In the same time it takes to get from London to New York, we travel from Sofia to Morocco. And because we cannot possible stop thinking about sand, exotica and adventure, today we decided to tell you about a magical place that turns back the hands of time with a few months, years or maybe even centuries. We are going to Marrakesh, where everything is in pink, the air smells like spices, the chaos is different and Islamic art is at its finest. Marrakesh in Morocco is the next dream that is waiting in line to become a reality, but before that – here are a few details why this magical city deserves dreaming about.
Probably the first question you ask yourself is why everything there is in pink. In Morocco there is a tradition according to which each city has its own distinctive colour and it is chosen by the king. Marrakesh is pink, more like ash rose and infinitely magical – just like the tales in One Thousand and One Night. The city lies at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, just before the sands of the Sahara Desert start stretching. Its inhabitants are officially about one million people, but in effect, they are much, much more. This is the third largest city in Morocco after the capital Rabat and Casablanca.
Marrakesh is divided into two main parts: the old fortified city – the medina, and the new part. The thing which is most attractive and exciting for tourists and visitors is exactly the magic of the medina. There, time stands still and the heart of the city beats with the rhythm of history, and to those who have visited the place for the first time, it may initially seem more of a film set for a Hollywood production. This reality, nevertheless, is completely different from that of Europe and it should be experienced through the heart and not with the mind.
In the medina, you are going to enjoy traditional oriental bazaars, the big Koutoubia Mosque, where people who do not profess Islam are prohibited from entering. Another interesting landmark, which should be seen, is Jemaa el-Fnaa Square which is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is situated quite near Koutoubia Mosque. Centuries ago, this used to be the place where they held mass executions, while today it is one of the most frequented tourist attractions. In the evenings, you could indulge in the full spectrum of Moroccan cuisine there, because the square is filled with stands, which usually work until midnight. You may also visit the Saadian Tombs, the Menara Gardens and the Agdal Gardens.
Marrakesh is never going to leave you indifferent. Neither is it going to let you leave feeling the same way you came. And just like every journey transforms a person, this one is going to make you more sensitive to an unfamiliar world, which only existed in the tales from One Thousand and One Nights. Its magic will not let you go until you go back there again, because such places in the world you visit more than once – the first time is when you don’t know what to expect and the next one – when you will be taking as much as you can from magical Marrakesh.
Text: Stefy Stoeva