This city is everything you expect and yet nothing you prepared for. Arriving in the Medina, which is commonly understood as the medieval centre of any city in Morocco, I quickly understood that I knew nothing of this culture and their sense of life and living. This world appears to be in between the modern and the traditional, constantly pushing and pulling itself and its people in all directions. Rising out of the Saharan dust that is so carefully swept away every morning by street vendors and with breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains as you climb to the roof tops of the old town, it is not just the sound of the muezzin calling for prayer at dawn that leaves you with a sense of magic when starting out on your day. The peaceful and welcoming morning rituals celebrated in the Riads all across the old town while you unwrap yourself from the night and embark on your journey to explore this wonderful town give a first impression of what awaits you (I recommend staying at Riad Gallery 49).
Walking amidst the narrow, cobbled alleys that seemingly lead to nowhere – and some of them actually don’t – every new day will be an adventure, unravelling the mystery of this city. The colourful materials, leather, the spices, the smell of fresh mint and sweet treats and the sound of bartering fills the souqs and invites you to explore your trading skills. The palaces so beautifully decorated and the sheer size and intricate artwork in its architecture and design are mesmerising beyond belief. The shaded window ledges, offering moments to rest and absorb the magnificent views of their inner courtyards. Public Hammams scattered across the city, inviting you to participate in one of the most cherished Moroccan rituals. The main square, bustling with men and women engaging in story telling, snake chanting, henna painting and many other ways of trying to make a living. The images are translated into Arabic, Berber, French, English, Spanish and even German. The people of Marrakesh made this journey magical, as they welcomed me into their country, their home and their hearts and shared a few moments of their lives with me. The push and pull of this place is what I will remember it for. A magical experience.