A QUICK GUIDE TO MARRAKECH, MOROCCO PART #2
Never have I been on a weekender where there is so much to see and do – Marrakech will keep you on your feet from sunrise and sunset. Below are a few ‘must see and do’ things whilst you’re in the hectic yet beautiful city. DJemaa El-Fna The famous Djemma El-Fna square is without a doubt the main highlight of the city. During the day, it's a vast open space filled with locals selling their wares and tourists simply walking around in awe of the majestic space. At night, it is packed with dancers, musicians, food stalls, henna artists and storytellers that never fail to entertain travelers. It can be a little overwhelming at first, so have an open mind and take your time as you walk around familiarising yourself with the square.
As for the food, the city square features lines of food stalls that offer delicious and enticing local dishes. What I love most about travel is getting stuck into the local produce. Now enjoying dinner in the square can be quite intense with lots of stall holders trying to drag you over to their various food spots. After walking around a couple of times, I finally chose a spot where I felt most comfortable and where there were lots of locals eating. Even though I'd be warned about a few of the dishes which can invariably cause diarrhea for those with weak stomachs, namely the salads which are washed with local water, the experience was incredible and I tried several dishes which were all really exciting and interesting.
Katoubia Minaret As the calls from Koutoubia's muezzin rise about the Djemma El-Fna, the 12th century Katoubia Minaret tower is an impressive feet of Moorish design. Standing at 70 metres tall, it certainly makes a good landmark for navigating the bustling city within the medina walls; I could even see it from the roof of the riad where I was staying. The mosque is closed to non-Muslims, however you are free to walk through its gardens and escape the searing heat by sitting beneath one of the many orange trees.
Jardin Majorelle Designed in the early 20th century by painter Jacques Majorelle and acquired by Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent in 1980, the 12 acre sub-tropical garden provides a haven away from the hectic pace outside. A maze of palm trees, ferns, catus plants and bamboo trees, the villa and garden are composed and coloured like a painting, with brilliant accents of cobalt blue. A love affair between man and flora, Yves Saint Laurent restored the oasis before gifting it back to the people of Marrakech. For more information including location and entry fee, visit Jardin Majorelle.