Marrakech/Morocco

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  • hello peeps.

    off to marrakech and essaouira for 5 days with the misses. besides the obvious of eating, smaoking hashish, bartering for cobra snakes, etc, etc...is there anything worth checking out that is off the beaten track?

    much love,
    dr. sludgey.

  • make sure you check out all the old bikes around marrakech - heaps of single speed (and some with seized freewheel = fixed). basically the quintessential slack-geom-no-brake-rust-buckets everywhere

  • did the same trip last july, marrakech is cool, really hectic and once you do touristy stuff not actually that much to do. the djema is cool at night and you can eat well and really cheaply, stalls of merguez sausages and kebabs, really good

    the souks are interesting but get boring after a while, a spa trip is worth it, you get steam session massage and all sorts of stuff for about 30 notes

    essaouira made the trip for me, loads more relaxed especially with regards to smoking hash and drinking alcohol, the harbour is awesome, traditional fishing boats everywhere but the beach is not really for anything but cowering from the wind. windsurfing/kitesurfing mecca, didn't have enough cash to give it a go at the time but hoping to go back this summer to learn. if you're looking to buy anything silver or leatheer goods wait to you get to essaouira. the souks are cheaper, less rip off merchants and the haggling is less aggresive, you feel much happier once you've made a purchase here

    where you staying in essaouira? theres a really cool hostel, hostel essaouira, very reasonably priced, the rooms are awesome, especially the doubles and the guy that runs it bizbiz will sort you out with beer and smoke very reasonably. if you can't be bothered going out to eat they cook up a big tajine each night, awesome food and cheap as.

    pm me if you're after anymore details, can't rave about essaouira enough, marrakech is cool but limited and less progressive than the coastal town

  • yeah i loved it there, but be well careful of food poisoning. no one i went with got away lightly, and i came back with minor dysentery and lost two stone.

    we were all well shonkey about food though so it was our fault i guess. its very easy to get somthing delicious smelling off the side of the road when your completely baked off moroccan squidgy.

    essaouira gets points from me to. i ended up buying heaps of stuff there and it has a great atmosphere and lots to explore.

  • i went to marrakech a few years ago and loved it. we did a day tour in a land rover out through the atlas mountains to Ouarzazate, the scenery was spectacular! i would definitely recommend that. then you can come back to the Djemaa el Fna in the evening when all the food stalls open up and the snake charmers and story tellers appear.

    be prepared to be hassled by gentlemen who want to give you their best price, and show you their cousin's carpet shop, brother's spice shop and neighbour's restaurant.

    the food is pretty amazing though. fresh, delicious and inexpensive.

  • the main square and the souk obviously
    but also head into the mountains around marrakesh
    great passes almost swiss in style
    you might get some skiing in also !

  • i go to marrakech a lot as i have a house within the medina that we rent out when we arnt there (have u guys found a place?) and my list of a few things to do goes as follows:

    -dont use a map, the beauty of the old town is getting lost in its little roads, especially in the souks, and u end up finding wonderfull things
    -within souk go to the "spice market" where there are some very funky retro stalls!
    -but yes the souks get annoying and are very touristy...so this is where a little trick comes in.
    go to the flee market in "bab el khemis"(one of the many huge doors entering the medina), its 98% moroccan men 1% maroccan women and 1% tourist..here you can find magnificent things, from potery to metal work to tv controllers and many many many retro furniture shops. you find very little tourists because this market is ment for the nattives..so even cheaper than souks! :)
    -go have a drink at the trendy "kozi bar" they have jazz nights at dinner and dont miss the roof terrace for lunch, great view
    -eat at al fasia...very very good traditional food but with a much wider selection than other places (you will get bored of couscous au poulet), here you are served only by women and they are also the cook....try a pigeon pie!
    -hash
    -casablanca beer
    ...mm thats my list :)

    im going in 2weeks, when are u guys there?

  • essouaira is fantastic, you'll love it.

  • i go to marrakech a lot as i have a house within the medina that we rent out when we arnt there (have u guys found a place?) and my list of a few things to do goes as follows:

    -dont use a map, the beauty of the old town is getting lost in its little roads, especially in the souks, and u end up finding wonderfull things
    -within souk go to the "spice market" where there are some very funky retro stalls!
    -but yes the souks get annoying and are very touristy...so this is where a little trick comes in.
    go to the flee market in "bab el khemis"(one of the many huge doors entering the medina), its 98% moroccan men 1% maroccan women and 1% tourist..here you can find magnificent things, from potery to metal work to tv controllers and many many many retro furniture shops. you find very little tourists because this market is ment for the nattives..so even cheaper than souks! :)
    -go have a drink at the trendy "kozi bar" they have jazz nights at dinner and dont miss the roof terrace for lunch, great view
    -eat at al fasia...very very good traditional food but with a much wider selection than other places (you will get bored of couscous au poulet), here you are served only by women and they are also the cook....try a pigeon pie!
    -hash
    -casablanca beer
    ...mm thats my list :)

    im going in 2weeks, when are u guys there?

    good info :)
    i was there years ago whilst on a walk about
    really itching to go again with some good people.
    i really would like to see the atlas mountains
    im totaly in love with the womens facial tattoos

  • @mind the moose

    Any chance you could PM me the details of your place? We've been twice to Marrakesh and would love to go again and not stay at an upmarket riad or hotel.

  • Essouaira is much less "full on" than Marrakesh as it is much smaller and more geared towards western tourists. Having said that we had a fab time there. Stayed in a private house in the Medina. On the beach with some good body surfing during the day with some great shopping etc in the evening. The restaurants around the fish dock are very good value. The Thuya wood boxes etc are very nice and there are plenty of shops selling them in Essouaira. The road trip from Marrakesh is also well worth staying awake for.

    DON'T forget to pick up a Mosque shaped alarm clock in the Souk in Marrakesh. The green or pink are especially fetching and they are very cheap. Crap at keeping the time but the alarm is guaranteed to get you out yer pit of a morning.

  • DON'T forget to pick up a Mosque shaped alarm clock in the Souk in Marrakesh. The green or pink are especially fetching and they are very cheap. Crap at keeping the time but the alarm is guaranteed to get you out yer pit of a morning.

    didnt they have that on the apprentice?

    @hugh16 ill pm you once im home, will be able to show you pictures of it, but dont have a website for it yet

  • dont drink the tap water, or even toutch it on your face.
    also some of the open air places in the big square give definate food poisoning.

    He may be dead by now, but try to avoid a small gnarled man with a turban, he spat on his finger then toutched my head, muttering in arabic.

  • other than that I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, we somehow managed to pay a local man to guide us around the souks, he took us to some very interesting places.
    We also got a taxi to the bottom of the atlas mountains which was epic.

  • @MTM - Yes. Still good value for money and mine has pride of place on my desk at work.

  • here are some pictures of the house taken in nov 08, since my mum have been back twice for finishing deco touches, house is now ready for visitors

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/riadmarrake­ch/

  • use the sets on the right of the page to see a clearer layout

  • theres some awesome surfing to be had in Morocco. Check out some of the surf schools if you aint surfed the frothy lips before......

  • Was out over new year's, couple o days in Ess (was the only person surfing on NYD) and also went snowboarding in Oukamaiden as a day trip. Not your normal alpine Experience, but got some fresh lines under the chairlift. The taxi drive was worth it alone, stunning scenery.

    Don't bother eating in any of the expensive retaurants in the medina, exactly the same (unimaginative) food as the cheap restaurants, except with expensive wine and annoying belly dancers. (sadly the missus is a vego which precluded us from eating at any of the ace looking French places in the New town -still haven't had pigeon).
    However after a week of cous-cous and tagine found a great vegie cafe down one of the side streets off the Djna el Fnar, Rue Riad Zitoun el Kedim. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Re­view-g293734-d1187519-Reviews-Earth_Cafe­-Marrakech.html Was a welcome break.

    Avacado smoothie is actually very good and the ice cream place opposite Koutibia Mosque is almost comparable with Rome's.

    Bring a bottle of duty free with you...if not you'll find yourself in Hotel Grand Tazi, which is ace.

  • just got back from kech for a week, brilliant weather despite a few days of heavy rain (a merchant told me it hadnt rained like that for 30 years, another said 2 years..another thing i love about marrackshiis) anyway went to a flee market at Bab el Khemis and found a little alley with some awesome bike merchants selling really funky stuff, got a couple retro handlebars and some colourful tires! also starting a ss build to ride around the medina with, found a nice old peugeot frame needing a lot of tlc

  • bump. Anyone been to Tangier? Heading there on the 23rd...would love to hire bikes!

  • tangier is awesome. I've been about 10 times. Main beach is a bit shit, don't take a pedalo out because the water is full of rubbish and excrement. You've got to find the nougat stall in the middle of the souq, best I've ever had.

  • Thanks guys. The water is bad?! I want to surf :(

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Marrakech/Morocco

Posted by Avatar for Dr.Sludge @Dr.Sludge

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