This Marrakesh weekend trip was a last minute decision. After Jayme’s game on Thursday he mentioned that there was no practice until Monday. I thought why not go to Marrakesh for the weekend? Marrakesh has a very special place in our heart, our first trip together was to Marrakesh from Istanbul and Marrakesh is also where our baby girl was conceived and where we found out that we were pregnant.
The following day we enjoyed our couscous for lunch at home, made our reservation for Riad La rose du desert at booking.com, packed our bags, and headed to the train station around 6 PM. After getting ourselves together we quickly ran out of time and actually thought we were going to miss our 7:10 train. We didn’t get to the train station until 7:20, but luckily for us the train was delayed. We bought 2 regular train tickets for 95 MAD roughly ($10) each, and rushed to the railroad. It was so crowded. At first we thought it was because everyone was going to the airport, but we soon found out everybody was going to Marrakesh. The train was a mess… so crowded, people pushing each other and it looked like the impossible with a toddler, stroller, and two giant backpacks.We managed to do what we do best which is figure it out. The first idea that came to mind was to go to the first class area of the train, get in, and then pay the difference. This is exactly what we did! We soon realised our problem wasn’t completely over yet. Being that the second class was so full, we weren’t the only ones that decided to upgrade to first class and this created seating problems in first class as well. Luckily we found 2 open seats and the controller didn’t show up until 30 minutes into the ride. He made some people change seats, others stand…once he got to us he just had Jayme stand, because we were sitting in somebody’s seat but thank god he only stood for 20 minutes and not the whole ride. We arrived to the Riad around 12am took our showers and we went to sleep.
We woke up early Saturday morning around 7 am to take advantage of every minute of the day. We started with a delightful moroccan breakfast at the Raid which included a variety of moroccan pancakes (msemen, Betbout), chocolate croissants, jams, cheese, butter, freshly squeezed orange juice, great coffee and pot of good Moroccan mint tea. We then headed out and made our way through the streets of the Medina toward our old house where Amani was made. It was a very special moment to walk through these streets that we had walked many times before, and also so cool that some people actually reccognized us from 3 years ago.
We continued walking toward Jamaa el-fna, there was no way to not do Jamaa el-fna at least 2 times in this trip :D, and Jamaa El-fna is still the same as it was before, same mix of smells, sounds, and colors that make this place unique and magical. From the smell of orange juice,beautiful sounds of Gnawa music, water mans (gerrab) bell, to the snake charmers calling tourists to take pictures with a snake assuring them that the snake is not dangerous and it’s only a water snake, but most of the tourists are freaking out because after all its a damn snake.
We continued our way toward our favourite smoothie spot “chez Dallas”. I had a mango orange smoothie, and Jayme had strawberry banana orange smoothie. It was so funny that the server remembered us. He asked Jayme ”How are you man I remember you from before?!” I asked “how about me?” he answered “you changed a little bit but he is still the same…” damn well I have been through a lot of changes the past 3 years the main one being a mother.
Now it was time to see something new.The Jardin Majorelle (Majorelle Garden). We used our GPS to guide us toward the garden. We stopped to visit “the Craft complex” for a bit and it was peaceful to enjoy the beauty of Morocco’s traditional crafts without anybody trying to force you to buy something (like in the old city).
we continued our walk toward the Majorelle Garden and were welcomed by a huge line of tourists (locals and foreigners) at the ticket window. I’ts understandable because Majorelle garden is a piece of art with an interesting history. The line moved fast and tickets were 70 MAD for foreigners and 40 Mad for moroccans, kids free.
About Jardin Majorelle: Built by the French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962). its doors opened to the public on 1947, but in the last years of Jacques Majorelle’s life, his beloved garden was pretty much abandoned.
on 1966 Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé found out about the garden on their first trip to Marrakesh. the garden then was to be sold and replaced by a hotel complex… thankful it was saved by those two legends. and they brought life back to this gorgeous place. on 1999 new rare plants were added to the garden and went from 135 plant to 300.
when Yves Saint Laurent died on 2008. His ashes were scattered in the rose garden of the Villa Oasis on the garden. On November 27, 2010, the street in front of the Jardin Majorelle’s entrance was renamed the Rue Yves Saint Laurent in his honour.
How lovely is that!? We didn’t want to leave the garden it was so beautiful but it’s hard to be fully engaged when you have a 2 year old touching everything and running around like she popped a Molly. It was funny how she thought that all the cactus plants were Dinosaurs, she kept running around and telling everybody in the garden “oh look…it’s a Dinosaur…”everybody thought it was cute and her reaction to the pretty orange fishes were priceless.
hunger began to creep in so we walked toward Gueliz. Jayme bought the Yummiest waffle ever.We shared it and took a Taxi back to the Medina for dinner and called it a day.
We started the day by checking out of our Riad. Had a yummy tea on the Patio left our bags at the riad and went for lunch with my friend Debby at Dar Mama in the medina. I had Couscous to share with Amani, Jayme had a cheese burger and Debby had a chef Salad. loved their Carrot/Orange juice.
After lunch we went for one last walk in the Medina toward Jamaa elfna square, enjoyed a fresh orange juice at the square and walked back to our Riad for one last pot of mint tea.
We headed to the train station thankful this time it wasn’t as crowded and we had a whole room for ourselves in the first class.
Marrakesh have and always will have a special part of our hearts, already can’t wait for the next visit.