Marrakesh Travel Diary – Part 2

Hey folks,

Here’s the second half of my Marrakesh series!

We woke up bright and early on our third day and headed to Jemaa El Fna to meet our driver.

Jemaa El Fna, Early Morning, Marrakech, MoroccoOrange Juice, Jemaa El Fna

^ Fresh orange juice in the morning whilst waiting. Delicious!

After about an hour on the road, we pulled up at a roadside cafe for breakfast. We were served various condiments with fresh msemen bread – honey, argan oil, peanut butter and uh, laughing cow cheese.

Breakfast Condiments, Road Side Cafe, Morocco

The place didn’t actually have a menu and after yesterday’s shakshuka, I was desperate for some more. I asked, in pretty abysmal French, for some eggs and tomatoes and this is what arrived:

Eggs With Tomatoes, Road Side Cafe, Morocco

A plate of steaming hot chopped tomatoes and not quite done eggs topped generously with cumin. I mean, it wasn’t amazing, but I suppose considering they practically created the dish upon my request I can’t be too fussy. However that being said, whilst I love my yolks runny I can’t really deal with unset whites. And it just wasn’t the same without a rich, slowly cooked down tomato sauce.

After the pitstop, we hit the road again and were treated to beautiful scenery:

Journey Back To Marrakech, MoroccoJourney To Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

A little panoramic pic:

Roadside Panoramic Of The Journey to Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

About 11am, we reached our destination and parked up. The first thing we were greeted by, an orange tree! Not sure why this was so exciting, but it was!

Orange Tree, Morocco

Followed by a fig tree!

Fig Tree, Morocco

We made our way to the main path and met this little guy! ❤

Donkey, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

And so began our descent down the mountainside.

Path Leading Down To Ouzoud Falls, MoroccoPaintings Of The Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

Usually, when you book an excursion, they’ll take you down the rugged path on a half day trek, as opposed to the easy stroll and stairs down the path, but since we had a mixed ability group and a small child, we decided against that option.

Rocky Mountain Side, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

Aaall the stairs!

Stairs, Cascades d'Ouzoud, Morocco

It was so exciting to finally catch a glimpse of what we were here for:

Glimpse Of Ouzoud Falls Through The Trees, Morocco

The Ouzoud waterfalls.

Ouzoud Falls Framed By Trees, Morocco

So beautiful.

Midway down our walk, we made a new friend.

Monkey With Peanuts, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

And this little baby monkey – isn’t he such a cutie?

Baby Monkey At Cascades D'Ouzoud, MoroccoBaby Monkey, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

There seem to be plenty of wild monkeys living out in the shrubbery around the waterfall.

Ouzoud Falls From The Top, MoroccoCascades D'Ouzoud In Morocco

^ Finally at the bottom!

Here, you can take a boat ride to get up close and personal with the waterfall.

Boats, Ouzoud Falls, MoroccoLooking Up At The Ouzoud Falls, MoroccoOuzoud Water Fall, Morocco

Breathtaking.

We headed back up to about the midway mark to break for lunch. Not sure of the name of the cafe we ended up at, but here are some pics.

Salad and fresh bread whilst we waited.

Salad, Cafe, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

Lamb tagine – fall apart tender, cooked under a layer of potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and olives. Mr Man had a great time with this dish.

Lamb Tagine, Cafe, Ouzoud Falls, MorrocoLamb Tagine At A Cafe Overlooking The Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

I, ever the meat cop out, went for a chicken skewers plate. They look better than they tasted in all honesty. Decent flavour, bit over done, bit bland, and uh, tasted too ‘chickeny’ for lack of a better explanation. Fries were great though.

Chicken Skewers And Chips, Cafe Overlooking Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

The best part of our lunch? This view:

Cascades D'Ouzoud, Morocco

We headed back to the top and met a few more monkeys:

Wild Monkey In The Trees, MoroccoMonkey, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

The view just over midway to the top is probably my favourite.

Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

Can one have too many pics of the same waterfall?

Ouzoud Waterfalls, Morocco

Back at the top, we had a little wander around, no railings, no safety measures – so we went as far as we dared. Think that’s probably a hotel being built in the pic below:

Looking Down, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

From there I realised the sheer amount of water gushing down…

Top Of The Waterfall, Cascades D'Ouzoud, Morocco

Looking down from the left of the waterfall:

Landscape, Ouzoud Falls, Morocco

With that, it was time to head back. We arrived at Jemaa El Fna late into the afternoon and headed back to our riad for a shower and a rest break.

Late Afternoon At Jemaa El Fna, Marrakech, MoroccoKoutoubia Mosque, Marrakech, Morocco

At dinnertime, myself and Mr Man ventured out to find something to eat and opted for Le Marrakchi in the main square.

Le Marrakchi Restaurant, Marrakech, Morocco

Love the ambience, and don’t even get me started on the tiles. Beautiful.

Neither of us was particularly hungry and so I opted for a starter and Mr Man a dessert.

Pastilla Au Poulet, Le Marrakchi Restaurant, Marrakech, Morocco

Pastilla au poulet. A spiced chicken mixture with slightly sweetened almonds, wrapped in crisp pastry and topped with icing sugar and cinnamon. Was expecting something savoury but this was still very satisfying.

Crepes Barberes Au Miel, Le Marrakchi Restaurant, Marrakech, Morocco

Two small Moroccan pancakes (baghrir) spongey with loads of holes, perfect for holding on to the honey drizzled over the top.

Lanterns On Steps, Le Marrakchi Restaurant, Marrakech, Morocco

^ Adore these lanterns. Wish I’d bought a couple.

We stopped for a midnight orange juice. Cart number 17 and it was better than the others we sampled in our time there so I thought I’d give it a mention.

Stand 17, Orange Juice, Jemaa El Fna, Marrakech, Morocco

The next morning, myself and Mr Man headed out pretty early to explore whilst the others snoozed on. We made a quick pitstop and grabbed some fresh tomato msemen bread for breakfast before jumping in a taxi. (Haggle in advance!)

Msemen Being Cooked, Marrakech, MoroccoTomato Msemen, Marrakech, Morocco

First stop, Jardin Majorelle. This place was created over forty years by a French painter who found another passion in gardening. Yves Saint Laurent was one of the garden’s big fans, and when he found out that it was to be sold and transformed into a hotel, he stepped in.

Entrance, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

^ Pretty fountain at the entrance.

Exploring, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, MoroccoWater Lily Pool, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, MoroccoLily Pads, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

^ lily pads.

Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, MoroccoMusee Barbere, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

^ LOVE the blue!

Palm Trees, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

^ Palm trees

Bamboo, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

^ Towering bamboo.

Cacti, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, MoroccoCactus Plants, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

^ Cacti galore.

Blue Walls Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, MoroccoWindows, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

Can’t get over this blue. So bold, so beautiful!

We stopped at the cafe here to get some proper breakfast.

Cafe In Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

Baked eggs with cumin:

Baked Eggs At The Cafe, Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

Pancakes with honey:

Pancakes At The Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

Mint tea, served with a traditional Moroccan pastry.

Mint Tea, Cafe In Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

Next up – Ben Youssef Madrasa. A 14th-century Islamic college, that may have housed around 900 students.

Entrance, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

The first thing you see when you walk in is the grand, central courtyard:

Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, MoroccoBen Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco (2)Dorm Windows, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

Amazing arches.

Main Courtyard, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, MoroccoDetailed Arches, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

The room straight ahead, through the large arch, is a prayer hall:

Prayer Hall, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, MoroccoStonework, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

Check out the ceiling!

Ceiling, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

You can also check out the wings on either side.

Looking Down, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, MoroccoWalls, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

Open ceilings:

Sunlight, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, MoroccoWoodwork Balconies, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

View from the dorm rooms:

View From Balcony, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, MoroccoClose Up Of The Walls, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

^ Seriously, just look at the detail. Jaw dropping.

I also fell in love with the tiles.

Photos, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, MoroccoTiles, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

Next stop, spices (pictures of what I bought in the last post.)

Spice shopping is one of my favourite things to do when away – as someone to loves to cook, I adore discovering different herbs and spices to inspire me.

Herbs For Sale In The Souks, Marrakech, MoroccoReptile Skins, Apothecary, Souks, Marrakech, Morocco

^ Are those snake hides, I’m not sure?

Piles Of Spices, Souk, Morocco, MarrakechSpices And Herbs In The Souks, Marrakech, Morocco

^  With a bag full of goodies, we headed back to the riad.

Peeking into a random door:

Gallery, Marrakech, Morocco

After a quick pitstop, I popped out to meet an old uni chum of mine who currently resides in Morocco whilst Mr Man rejoined the family group. We decided to go for a walk and check out the tanneries – where they produce leather from animal skins – namely cows, camels and goats.

We were welcomed by the ‘manager’ who handed us a sprig of mint each ‘for the smell.’ Can’t tell you how useful it was!

Piles Of Animal Skin, Tanneries, Marrakech, Morocco

He gave us a brief tour of the place:

Entrance To Tannery, Marrakech, Morocco

First step – quicklime and water, helps take off the hair.

Quicklime And Water, Tanneries, Marrakech, Morocco

Then pigeon poo (yes, you heard me) and water. I believe the ammonia in it acts as a softening agent.

Soaking The Leather, Tanneries, Marrakech, Morocco

Can’t really remember the next step but it gets rid of the smell.

Tannery, Marrakech, Morocco

Unfortunately, due to rain forecast, the colourful vats for dyeing (the final step) were covered up – these range from red poppies, yellow saffron, indigo blue to mint green – where they are soaked for a week or two to absorb the colours.

Tanneries, Marrakech, MoroccoDying Vats, Tanneries, Marrakech, Morocco

After dropping us off to an extortionate leather shop, we had a quick peruse and exited.

Colourful Babouches, Marrakech, Morocco

Our tour guide was waiting outside for us and demanded a silly amount of money for his troubles and got pretty wound up when we refused the asking price. (Despite knowing that my chum was practically a local – the cheek!) We gave him a fraction of what he was demanded and headed on our way.

Locals, Marrakech, Morocco

We stopped for lunch at La Terrasse des Epices.

View From Terrasse des Epices, Marrakech, Morocco

My friend’s eggs and msemen bread with honey.

Eggs And Pancakes, La Terrasse des Epices, Marrakech, Morocco

I went for a chicken sandwich – pretty unimpressive unfortunately.

Chicken Sandwich, La Terrasse des Epices, Marrakech, Morocco

As much as I wanted to hang with my chum a little longer, Mr Man’s sister had booked us in for an evening hammam session and massage at Hammam Lallaso it was time to part ways.

Hammam Lalla, Marrakech, Morocco

We were left in a steam room before being scrubbed within an inch of our lives, covered in some kind of mud mask, being rinsed then covered in oils and rinsed again. Felt like a small child being bathed in all honesty and slightly violated, ha. Not sure if I’ll be running back for another one anytime soon, but uh, I won’t lie, my skin felt super soft afterwards and I think they pretty much, sadly, rid me of any tan that I’d acquired in the last few days.

On the way back, we stopped at Patisserie des Princes after reading great reviews. They didn’t have much left at this point in the day, but I took what I could get.

Pâtisserie Des Princes, Marrakech, MoroccoPastry Selection, Pâtisserie Des Princes, Marrakech, Morocco

Whilst they look really nice, I sampled a small piece of them all, and sadly nothing was great.

After a pitstop at the riad and a packing spree, myself and Mr Man headed out to dinner. It was pretty late at this point – and weirdly the square looked like it was closed up for the night. FYI, whilst it’s buzzing in the evenings, it seems at midnight it all comes to a sharp halt. After trying a few restaurants and being turned away, a passerby took us to a little place overlooking Jemaa El Fna, no idea what it was called, was just grateful to have found somewhere still serving food.

Restaurant Open After Midnight, Marrakech, Morocco

I went for a veggie sandwich, and Mr Man the meat equivalent. Neither of them was anything to write home about, in fact, they were pretty rubbish, but here’s a picture nevertheless.

Veggie Sandwich, Marrakech, Morocco

Stomachs filled, we headed back to the riad for our last sleep before an early morning flight back to London.

– Kay

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