Marrakesh is a great interesting place which never gets boring. It was until today also one of the most energy consuming places we visited. Luckily you can charge up the sugar/ energy level with great sweets. We experienced some annoying moments, which made us laugh just a few minutes later. All teaches you a lesson- be relaxed and just let the city take the control. Once you accept this, it makes your life easier.
1. " Ca va? Ca va? Tz, Tz.. chirruping noises....
While walking through the Medina as a tourist, you get approached by lots of vendors. In the first days, it was annoying because it is hard not to react to all approaches since you do not want to be rude. We developed the technique to actually imitate them, we had lots of fun and most of the people laughed with us.
2. Do not pay the price
This is not a new advice, just to have some idea how much to actually pay for it. Let´s say a third of the price. The bargaining is part of the procedure. The people at the souk do not get mad, it is like a sport for them. The last price is never the final word. Be prepared for some long debates.
3.Be prepared to go to the street food market
The first times, it felt like a little battle with the salesmen. Who can decide where you are going to eat ? Every stall on the market has its own advertiser who is only allowed to invite the persons who are passing their area to sit down. As soon as you reach the premises of the others, the vendor is not allowed to walk further with you. So the people of the food stalls try to stop you in many ways to persuade you to sit down. On the first day, we felt a little helpless because we got separated and could not walk through the market to look at everything first and then decide where to sit down and eat.
At the end (happy-end) we had a great tasty meal with diarrhea -free- Guarantee ( which did not apply).
4. Beware of the Henna
The Henna Ladies are faster than you might think. Even though we did not feel that we want a henna tattoo, one of the women decided for us and made a modern art piece on the hand.
5.Djemaa el Fna- but really?
It is a place of cultural heritage, and maybe the presence of the monkeys is part of it, but the look of chained animals, seems more than unnecessary.
6. Let us spent some days in the minibus
We did a trip to the Sahara, mostly because of all the beautiful pictures we saw about the place, the blog posts, and reviews. Everyone wrote about an awesome time, we hardly found negative comments. Despite knowing it is quite a distance going to Merzouga from Marrakesh, we decided to spend the money (it was the contrary of a cheap bus ride) for a once-of-a-lifetime experience. The landscape which we passed was beautiful (Altlas mountains, rivers, palm trees). BUT we saw most of it only from the inside of the Minibus. It was a very long trip. Once we arrived ( we were late because our minibus had a flat tire) there was only a little time to get on the camels before it became dark. The boards for the sand boarding were broken and it did not really work neither. No stars to be seen due to a sandstorm and in the morning we had to hurry in order to catch the bus back. Our butts were hurting for some days. The interesting fact, we did not really meet one person during the time in Marocco, who would do the trip again.
7. The bus
In order to move from one city to another, the bus is the easiest transportation. Make sure that you know which company to take, there are some buses which stop at EVERY corner and in the middle of nowhere. It takes a while to arrive.
8. Mopeds- Miep Miep
They almost run you over and you inhale the fumes. You might get the feeling that they are one of the most annoying things in the city..until you try it yourself. It's a lot of fun. Miep Miep!
Do not try to read the map.Just walk in the chosen direction and you will find more interesting sights. Like the proverb- The journey is the destination.
10. No need to be afraid
We arrived in the Medina and they helped us find the way at night to the Riad. Narrow, badly lighted streets. The first thought after the ringing of the alarm in the ears stopped: We ( two girls) can not find our way back and should not walk at night in this streets alone. But everyone told us, that it is very safe and it is true. The streets have a dim illumination and in the end of the darkest, a bit scary, streets you can find the best restaurants.