Tag Archives: Marrakech

Marrakech – Ourika Valley, lunch at the top of the world, Auberge Ramuntcho

A beautiful entrance

The beautiful entrance to Auberge Ramuntcho, Ourika Valley, Atlas Mountains

Auberge Ramuntcho, Ourika Valley, a well earned lunch and an old friend

By this time we were starving so we stopped for lunch at the Auberge Ramuntcho http://www.ramuntcho.ma/, a beautiful little restaurant and guest house. We sat on the terrace, relaxed and enjoyed  the wonderful views of the river and the high, red mountain along with our chicken tagine and a bottle of well deserved wine. Continue reading

Marrakech – Ourika Valley, Seven waterfalls of Setti Fatma and a long climb

Starting with a rickety bridge

Setti-Fatma’s Seven Waterfalls, starting with a rickety bridge

Setti-Fatma and the seven waterfalls, Ourika Valley, rickety bridges and a rocky climb

 

Our next stop was a visit to Setti-Fatma and its seven waterfalls. A word of warning here, this trip is not for the feint hearted. The first obstacle was a rickety bridge across the river. I nearly gave up there and then. The bridge was nothing more than a few ropes and pieces of wood, which swayed alarmingly as we crossed. Continue reading

Marrakech – Ourika Valley and a visit to a Berber village

High in the Atlas Mountains

High in the Atlas Mountains, Ourika Valley

The Berber village – Ourika Valley, no mod cons but wonderful views

We stopped to visit a Berber house belonging to one of Driss’s cousins. The native Moroccan population is made up of Berbers and Arabs and Driss was very proud of the fact that he is a Berber, although his wife is an Arab. As soon as we entered the village we picked up a stream of little Berber followers. When we booked the trip we were warned that the children would follow us as lots of tourists bring sweets for them but sweets weren’t such a good idea where there is no dental care. I felt mean not giving them anything so I had come prepared with a big bundle of cheap ballpoint pens. The children seemed to love these and were fascinated by clicking them on and off. Continue reading

Marrakech – driving into the Atlas Mountains

Looking over the roof of our first Berber house

Looking over the roof of our first Berber house, Atlas Mountains, Marrakech

Marrakech – The Atlas Mountains and the Ourika Valley, winding mountain roads and satellite dishes

My third trip to Morocco was a long weekend with Commando, a kind of second honeymoon to make up for the fact we didn’t have a first one when we married ten years earlier. After two days looking at the majestic Atlas Mountains in the distance from our hotel balcony, Commando and I decided it was time to take a closer look. We booked a day trip through Complete Tours http://complete-tours.com/ to the Ourika Valley, about 30 kilometres outside the city. A  journey of about three hours each way on the meandering mountain roads in a little air conditioned Grand Taxi with our driver/guide, Driss. Continue reading

Marrakech – a fam trip and a gala meal

The garden at Palmeraie Golf Palace ready for our Gala Meal

The garden at Palmeraie Golf Palace, Marrakech, ready for our Gala Meal

Letting our hair down after an exciting trip – A Gala meal at Palmeraie Golf Palace, Marrakech

On the final night of our Mega Fam all of the different groups joined together for a gala meal hosted by Palmeraie Golf Palace  http://www.palmeraie-marrakech.com/palmeraie-golf-palace.htm  for a chance to swap stories of our adventures. We began our evening with a quick tour of the hotel, if you can tour a 312 room hotel quickly. This gigantic palace, ten minutes outside the centre of Marrakech is a great place for those who love golf. It has it’s own 18 hole golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior. Continue reading

Marrakech – learning to cook Moroccan style at Maison Arabe

Dadda

Dada Lazziza demonstrating searing a pepper

Making a chicken tagine with Dada Lazziza at Maison Arabe, Marrakech

My last trip to Marrakech was a ‘mega fam’ I organised.  We took 100 travel agents to Morocco to teach them about the country and show them the hotels. There were five different itineraries, trekking in the Atlas Mountains, visiting Fez, a bivouac in the desert, Agadir and Essouira, and the group I led took a cookery course in Marrakech. Continue reading

Marrakech – the mad world of Chez Ali, a Fantasia

The gate to Chez Ali

The gate to Chez Ali, Marrakech 

Chez Ali Marrakech, Walt Disney meets Ali Baba

Probably the most unusual experience I had in Marrakech was a visit to Chez Ali. It can only be described as Disney meets The Arabian Nights. The first time I went I was leading an educational group. On the itinerary it was billed as ‘Fantasia, Moroccan Dinner and Cultural Show’  and I had no idea what to expect. Continue reading

Marrakech – back to the madness, Djemaa El Fna at night

First view of Djemma el Fna at night

First view of Djemma el Fna, Marrakech, at night

Djemaa el Fna Marrakech at night, the greatest free show on earth

After a relaxing day I decided to go back to Djemaa el Fna to see what the fuss was about ‘the square’ at night. I took a petit taxi from my hotel and, even before I saw it I heard the cacophony of drums, eerily wailing pipes and voices. The centre of the square was lit by the food stalls. The smoke from their fires rose up into the night and tempting smells from their wares drifted into the crowd. I was soon caught up in the throng and carried along. Continue reading

Marrakech – a caleche ride to Majorelle Gardens

The only way to travel

A Caleche ride through Marrakech, the only way to travel

Yves St Laurent’s Majorelle Gardens Marrakech, an artists paradise

I decided my next day in Marrakech would be a lazy one so, on Mohammed’s recommendation, I took a gentle ride in a caleche to the Majorelle Gardens. Basically there are two ways to travel around Marrakech, petit taxis, and caleche. Petit taxis can be picked up almost anywhere, you will see queues of them waiting outside most hotels. They and are cheap, if a little rickety and the driving will probably have you squeezing your eyes shut most of the time. Continue reading

Marrakech – a secret, hidden garden, the Saadian Tombs

Intricate carvings and patterned tiles

Delicate carvings and intricate tiles, Saadian Tombs, Marrakech

An evil sultan, and the story of the enchantment of the Saadian Tombs Marrakech

Our final visit was to the Saadian Tombs. These graves have a history to rival any fairy tale. Hidden by an evil sultan they were lost and forgotten in the heart of the city for centuries almost as if he cast a spell. You will need a guide if you want to find them. Continue reading