Marrakech

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Bullettyme
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Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

Or is it Marrakesh?

Visiting soon with the missus. In my wisdom I chose to go during Ramadan but I presume it's touristy enough to not be complete shut down.

Anything really worth visiting? Obviously there's the Salahdin Tombs, the Jemaa el Fna, Koutoubia Mosque that all look great, but is there any hidden gems or anything to watch out for? Any good water parks?

I'll also be there for the Pro14 Final, so if Leinster get through is there anywhere that might show rugby?

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J Man
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Re: Marrakech

Post by J Man »

Do some drugs and have sex with a gay prostitute :thumbup:

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assfly
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Re: Marrakech

Post by assfly »

J Man wrote:Do some drugs and have sex with a gay prostitute :thumbup:


Enough about the departure lounge at Gatwick...

dinsdale
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Re: Marrakech

Post by dinsdale »

How long are you going for? I can suggest a few places out of town.

Lunch at Kasbah du Toubkal in Imlil would be one. Some of the better views you will ever get.

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Bullettyme
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

dinsdale wrote:How long are you going for? I can suggest a few places out of town.

Lunch at Kasbah du Toubkal in Imlil would be one. Some of the better views you will ever get.


Just there for 4 days, so a day trip somewhere might be worth it.

I wanted to go out for a day of cycling in the Atlas Mountains. Suggestion didn't go down very well.....

dinsdale
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Re: Marrakech

Post by dinsdale »

Bullettyme wrote:
dinsdale wrote:How long are you going for? I can suggest a few places out of town.

Lunch at Kasbah du Toubkal in Imlil would be one. Some of the better views you will ever get.


Just there for 4 days, so a day trip somewhere might be worth it.

I wanted to go out for a day of cycling in the Atlas Mountains. Suggestion didn't go down very well.....

You want to talk to these guys. I have done lots of cycling in the Atlas mountains.

http://www.argansports.com/

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danny_fitz
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Re: Marrakech

Post by danny_fitz »

Have some food on the Djemaa el-Fnaa, its the main square, full of snake charmers and water sellers by day but turns into a massive open air kitchen at night, very colourful and smells great. Have eaten there loads of times and have not got the shits but check which stalls are the good ones (usually where the locals are chowing down at)

Although I like to do the whole independent travel thing it is sometimes worth hiring a guide via the hotel, they cost very little and in fairness they can take you to see stuff that Lonely Planet would not have a clue on. Just avoid the faux guides who hassle you buy to everything from his uncles shop.

Not many places serve beer within the medina walls, most bars are in the new town in the French quarter.

Bring ear plugs as you will get woken up by the call to prayer at 5am

Keep an eye on your Mrs as some Moroccan men can be stupendously sleazy, especially in the crowded souks where wondering hands are a problem. The tourist police have clamped down on this (and scam artist shopkeepers) but be wary.

Truth is you only need a day to see the souk and museums, might be worth hiring a car for the day (or get your hotel to organise a private taxi) and get your arse to Essouria on the coast about a 90 min drive. Really nice town with loads of history and less in your face then Marrakech. They filmed Game of Thrones and Kingdom of Heaven there.

Book yourself in for a haraam bath and massage at the end of the day.

Camels are boring and sh*t

You can do day trips to the Atlas Mountains, Todra Gorge, Draa Valley or even as far as the Erg Chebbi dune fields in the south but you will be spending most of the day on a coach.

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happyhooker
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Re: Marrakech

Post by happyhooker »

Sorry to say, but I hated the place.

Quite liked the baths but found the constant in your face haggling/selling quite stressful.

The Yves st Laurent gardens are worth the visit.

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Bullettyme
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

Cheers Danny, some good stuff there. The guide through the hotel is maybe a good tip. We're staying in a big 5* French type resorty hotel, so I'm sure they can recommend something and probably one day we'll be relaxing by the pool. Essouria might be a very good shout if we have a day free; currently deciding between a cycle tour, a waterpark and now that.

Missus is from South America so it will be nice for her to experience the sleaze once again I'm sure.

HH, I hear you on the haggling and hustling. Not keen on getting scammed or buying too much apart from food and maybe some spices. Definitely going to go to some gardens though.

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globus
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Re: Marrakech

Post by globus »

It's been over 50 years ago when I went there, as bit of a hippie. So I expect I have little to offer.

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La soule
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Re: Marrakech

Post by La soule »

My father could have sold my sister for 80 camels.

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globus
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Re: Marrakech

Post by globus »

La soule wrote:My father could have sold my sister for 80 camels.

He'd have got the hump though.

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Petros
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Petros »

La soule wrote:My father could have sold my sister for 80 camels.

I was offered 450 camels for Mrs P, much less for the daughters. The shopkeeper wanted an experienced woman!

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globus
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Re: Marrakech

Post by globus »

Petros wrote:
La soule wrote:My father could have sold my sister for 80 camels.

I was offered 450 camels for Mrs P, much less for the daughters. The shopkeeper wanted an experienced woman!

What's she good at?

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tabascoboy
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Re: Marrakech

Post by tabascoboy »

All on board that train

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danny_fitz
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Re: Marrakech

Post by danny_fitz »

Bullettyme wrote:Cheers Danny, some good stuff there. The guide through the hotel is maybe a good tip. We're staying in a big 5* French type resorty hotel, so I'm sure they can recommend something and probably one day we'll be relaxing by the pool. Essouria might be a very good shout if we have a day free; currently deciding between a cycle tour, a waterpark and now that.

Missus is from South America so it will be nice for her to experience the sleaze once again I'm sure.

HH, I hear you on the haggling and hustling. Not keen on getting scammed or buying too much apart from food and maybe some spices. Definitely going to go to some gardens though.


To be honest the whole haggling thing is a bit of a laugh, just enjoy it and play the game, shop keepers love it if you throw in some theatricals (think Life of Brian) and get stuck in, from what I understand the only big no no is to agree a deal and then back out of it. At the end of the day just don't waste an hour trying to save face over 5p. If you really cant stand it there are a few government owned fixed price cooperative shops where you buy some souvenirs without haggling.

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happyhooker
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Re: Marrakech

Post by happyhooker »

danny_fitz wrote:
Bullettyme wrote:Cheers Danny, some good stuff there. The guide through the hotel is maybe a good tip. We're staying in a big 5* French type resorty hotel, so I'm sure they can recommend something and probably one day we'll be relaxing by the pool. Essouria might be a very good shout if we have a day free; currently deciding between a cycle tour, a waterpark and now that.

Missus is from South America so it will be nice for her to experience the sleaze once again I'm sure.

HH, I hear you on the haggling and hustling. Not keen on getting scammed or buying too much apart from food and maybe some spices. Definitely going to go to some gardens though.


To be honest the whole haggling thing is a bit of a laugh, just enjoy it and play the game, shop keepers love it if you throw in some theatricals (think Life of Brian) and get stuck in, from what I understand the only big no no is to agree a deal and then back out of it. At the end of the day just don't waste an hour trying to save face over 5p. If you really cant stand it there are a few government owned fixed price cooperative shops where you buy some souvenirs without haggling.

Danny, it wasn't so much the haggling for a belt/spices or somesuch; I went in there with a fixed idea of what I would pay and walked away if it didn't seem worthwhile.

It was the guys who would walk beside you for 5 minutes and got very aggressive if you didn't pay them a fee for 'guiding' you, despite you telling them that you knew where you were going, the taxi drivers who's meter just happened to be broken, people dropping monkeys on your shoulder and demanding money and what happened to my girlfriend if she got more than an arm's length away.

shereblue
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Re: Marrakech

Post by shereblue »

The Jemaa el fnaa is magical, especially at dusk/evening time. Whilst my wife took a massage, I chanced a haircut in one of the narrow back streets. I enjoyed all sorts of neck and head massage, extensive razor work and assiduous facial hair removal before the cut even took place.

A day trip would be highly recommended. Essaouira is brilliant, as a white walled town and with great beaches with some activities on the outskirts but the drive isn't especially interesting and I'd rate the Atlas as a pleasanter and also more relevant day trip.

I was fascinated by Marrakesh as a historical, commercial centre and the camel caravans that ran over the Sahara and through the Atlas mountains.

If you're up for "doing a museum" but hate crowds and bustle, you can spend a quiet hour at the Musee Tiskwin, a beautiful riad off a central backstreet. A great range of exhibits from Malian, Tuareg and Berber cultures showcasing the old trade routes from Timbuktu etc.

Whilst you can prepare for some "hassle", I would add that this was a city (the central, old town) in which I felt quite chilled walking about with my wife at night.

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Leinster in London
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Leinster in London »

dinsdale wrote:How long are you going for? I can suggest a few places out of town.

Lunch at Kasbah du Toubkal in Imlil would be one. Some of the better views you will ever get.


I suspect if it is Ramadan the only place lunch is available is in his hotel.

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Bullettyme
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

Leinster in London wrote:
dinsdale wrote:How long are you going for? I can suggest a few places out of town.

Lunch at Kasbah du Toubkal in Imlil would be one. Some of the better views you will ever get.


I suspect if it is Ramadan the only place lunch is available is in his hotel.


I don't think it will be that bad.

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Re: Marrakech

Post by danny_fitz »

happyhooker wrote:
danny_fitz wrote:
Bullettyme wrote:Cheers Danny, some good stuff there. The guide through the hotel is maybe a good tip. We're staying in a big 5* French type resorty hotel, so I'm sure they can recommend something and probably one day we'll be relaxing by the pool. Essouria might be a very good shout if we have a day free; currently deciding between a cycle tour, a waterpark and now that.

Missus is from South America so it will be nice for her to experience the sleaze once again I'm sure.

HH, I hear you on the haggling and hustling. Not keen on getting scammed or buying too much apart from food and maybe some spices. Definitely going to go to some gardens though.


To be honest the whole haggling thing is a bit of a laugh, just enjoy it and play the game, shop keepers love it if you throw in some theatricals (think Life of Brian) and get stuck in, from what I understand the only big no no is to agree a deal and then back out of it. At the end of the day just don't waste an hour trying to save face over 5p. If you really cant stand it there are a few government owned fixed price cooperative shops where you buy some souvenirs without haggling.

Danny, it wasn't so much the haggling for a belt/spices or somesuch; I went in there with a fixed idea of what I would pay and walked away if it didn't seem worthwhile.

It was the guys who would walk beside you for 5 minutes and got very aggressive if you didn't pay them a fee for 'guiding' you, despite you telling them that you knew where you were going, the taxi drivers who's meter just happened to be broken, people dropping monkeys on your shoulder and demanding money and what happened to my girlfriend if she got more than an arm's length away.


Not sure when you were last there but things have calmed down a bit in recent years. They introduced the tourist police who do actually have a bit of clout who patrol the main sights and souks. It's not perfect but they seem to have deterred the more determined faux guides / drug dealers / carpet sellers from following you around endlessly although women still get a fair bit of hassle.

The worse by far for this nonsense is still Egypt.

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happyhooker
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Re: Marrakech

Post by happyhooker »

danny_fitz wrote:
happyhooker wrote:
danny_fitz wrote:
Bullettyme wrote:Cheers Danny, some good stuff there. The guide through the hotel is maybe a good tip. We're staying in a big 5* French type resorty hotel, so I'm sure they can recommend something and probably one day we'll be relaxing by the pool. Essouria might be a very good shout if we have a day free; currently deciding between a cycle tour, a waterpark and now that.

Missus is from South America so it will be nice for her to experience the sleaze once again I'm sure.

HH, I hear you on the haggling and hustling. Not keen on getting scammed or buying too much apart from food and maybe some spices. Definitely going to go to some gardens though.


To be honest the whole haggling thing is a bit of a laugh, just enjoy it and play the game, shop keepers love it if you throw in some theatricals (think Life of Brian) and get stuck in, from what I understand the only big no no is to agree a deal and then back out of it. At the end of the day just don't waste an hour trying to save face over 5p. If you really cant stand it there are a few government owned fixed price cooperative shops where you buy some souvenirs without haggling.

Danny, it wasn't so much the haggling for a belt/spices or somesuch; I went in there with a fixed idea of what I would pay and walked away if it didn't seem worthwhile.

It was the guys who would walk beside you for 5 minutes and got very aggressive if you didn't pay them a fee for 'guiding' you, despite you telling them that you knew where you were going, the taxi drivers who's meter just happened to be broken, people dropping monkeys on your shoulder and demanding money and what happened to my girlfriend if she got more than an arm's length away.


Not sure when you were last there but things have calmed down a bit in recent years. They introduced the tourist police who do actually have a bit of clout who patrol the main sights and souks. It's not perfect but they seem to have deterred the more determined faux guides / drug dealers / carpet sellers from following you around endlessly although women still get a fair bit of hassle.

The worse by far for this nonsense is still Egypt.

15 months ago.

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danny_fitz
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Re: Marrakech

Post by danny_fitz »

happyhooker wrote:
danny_fitz wrote:
happyhooker wrote:
danny_fitz wrote:
Bullettyme wrote:Cheers Danny, some good stuff there. The guide through the hotel is maybe a good tip. We're staying in a big 5* French type resorty hotel, so I'm sure they can recommend something and probably one day we'll be relaxing by the pool. Essouria might be a very good shout if we have a day free; currently deciding between a cycle tour, a waterpark and now that.

Missus is from South America so it will be nice for her to experience the sleaze once again I'm sure.

HH, I hear you on the haggling and hustling. Not keen on getting scammed or buying too much apart from food and maybe some spices. Definitely going to go to some gardens though.


To be honest the whole haggling thing is a bit of a laugh, just enjoy it and play the game, shop keepers love it if you throw in some theatricals (think Life of Brian) and get stuck in, from what I understand the only big no no is to agree a deal and then back out of it. At the end of the day just don't waste an hour trying to save face over 5p. If you really cant stand it there are a few government owned fixed price cooperative shops where you buy some souvenirs without haggling.

Danny, it wasn't so much the haggling for a belt/spices or somesuch; I went in there with a fixed idea of what I would pay and walked away if it didn't seem worthwhile.

It was the guys who would walk beside you for 5 minutes and got very aggressive if you didn't pay them a fee for 'guiding' you, despite you telling them that you knew where you were going, the taxi drivers who's meter just happened to be broken, people dropping monkeys on your shoulder and demanding money and what happened to my girlfriend if she got more than an arm's length away.


Not sure when you were last there but things have calmed down a bit in recent years. They introduced the tourist police who do actually have a bit of clout who patrol the main sights and souks. It's not perfect but they seem to have deterred the more determined faux guides / drug dealers / carpet sellers from following you around endlessly although women still get a fair bit of hassle.

The worse by far for this nonsense is still Egypt.

15 months ago.



:lol: :lol: :lol:

I guessing you might not have liked it 12 years ago.

"Hello my friend........"

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Bullettyme
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

Sounds great :lol:

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happyhooker
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Re: Marrakech

Post by happyhooker »

I went there 20+ years ago and it was a bit more full on, but maybe my relative youth and the fact that I didn't have a girlfriend at the time made it more bearable.

This time I came back more stressed than when I left.

Maybe I'm being a bit too negative, I loved some of the old palaces/forts and down towards the casbah. The central square and just walking around just fûcked me off immensely.

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Bullettyme
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

Palaces and forts are what I mainly want to see. Markets I can take or leave, in any country, although it sounds like Djeema el Fna is really well worth seeing at night, particularly during Ramadan.

I do hate those aggro little fuckers that don't take no for an answer though.

Anyway, on balance always good to hear all opinions.

Any beer or drinks worth trying?

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Turbogoat
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Turbogoat »

Bullettyme wrote:Palaces and forts are what I mainly want to see. Markets I can take or leave, in any country, although it sounds like Djeema el Fna is really well worth seeing at night, particularly during Ramadan.

I do hate those aggro little fuckers that don't take no for an answer though.

Anyway, on balance always good to hear all opinions.

Any beer or drinks worth trying?


You're going to have fun in Morocco then.

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happyhooker
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Re: Marrakech

Post by happyhooker »

Bullettyme wrote:Palaces and forts are what I mainly want to see. Markets I can take or leave, in any country, although it sounds like Djeema el Fna is really well worth seeing at night, particularly during Ramadan.

I do hate those aggro little fuckers that don't take no for an answer though.

Anyway, on balance always good to hear all opinions.

Any beer or drinks worth trying?

Not that I found. Booze isn't hard to find but it's not that common and it's fairly generic

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Bullettyme
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

By the pool it is then.

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englishchief
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Re: Marrakech

Post by englishchief »

I've been with the wife during Ramadan. It seemed fine, it's the only time I've been actually so I don't have anything to compare it to.

Don't eat or drink on the street during the daytime. If you're going with any women, make sure they are wearing loose fitting clothing.

A working knowledge of French works wonders. A lot people don't speak English at all, unless you're going to somewhere very resort-y.

It absolutely stinks for the first hour or so you're there, then you get used to it.

Very friendly people though.

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happyhooker
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Re: Marrakech

Post by happyhooker »

Christ, I'd forgotten that speaking French helped loads, especially being able to tell some 'guide' to fûck off in French. Imagine how much I'd have hated it if I didn't speak French!

I'm probably being a bit negative, some of the people were really friendly, but we had a few early bad experiences that put me on my guard the whole time. We were also staying in just off the main square so didn't get much respite from it all.

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Bullettyme
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Re: Marrakech

Post by Bullettyme »

englishchief wrote:I've been with the wife during Ramadan. It seemed fine, it's the only time I've been actually so I don't have anything to compare it to.

Don't eat or drink on the street during the daytime. If you're going with any women, make sure they are wearing loose fitting clothing.

A working knowledge of French works wonders. A lot people don't speak English at all, unless you're going to somewhere very resort-y.

It absolutely stinks for the first hour or so you're there, then you get used to it.

Very friendly people though.


Cheers, I know a bit of French so that will help things.

Will have to figure out the food and water situation there then. Shouldn't be a big deal.

HH, yeah, some bad experiences really would cloud the trip. Sadly they seem to be what you remember most vividly, which is a pain! We're staying in an area called L'Agdal, the hotels looks like these big fancy resort things. Although I had half thought to change to a Riad in the medina.

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danny_fitz
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Re: Marrakech

Post by danny_fitz »

Bullettyme wrote:Palaces and forts are what I mainly want to see. Markets I can take or leave, in any country, although it sounds like Djeema el Fna is really well worth seeing at night, particularly during Ramadan.

I do hate those aggro little fuckers that don't take no for an answer though.

Anyway, on balance always good to hear all opinions.

Any beer or drinks worth trying?


In terms of native beers you are pretty much restricted to Spéciale Flag and Casablanca which are fine, there is some piss weak beer called Stork which just makes you wee a lot.

Hotels will have international beers but you will pay through the nose for them.

As for the little fuckers who follow you just ignore, its hard, as they will say anything to get into a conversation with you which then means you are 'friends'. Telling them to piss off is futile, they have skin thicker then Globus. Just try your best to not look lost or stand on street corners with a Lonely Planet guide.

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englishchief
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Re: Marrakech

Post by englishchief »

Actually, another tip I forgot is that you either need to account for the Moroccans dashing off to eat and drink the moment the Sun goes down and they're allowed to eat. Some places do continue service immediately after sundown (I assume the chefs/waiters just eat whilst they're working), but I've heard some places won't accept new customers for a quite a while either side of sunset.

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slick
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Re: Marrakech

Post by slick »

Turbogoat wrote:
Bullettyme wrote:Palaces and forts are what I mainly want to see. Markets I can take or leave, in any country, although it sounds like Djeema el Fna is really well worth seeing at night, particularly during Ramadan.

I do hate those aggro little fuckers that don't take no for an answer though.

Anyway, on balance always good to hear all opinions.

Any beer or drinks worth trying?


You're going to have fun in Morocco then.


I had a little plum in Tunis who just wouldn't leave me alone and demanded money for his guiding. It ended up getting very heated with me having him up against a wall screaming in his face to fudge off. Which he did.

10 minutes later I walked round a corner and there he was with 4 mates, grinning. I ran.

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puku
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Re: Marrakech

Post by puku »

Probably hard to get lost in the Souks these days with smart phones, but can be a lot of fun wandering around although I think Fez is better for that.

When in jemaa el fna at night try the little deep fried flat fish available at some of the food stalls set up in the middle of the square. They are excellent. And outside my father's orchard, hands down the best freshly squeezed orange juice you will experience. If you want to kill a couple of hours feign interest in buying a kilim.

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MrDominator
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Re: Marrakech

Post by MrDominator »

happyhooker wrote:Sorry to say, but I hated the place.

Quite liked the baths but found the constant in your face haggling/selling quite stressful.

This. Ghastly place.

The French clearly did a very poor job on the natives.

shereblue
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Re: Marrakech

Post by shereblue »

Bullettyme wrote:
englishchief wrote:I've been with the wife during Ramadan. It seemed fine, it's the only time I've been actually so I don't have anything to compare it to.

Don't eat or drink on the street during the daytime. If you're going with any women, make sure they are wearing loose fitting clothing.

A working knowledge of French works wonders. A lot people don't speak English at all, unless you're going to somewhere very resort-y.

It absolutely stinks for the first hour or so you're there, then you get used to it.

Very friendly people though.


Cheers, I know a bit of French so that will help things.

Will have to figure out the food and water situation there then. Shouldn't be a big deal.

HH, yeah, some bad experiences really would cloud the trip. Sadly they seem to be what you remember most vividly, which is a pain! We're staying in an area called L'Agdal, the hotels looks like these big fancy resort things. Although I had half thought to change to a Riad in the medina.


Opted for a Riad in the Medina. An oasis of calm. Would guess a little hotel therapy in a nearby comfortable hotel with pool would've edged it for my wife.

The riad had "access" to a private club with Olympic sized pool. My helmetless ride with testosterone heavy 14 year old Abdul on his moped as he looked to burn off rival moped youths and weave between the carts, donkeys, Mercs and buses might not have been covered by insurance.

Peligroso, even when compared to the Colombia of Escobar and Farc :o

argus
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Re: Marrakech

Post by argus »

Petros wrote:
La soule wrote:My father could have sold my sister for 80 camels.

I was offered 450 camels for Mrs P, much less for the daughters. The shopkeeper wanted an experienced woman!


What did you do with the camels?

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globus
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Re: Marrakech

Post by globus »

Getting off a plane in Tunis! Crikey. Lord knows what the temp was but I thought my nostril hair was going to be singed.

We had a poor lass who collapsed down the aircraft steps. We found out she was pregnant too.

I'm pretty good in most conditions. From Norfolk. We just carry on.

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