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Last updated : Nov 2009
Marrakech, Morocco
Rating: (5.0) (1 Vote)

Marrakech, Morocco
June 20th, 2005

Pros: It was paradise. Marrakech is fascinating.
Cons: the public baths

Disappearing off to Morrocco was one of my ideas on impulse and definitely a very good one! I was studying for a term in Lille, France at the time. It was one of the many 'jours feries' and I thought why not!! I wasn't particuarly popular with the uni but a pot of pure saffron soon remedied that!

I am prone to getting lost, so putting myself on my own in the maze of a Marrakech souk was a recipe for disaster. I definitely regretted my impulsive nature as I wandered around, completely and utterly lost, far too hot and burdened by my huge rucksack. However, as always it all worked out just wonderfully. I bumped into Hicham, who offered me a cup of coffee and for some reason I accepted, perfectly aware that lone female travellers should not do so but so near to passing out from heat exhaustion not really caring. Hicham turned out to be wonderful and the next day I followed him to Amizmiz, a Berber village up in the mountains. It was paradise. Marrakech is fascinating. It's really like being in 'Aladdin.' Stepping back into medieval times. As you wander through the souks with their red walls you bump into women all covered in black, snake charmers, witch doctors, carpet sellers, storks sitting in their nests, stray cats, cute little kids running around and donkies pulling carts of fresh mint. the souk is full of activity, colour and smells that send all your senses into a frenzy. However, I wanted to relax and Marrakech is not the place for that! It doesn't take long to reach some true natural beauty from Marrakech, squeezed into a long distance taxi through the dusty and yellow landscape for about 3 hrs. Par exemple the Ouzoud cascades are a wonderful and refreshing oasis.

3 hours away from Marrakech, in a lovely Berber village in The Atlas Mountains. I became very attached to this place. had a wonderful time wandering through the mountains, through the fields of wild flowers, past the waterfalls and the donkies taking a picnic of fresh fish. The villagers were all extremely friendly and welcoming. I drank lots of mint tea! My principle bonding experience with the locals was when i decided to visit the local haram (public baths) for a clean up. Quite an experience! Huge ladies poking and rubbing me whilst I starred in shock at the amount of dirt coming off me!! It's a real social gathering there, the hubb of all gossip and apparently the prime place for wife hunting for their sons!