- Friday, 18 July 2014 -
Arabian Nights, Like Arabian Days
Well hello you lovely lot! Long time no speak, eh? Those of you unaware of the reasoning behind my recent absence, I've been off adventuring in Africa! It actually pained me to break away from the blogging world for a little while but I am so delighted to be back in full swing and I hope you've all been keeping well since I've been gone. It's quite ironic how the day I actually arrive back on home soil, the newspapers are painted with the promise of a tremendous heatwave hitting the UK, but I'll be quite honest dear readers; that heat got NOTHIN' on African heat! So I've never been more relieved to be engulfed back into the overcast yet forever optimistic weather of the lovely United Kingdom.
However let's rewind just a bit, back a few months when Martin and I stumbled across this shiny, new website that pledged holiday deals galore: Travelbird. It was only then when we discovered an offer boasting an 8 day stay in the mysterious Marrakech in Morocco, with flights and accommodation included for a mere £250 each, It's definitely not an exaggeration to say that we literally jumped, hopped and skipped at the chance! When first emerging from our 3 hour flight, we were greeted with a heat so stifling and suffocating, I felt like I'd been thrown into an oven. It was unfortunately a luxury that came rarely to England, and it was oh so glorious.
We spent our days primarily partaking in excursions: exploring waterfall strewn mountains, making new friends with curious camels in the desert, scouring through the souks and markets of Marrakech forever wheedling out a bargain - at the cost of sounding droll, in the words of Aladdin: it was a whole new world.
1/ Marrakech's staple colours are so lush and vibrant, even their travel guides had me drooling with excitement to go!
2/ After an excruciating long day in the heat, Martin and I would retreat to a rooftop terrance to relish an iced cold drink and soak up the sights of Marrakech's markets.
3/ Would ya just look at that face!? Of course no trip to the desert would be complete without the mandatory ride on a camel! In order to train the babies, they attach them to their mothers so this little guy was tagging along with us!
4/ Some of the buildings in Marrakech looked exactly like something out of a children's storybook, the colours were so vivid and the architecture so rustic, it was easy to think you were a character in Lawrence of Arabia.
5/ Whilst casually pottering around the mountains, our tour guide informed us that this is where the original Moroccan people hail from - the Berbers. Native Berbers to this day dwell in the mountains and live a peaceful life.
6/ Even though sometimes you would think you were stuck in a time-warp, Marrakech did host some amazing surprises.
7/ For all you cat lovers out there - Marrakech is littered with them! Kitties would be lazing in the souks, pawing at you for food in the restaurants, and generally wrapped around your legs near constantly!
8/ During our excursion to the waterfalls, we ran into some very friendly cheeky monkeys.
9/ I've said it once and I'll say it again - the colour that consumes Marrakech is so beautiful, even their teasets are dazzling!
10/ I don't know why this amazed me so much considering I'm surrounded by apple trees with our family business, but the fact that orange and lime trees grew everywhere was actually magical.
11/ One of Marrakech's biggest trades is leather, and with their abundance of gorgeous handmade shoes and bags, I was in heaven.
12/ LOOK AT THOSE COLOURS! The spices Marrakech hosted were breathtakingly staked into these immense and eye-catching pyramids and before you ask yes, I did get my hands on some bona fide Moroccan Argan Oil!
13/ We spent an entire day in the Majorelle Gardens. Although originally the vision of French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s, the gardens were later owned and redesigned by Yves Saint-Laurent.
14/ Whenever Yves Saint-Laurent died in 2008, his ashes were scattered in this beautiful paradise.
15/ Even though the temperatures would rise to 50° during the day, come evening Marrakech would cool significantly and the scenery would turn movie-esque.
16/ Primark ain't got nothin' on these gorgeous Moroccan lanterns!