Holy moley, 170 days in and we are in Northern Africa! And what a journey it has been so far! Marrakech was always on our radar but after finding dirt cheap $30NZD flights from Nimes with RyanAir we decided to add it to the list for a few days stop over to check it out.
OK, yes flying with Ryanair is always a bit of a hit or a miss in the sense its mostly a miss as the service is shite and did you know they charge you $50NZD if you don’t print your boarding pass off before flying, and you can’t check in at the Airport? Yes, well they do, so just be aware of that when flying with them. After a horrid 3 hours of nasty turbulence and not being able to sit next to Leo we arrived safely in Marrakech and to our surprise a seriously luxurious Airport.
You cannot bring any drones into Morocco so just and FYI as you must declare then get them confiscated for the time you are there (more than 3 days then you pay a horrendous tax) so try and only stay 3 days. We booked an Airport transfer through our Riad for $25NZD and he was waiting for us there after we got through the customs shenanigans. He was so nice and took us to our beauty A/C van and off we went to our Riad – Riad Elite, a new accommodation beside the Royal Palace. Upon checking in we were greeted by yet another super friendly team member and shown to our room …which tbh was just ok, but for $150NZD for 3 nights with B’fast we can’t really complain.
After a rough night’s sleep and being woken by the call to prayer at 5.30am we were ready to start our day of exploring this wonderful, vibrant HOT AF city. However, waking up early meant we were able to catch this sunrise! On our list of things to do was to wander, get lost and most importantly try a tagine and see the markets!
Nothing can prepare you fully for Marrakech, at all. Not reading blogs, watching YouTube video’s or scrolling Instagram! This is a city which moves to its own organised chaotic beat and you can choose to go with it or stand out and feel awkward. We chose to go with the flow and immerse ourselves! and visitors can either go against it or try to find their place in its chaotic rhythm. Within the labyrinthine of the city walls we found ourselves many times lost while in awe of the stalls, trying new foods, exploring new alley ways which intertwined and experiences smells, some both good and bad…OH all while trying not to be run down by motorbikes…everywhere! It is a sticky sweaty mess of a city that is vibrant, inspiring and grasps you from the second you let it.
That afternoon we last minute booked a sunset camel ride at the Palmerie through Morocco Inspiring tours. It was 60NZD pp and we were picked up at 5.45pm by the nicest man in the world, Abdul who spoke perfect English and provided us with water and great chat on the way to the Palmerie. The Palmerie is a national park just outside Marrakech and is a great way to see the sunset, experience camel riding in a desert like area and have wonderful conversations with the locals.
Our guide Siad was not only multi-lingual but also incredible funny, smart and made the trip immensely fun. To top it off we sat in the home of a local guy and drank mint tea, ate traditional bread with honey and some little cakeys before getting some epic photos of the sunset. Overall, it was an epic tour, and generally we hate tours but this was 3 hours well spent!