Wanna hear a joke?
Hailstorm in Marrakesh, North of Africa in May – I never said it`s a good joke, but is the cruel truth. Just one of the things you never expect when you pack for warm weather.
Due to the climate change, the rainy season has been late. Therefore, at the beginning of May we caught all the rain an unlucky person would get. 3 days later I was looking like a dead man walking and couldn`t hear properly due to the fever. Alright for the rain, but what were the chances to get a hailstorm in North of Africa, not once but twice in a week (Marrakesh and Meknes)? Slim to none.
Top 3 things I have enjoyed visiting in Marrakesh
1. El Badi Palace (10 dirham fee) – we visited while it was under renovations, but it was easy to see its former glory. The indoor yard isn`t a scenic view, what`s inside/on its walls is Instagram worthy.
2. Cyber Parc Moulay Abdessalam (free) most touristic parks are small and ask for a fee, this park is for locals trying to find a quiet spot in busy Marrakesh. It is a big park, very clean and it will easily take few hours to walk by and enjoy the weather.
3. Medina (free) – an UNESCO site and the life of the town during the night. With almost 1000 years of history, this medina still is an economic and cultural center. You can find everything you had no idea you need here!
Although we rented an apartment for 2 nights, due to the heavy rain and bad condition of the mountain roads, we couldn`t continue our trip to see the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou in Ouarzazate (without risking our lives) on time.
During our “last” night in Marrakesh we met this cool guy I had been talking on Couchsurfing. Spent a great night together with his friends eating, playing guitar, talking about politics, getting high and petting his white Husky, Link.
When he heard about our misfortune and after making fun of our luck so far, he invited us to spend the night over at his place. Spending another night playing with a dog? YES!
To better understand how nice we were/are, that he extended his invitation, I`ll put here his review from couchsurfing:
First If you gonna host Daniela, don’t let her talk politics, she will start a civil war in your place and bring popcorn to watch the debate hhhhh (she is a journalist i can’t blame her).
To be honest she is a really cool person with a well strong personality, and a very interesting view about life (and she is not the only one :D), you can get lost hearing her talking about her dreams and achievements.
Not forget to mention her very hilarious two best friends “the decision makers” with and advanced sense of humor (dark humor to be specific hhh), and a funny way of dodging questions about opinions and decisions hhhh it was really really nice knowing them.
They made my day, and i’m sure they will make yours.
On the night we crashed his couch, he also showed us Marrakesh through his eyes. Not the ultra-conservative “no drink, no smoke, no party” Muslim stereotype I had in mind. During the day 80% of women on the street were wearing a hijab and dressed conservatively. At 12 o`clock, schools are off until 2pm for lunch break – all school aged girls we had seen in suburbs were wearing a hijab (why wearing one at 9 years old?). So my mind was set about this.
The main square, Jemaa El Fna is quiet in the afternoon, but once the sun gets down, it`s on!
Scams everywhere – checked.
Monkeys – checked.
Exotic snakes – checked.
Eating snails – checked (yes, it had a face).
Before our tour to start, our unexpected host had promised to my inner nerd he would take me to a place with lots of books. So we started our tour at Café du Livre right on time for happy hour (beer and popcorn) and live music. The atmosphere was very laid back with people casually talking no different from a pub in downtown London – solo women talking with their friends and enjoying a pint. Not a single one was wearing a hijab (see below).
There are plenty of orange trees of the streets of Marrakesh, but be warned: not real oranges just decorative, therefore it taste awful!
Petit-Taxis will take at least 3 times more than what the ride is worth and will never have a meter. Grand-Taxis are a hassles until you know their route. Whenever possible take the bus and track it on Google Maps – it`s cheaper to get a Moroccan sim for 1 week worth of internet than pay a single ride on a petit-taxi driver`s requested price to… anywhere.
Three people backpacking through Morocco for two weeks visiting 13 locations. What could go wrong?
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