Marrakesh – after the quake

 

We had adjust our original plan to visit Marrakesh following the earthquake, and in the process lost a quite expensive hotel booking in an old Riad in the Medina, but now five days on we could see many reports from Marrakesh saying that the city was once again open for business and very much encouraging visitors again.  As neither Poppy or I have been before, last time I settled for just visiting Fes, and prospects for the coast south of Casablanca looked bleak (staying in a car park outside a police station was the hot tip), we decided to regroup and make a run for Marrakesh arriving late in our campsite outside the town.

This turned out to be very nice with a hippy vibe and a great pool with constant laid back music and decent food, a real find.  So we had a nice chilled out evening by the pool, Poppy a little disappointed when she realised that she had left her swimming gear at the Sahara desert resort, but this was rapidly rectified at the market the next day.

(picture too large for upload do at home)

Poppy organised the plan for the day, a sure sign she is becoming more confident as each day passes on the trip, unlike my plan the day started at the garden created by Yeves St Laurent and went on to the Museum dedicated to the Fashion designer.  It is apparently now the number one attraction in Marrakesh for visitors and I actually rather enjoyed it (nice coffee and pancakes helped)

The garden of the house of YSL has been given to the nation as a tourist attraction, it is really well done
Poppy and I dressed smart but were outdone by some of the stylish fashion in the garden, its a Mecca for the fashion designers fans
The Museum next door is a masterpiece of minimal design as you might expect

After the YSL experience it was back to Dad standard touring, ignoring the taxis we set out on foot across the city and the Medina for a good random look around to get the feel of the place a bit away from the obvious tourist traps, I quite liked the medina like a better organised version of Fes not quite so earthy but still a real city working in the ancient way.  Most of the city seemed to have survived the earthquake well but maybe one house in every 500 showed that the earthquake had been severe and many people had been killed here.

One of the few collapsed houses on our route through the Medina

Poppy was on a mission to get a swimsuit and was toying with the idea of a designer bag so we spent a happy few hours haggling and walking away in equal measure while getting a feel for the big markets, mosques and squares.

In a final departure Poppy decided we had to go to Winston Churchills favourite hotel on the outskirts of the old city, fortunately we were reasonably smartly dressed as it turned out this was a very posh place indeed, cool and beautifully decorated we were ushered into a courtyard where one could order a coffee and cake for about £15 each, we did anyway and used the cool and the Wi-Fi to chill out for a while before getting a taxi back to our little campsite which cost less than a coffee!

The other casualty of the last week is my, up to now, trusty laptop.  I have the “black screen of death” ad every internet or apple help line suggestion to fix it has failed, so I have had to switch to the iPad I use for navigation as my back up system and leave the lap top until I am home.

Blog updates back on line

G

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