Six of us gathered at our place in Acton, where we got picked up at 3am by the best airport service in the world. Some of us didn’t get any sleep. Some… were getting their nails done last minute. … Value goes up. Better price when selling off for camels! She’s happy I’m happy.
Comparing to my last Ryanair flight which was cancelled this one was OK. At least it took us from point A at Stanstead to point B in Marrakesh. The airport makes good first impression. Nice and clean. You could say it gives a feeling of a cheap hotel when entered. But the queues! OMG the airport technical progress stopped 2 decades ago. First you need to fill a paper declaration with personal details. Then you enter never ending queue.
If you are flying to Marrakesh with group of people. As soon as you land take few of you and line up in the queue. Let one of you go and grab the declarations which you can fill while waiting in line. Might save you up to an hour. Border control enters your passport and declaration details by hand into their system. Few more checks before you are allowed to leave. I would not recommend exchanging all your monies at the airport. They offer a buyback if you keep your receipt but you will lose about £5 on every £70. Monday to Friday you can go to the bank. Which can be found here. (link with geolocation to be inserted here.) During the weekend there are plenty of currency exchanges which offer pretty decent rates.
We were picked up at the airport and dropped off at the hostel called dream Kasbah. It was located in the old town of Marrakech. Had a nice terrace. Clean toilet and most important hot water. Wi-fi was available free of charge too. The owner and employees were very nice and friendly. Really helpful when asked for directions.
Arriving at 11 am we had to wait for a check in till 1 pm. After leaving or luggage in the secure storage we went to discover the neighbourhood and try Moroccan cuisine .
Asking our faithful friend the TripAdvisor we nailed down a place. 15 minutes one way walking north. Leaving the hostel we started strolling through narrow streets of the old town.
“- The gate is closed. Come with me my friend I will show you the best way. Main street.”
We heard from guys sitting on the cart with few veggies. We hesitated for a moment. As soon as he got aware we listened to him he engaged further. We ended up following him for a while. The guy was blabbering how much he knows this area so well. He will show us the shortcuts only locals know. Entering one narrow street after another. Heading south. With every step getting further and further away from a place of our destination.
It was all so weird. I’m looking at the map where GPS is pointing my exact location and some random dude is saying we are getting closer to the place we are moving further away from.
Everyone heard horrid stories where other people’s belongings were convinced away of their owners possession in the gesture off goodwill in exchange for physical well-being. But… !
Well after quick brainstorm we took less known to locals way and using secret path we educated our Moroccan friend about the simplest and safest way straight to the main road.
What happened next was unexpected yet.
“… tip for me my friend!” Whoa. I never knew we were so good at making friends! He even asked us for a tip for his friend we never met. Such a good guy, really nice friend to have.
Our first walk around the neighbourhood ended up like this. Enough said.
20 minutes to the destination. Hungry as wolves. Wolves for food. We started marching through the old town. Felt a bit like a mixture of Trinidad and Old Havana with Pringles on the shopfront of small local stores.
It’s already November but was so nice and warm. Sometimes I walked in the shadows to hide from the sun. Morocco is full of cats. I have separate gallery (in the making) with those lovely tigers. You can you can find them ‘here’. (link to be updated) We really enjoyed the stroll. Shops, spices, lamps, scarfs and carpets. We didn’t enjoy being treated like potential targets. Really. I could write a whole book about that but let’s try to keep things nice here.
Below picture requires some clarification. I do not know who this lady is. She had quite cool hair matching the trousers but she ended up in the frame when I was aiming at the tiger.
Panorama of the city missing