Saturday, November 10, 2018

Three Days in Marrakesh, Morocco

Colorful attire of performers in Chez Ali
I spent three solid days in Marrakesh in 2018 and it will always be unforgettable. The rest of the other days were spent on plane travelling with two transit flights - Dubai and Casablanca - before finally setting foot at the famous travel destination in Africa, Marrakesh.

Dry land just near the hotel where I stayed
I missed a lot of nice places in Marrakesh because there was no time to explore further away from my hotel. I was focused at a work-related activity then. Nevertheless, even if I just had a sojourn, I will always treasure the experience and share that Marrakesh is artistically beautiful and literally beautiful - with its beautiful people.

When in Morocco, one can have a Sahara dessert tour. Even outside our hotel, a dry land is just nearby, giving one a little glimpse of what Saraha looks like. Should I be back there, I would be glad to have a tour on the dessert.

Entrance to Chez Ali
Amid very cold weather, we were eager to watch the performance
There are more horses in the performance
We were ushered to a place called Chez Ali in one of the cultural activities by the host nation. I enjoyed the gunpowder show where horse riders give performance together with a huge number of performers. One will be stunned with a sounds of the gunpowder being fired but one should not miss the action. Despite very cold weather, tourists patiently wait for the performance.

Marrakesh is known for palaces, gardens and mosques. I missed to visit those historical and famous sites. However, even if I just stayed in the hotel, I was amazed by the artistry everywhere I go. Just take a look at these pieces of art. These are colorful center table and side cabinet and imagine the artistry spent to create the masterpiece.

Center table

Side cabinet
Of course, there will always be a garden everywhere. The pathways are well maintained and crafted to have the gardens neat. I wish I would have visited the medina and historical gardens but I did not have time for personal tours outside the area. 

Morocco is known for a mix of influences of the world from Europe to Africa to Arabic. That makes it very interesting for me. I walked around the nearby street, it is named Mohammed VI Avenue. The pedestrian walkways are three parts - on both sides of the road and in the middle. I had a very nice experience which I can say a very different from the Philippines. I had several streets crosses and noticed that as I approached the pedestrian lane, the cars start to stop and let me go even giving me a hand signal to cross. Is that difficult to do in the Philippines? 

Marrakesh is a bike-friendly place. There are bike parking spaces and bike lanes. Even in rotonda, there are bike parking slots. There is more space for people than for cars. I have not yet figured out how EDSA will be as bike-friendly as this - maybe never.

Of course, when one is in Morocco, it is a must not to forget to bring home a Moroccan argan oil. I have known that argan tree only grows in Morocco. The tree gives the world-famous argan oil, a main ingredient in most premium beauty products. The range of products are available in the nearby Menara Mall, just connected to the hotel where I stayed. Aside from argan oil, herbs and spices, to which also Morocco is known for, are available as well. 

Range of products with Moroccan argan oil

Beauty products with Moroccan argan oil
From my three days in the historic and beautiful Marrakesh, I will always treasure the experience because I may never be able to go back there. In one of my visits to a Philippine museum, Museo ng Katipunan, I even learned that there were about one or two Filipinos who were exiled in Morocco during Spanish colonization. Maybe one day, Philippine historians can find out what happened to those Filipino revolutionists in Morroco. My brother even shared that Morocco is in his travel bucket because he was able to read one of the flyers about Morocco that I requested from the embassy when I was still in high school.

My big thanks to an international organization for bringing me to Marrakesh and to my boss for recommending me to be in Morocco. I was a bit anxious travelling alone that far but I made it. By the way, I stayed at Savoy Le Grand Hotel.