Turning thirty is a good goal and reaching it with the awareness of being surrounded by special family and friends makes it even more important.
I was lucky enough to receive a weekend for a thirty year gift visit the red Marrakech and I decided to share my experience here.
I discovered the destination of this initially unknown journey only the evening before departure. I do not tell you the discomfort in preparing the suitcase, an act that in itself I do not love at all.
To facilitate me, but above all to make sure that I stop harassing the world ... my boyfriend, who was not the author of the gift, was aware of the destination, told me what temperature I would find when I reached my destination: 30 degrees during the day and 17 at night.
I was beginning to understand something.
I was aware of the day and clockwise departure.
Obviously I went to the various sites of air flights to pick up some information and, by putting two and two together, I began to guess. I also knew that, in addition to me and my aunt author of this gift, we would be a group of 15 women.
The evening before the fateful day, the destination I imagined and now so much hoped for is finally confirmed.
Thus began this wonderful and new adventure for me!
I had never been on the road without my boyfriend, and was therefore used to traveling in a certain way. Despite this, I must admit that it was an unforgettable experience.
On the morning of 13 October 2016 we immediately met the group of people with whom we would have been for 4 days: 15 women aged 26 to 65. The harmony was crazy from the first moment.
The plane departed from Malpensa which we reached starting from a village in the province of Lecco in about an hour. After 3 hours of flight we arrived at our destination!
Here, of the 30 degrees my boyfriend was telling me about! They were there to welcome us cold and rain!
But we didn't lose heart: we were on vacation.
Leaving the airport, we immediately started negotiations with the local people to take taxis. I speak in the plural because being a nice group of people we needed at least 3 vehicles.
Obviously, outside the airport, all taxi drivers sign up so the price for travel, good or bad, is the same for everyone.
I can advise not to overdo the negotiation. A minimum is fine. But we must not insist. I think it's not really part of Moroccan culture to insist so much, unlike the Thai people for example.
Once all of them arrived at the hotel, time to leave the luggage and register that even the rain had stopped falling and we could start the first visit to Marrakech!
I Majorelle gardens they were our first stop. I don't dwell on historical or detailed explanations… I just mention that they were designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle and that they are a fabulous mix of botany and color!
Banana plants, cacti and palm trees along with rarer Aloe and bamboo plants will surround you with the famous Majorelle blue, an ultramarine / cobalt blue created by the painter himself.
Elisa, the organizer of this trip made us a point of reference for the whole trip.
After a necessary stop for lunch in the main square of the new area of Marrakech (where we discovered that in the outdoor tables of the premises it is not possible to drink alcohol but only inside ... so no beer with the sandwich). We have prepared ourselves and set off towards a stage that could not be missed on this journey: thehammam.
Here we have found pampering and relaxation and we immersed ourselves in a magical atmosphere!
Different rooms, all rigorously full of steam from the typical Turkish bath, where energetic “big women” washed us as if there was no tomorrow, using special scrubs to eliminate daily impurities and massaging with oils. It is also possible to do the mud treatment.
At the end of the whole journey I can guarantee you that you will be new people.
After this experience, you really appreciate the tranquility of the hotel, in fact we took the opportunity to be all together in one of the rooms, this time with a good bottle of wine to share!
Il second day we continued with the visits of some historical monuments and buildings:
From the Saadian tombs that represent the mausoleum of the Saadian dynasty, divided into three rooms including the famous room of the twelve columns, to the Royal Palace, Called Bahia PalaceOnce the residence of the sultan and his wives and later of the French generals, it is now open to visitors and hosts Arab-Andalusian music concerts and art exhibitions.
Both of these buildings are full of art, of very detailed and unique decorations, of precious materials such as our famous Carrara marble and of the inevitable gardens, fountains and small Riads full of rare plants and very bright colors.
I recommend you visit these beautiful buildings that will appear in front of you between a tea stop and another.
The, Herbs e spices are some of the specialties of the Moroccan people: their tea, their way of pouring and drinking it is typical and different from ours. I advise you to follow their tradition to the letter, you will appreciate it even more.
We continue the day with a typical Moroccan lunch duly consumed in a Riad: Moroccan salad, cous cous and tagine, all on a colorful table and in a unique context.
Other practical advice: tips. It is often almost obligatory to leave it to restaurant staff or to the guide.
Our tour finally continued in the very famous Medina with its souks: a unique charm full of colors and scents that you will hardly forget!
Here too it is good to take all the calm and the time necessary to enjoy the show: the square is in constant movement and change and the souks full of local craft shops will overwhelm you and you will want to take everything home!
One care: pay attention to the various "artists": they approach you with their animals like snakes or trained monkeys and ask you for money for a photo that you may not even have immortalized.
Other advice: enjoy the sunset from a place with a strategic position overlooking the whole square. Magical!
This trip was missing only one thing: the sea.
No sooner said than done.
On the last day we left for Essaouria, a city overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and its Medina is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
During the bus trip of about three hours we did not give up a couple of stops:
- thegoat tree where you question the force of gravity and ask yourself if the heat has really taken your head.
- the women's cooperative where a group of women only work Argan: from almond to the famous oil.
Here you can see the whole manufacturing process and also buy some very pure products generated by Argan both in the form of cosmetics and food.
Essaouria he welcomed us with his sailors who placed nets and daily catch at the port, but also with its colorful alleys and crazy views.
After strolling admiring the ocean and the hinterland of this charming town, we enjoyed the kebab in street food mode: don't give up if you love the genre.
Return to the hotel in the new Marrakech we are prepared for the return the next day.
We returned home with eyes full of color and full of scents and smells typical of a culture so far from ours but so fascinating and waiting to be discovered.