My first trip to Africa and I have to say it was beautiful. The tiled mosaics, the authentic architecture, the ornate designs, the patterns, the colours, the pillars, the stained glass, the lights; I was in awe of it all!
Staying in the old city, in a hide away little ally, just besides the midst of all the hustle and bustle; I got to experience the real Marrakech. Dar 73- the perfect combination of a classic Moroccan riad and a modern apartment; i couldn’t of been happier. Just a few steps out was the jewish quarters (random I know, but believe it or not there were more jews in a muslim country than I ever anticipated. Another fun fact: everyone spoke French first and then came the Arabic and few English speakers) a local spice market, the Bahia Palace and then of course the in famous Souk markets that filled the streets and main square at night. I visited during Ramadan, so it was very quiet during the day and everything came to life after dark.
Within the old city, I would recommend going to both Marrakech Art Museum and the old Islamic school; Ben Youseff. Just next door to each other, you cannot go to one without the other. Full of years of history and beautiful interiors (I’d be lying if I didn’t say exteriors too) its a part of Marrakesh not to be missed. The fine intricate detail in absolutely everything was mind blowing and not to mention the fact it was all so authentic and picturesque.
Outside of the walls of the old city; the new city! Not as much as a traditional feel, but it defiantly had its fair share of gems. Of course there was the classic desert, camel rides and quad biking (which was a lot of fun). But, highlight has to be Jardin Majorelle- Yves Saint Laurent gardens! As a fashionista, you know anything that starts with YS and ends in L is going to have my head turning. Once owned by the French artist; Jacques Majorelle, these beautiful grounds were saved from real estate developers by Pierre Bergé and our runway favourite; Yves Saint Laurent. Originally commissioned to have an artist’s studio in the Art Deco style, the grounds are full of exotic plants, beautiful flowers, rare species and the classic “Majorelle blue” house. Since then, the garden has been restored and now includes a bookstore, cafe and boutique. After YSL’s passing in 2008, a memorial to the French fashion designer has been built.
Moving away from fashion but sticking to amazing sites and photos that say a 1000 words; and slightly further out- La Mamounia! Perhaps the prettiest and fanciest hotel I have ever been too (yet). The grounds were beautiful- I could picture myself getting married there (yes a Catholic in a Muslim country, surrounded by Jews, getting wed). Every plant was perfectly placed, there was event vegetation growing. The atmosphere was so tranquil and again the decor – inside and outside was breathtaking! There were so many little courtyards (I’m obsessed with them and love that inside-outside feel) with more intricate tiling, elegant pillars, water features and grand designs; every aspect so beautiful and more spectacular than the last. The ceilings inside also shared the wow-factor, the elaborate chandeliers, luxurious carpet and miraculous archways; I fell in love! With the decor and sites of Marrakech aside, the food was also pretty good and lets not forget the shopping- who doesn’t love a good market eh?
So all in all; a perfect getaway- albeit there was no beach; but the fact I was in the sun was more than enough- until next time that is! #ChasingThe Sun