After our wedding in Tuscany, MM and I flew from Bologna to Casablanca in Morocco and then took another plane to Marrakesh. A close family friend gave us her home (aka palace) in Marrakesh for a week. This gift also came with a full staff – personal guide, chef, and cleaning crew! It was just the two of us in a house that would literally cover an entire New York City block!
Since we’ve been back and we’ve been telling everyone that we went to Marrakesh, we have realized how few of our friends even know what country it is in…and then, they ask where Morocco is! So, I feel it is my duty to shine a light on this fanastic cultural experience and destination.
Marrakesh is known as the “Red City” because of the redish color of nearly all of the buildings – it is an important and former imperial city in Morocco. Like many North African and Middle Eastern cities, Marrakesh contains an old city (the médina) and a modern city (called Gueliz). Marrakech is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat.
Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna. The square is constantly bustling with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers, and musicians. By night, the square turns into food stalls, becoming a huge open-air restaurant. The smell and sounds alone will make you feel as though you’ve transported to another planet.
Although midday was deadly hot to wander through the souks, we did buy a beautiful leather suitcase, some ceramic jars, two huge carpets (it would make ABC Carpet cry at the price we scored), some traditional Morrocan dresses for me, and some leather shoes for both MM and me.
We were spoiled with our own personal chef for the entire week, so we didn’t go to a restaurant once. We were told that in Marrakesh, to go to a restaurant is sad to the people who can cook for you at home. (Although there were certainly some fantastic restaurants for the tourists.) From wild chicken with curry to seven vegetable cous cous to freshly pureed strawberries…we were in heaven!
There’s more to share about this experience, but I will leave you with that to get your tastebuds slightly moist for all things Morrocan…