun at the Madersa we found out that there was an auction going on at the tanneries for leather. Normally more well known in Fez, we’d better check it out.
TANNERIES OF MARRAKESCH
What I didn’t tell you is that we were headed straight to the source. They were going to show us how the leather is made.
You might not know what all is in these vats and I honestly can’t tell you, but its a lot of different parts of animals. It was easy to see that leather is not an easy process.
In these pools are the different dyes used to dye the leather when it is ready. Men work in these dyes in the hot sun and with quite a terrible stench to constantly move the hides around so they are dyed properly.
Laying hides out to fully dry in the sun before going through the dying process.
On the second story is a house of pigeons in which the poop is collected and added to the vats of liquid. The Ammonia inside pigeon poop reacts with the leather and makes it malleable so it can be shaped and fashioned into things easier.
The area is packed with hides drying out in the hot sun. The stench is not for the faint of heart over here, but it makes you appreciate the finished product that much more, at least it does for me.
If you are buying leather items you should know what it takes to get from the animal to your hands. After we had seen how its all done, they led us across the street to a leather shop to try to sell us some wares. M got a purse and I ended up with a leather satchel, my new school bag since I’m headed back to classes in a couple of months.
At this point we considered ourselves thoroughly lost and decided it was time to find our way back to the hotel. We were exhausted from walking about in the heat and our shopping had finally come to an end.
In the great market, there are plenty of refreshments waiting to be had.
& yes, there’s a snake charmer, I wouldn’t have promised it otherwise. 🙂
Next time we’re headed on a trip into the desert to spend the night glamping in Berber tents, we’re going to get to see a few film locations from Gladiator, and we will stand at the back door to the Saharan Desert, AKA Zagora.
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.
What an incredible experience! I love all the colours!
Just so you know I've nominated you for the Leibster Award! The details are on my website should you choose to accept - http://www.yayatravels.com/the-leibster-award/ :) x
Jules!! When will you be stopping by for a visit?! You have till March. tick tock. Just checked out the article, you are too kind! I'll have to prepare a reply. Talk soon.