Morocco – Marrakech

From Meknes we took the approximate seven hour train trip to Marrakech; as immortalised in the song, Marrakesh Express. All aboard that train!

Meknes - awaiting the Marrakech Express

Marrakech - railway station

Again a rather fancy new station.

Marrakech - railway station

Marrakech is known as the pink city due to the colour of the stones.

Marrakech

Marrakech

The pile of ‘rubbish’ is actually leather offcuts.

We wandered through local souks with fruit and vegetables for the Marrakech people.

Marrakech

And tourist souks with mini tagines for the tourists.

Marrakech

There was lovely architecture everywhere.

Marrakech

Marrakech

And people going about their business.

Marrakech

The main square in Marrakech, Djemaa El Fna, was bustling during the day.

Marrakech - Djemaa El Fna

We sat in the terrace of one of the restaurants and enjoyed a long, leisurely cup of mint tea as we watched the world go by.

Marrakech - Djemaa El Fna

Marrakech - Djemaa El Fna

We visited the Musee de Marrakech mainly to look at the wonderful building, which is more impressive than the exhibits on display. The 19th century Mnebhi Palace has a lovely inner courtyard, with bubbling fountains and seating nooks, making it a relaxing escape from the chaos of the nearby souqs.

Musee de Marrakech

The Medersa Ben Youseff is one of the city’s most impressive buildings and allows entry to non-Muslims. It was built by the Saadian sultan, Moulay Abdellah around 1565, and was rebuilt in the 16th century. At the heart of the medersa (Islamic school) is a light-filled courtyard with arcades down two sides, a rectangular pool in the middle and a prayer hall. Every surface has some decoration.

Marrakech - Medersa Ben Youseff

It’s at night when the main square really comes alive. With open air stalls selling all manner of foods, cooked on smoky fires there in the square; stalls selling freshly-squeezed orange juice; fortune tellers; tattooists; barbers; and all kinds of entertainers including jugglers, acrobats, bands, fire eaters, singers. These people all set up a light on any spare few metres of space, maybe a small mat and a few chairs and offered their services to anyone.

Marrakech - Djemaa El Fna

More photos can be found here on my Flickr pages.

We met up with the other members of the trekking group and our guide and went on to enjoy a wonderful week hiking in the High Atlas, including an ascent of Mt Toubkal.

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3 comments on “Morocco – Marrakech

  1. I think I need to look for a flight there. It looks superb, I’ve been to Granada in Spain, but this looks like the real deal – not so overrun with tourists, and it looks still very “original” and not too tourist-y.

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