Once we recovered from our very long and exhausting trip we had one objective, spend all the money that was left over.
I wanted to buy one of the poufs to put in my family room. I also wanted to buy matching pillows. Spending money is hard work. Of course every merchant wants you to spend it all in their shop but we knew what we wanted.
My daughter wanted to get a henna tattoo. Our hotel manager recommended that we go to a herboriste and he called a lady to do it. In the meanwhile I bought some argan oil and cactus fruit cream and a gasshoul. The argan oil seemed to be of high quality. It is always so hard to tell in Morocco, every one says theirs is better. My daughter was so happy with her tattoo.
We wanted to go to the Artisinal Complex just by Cyber Park. It is a small shopping center with all kinds of vendors selling their wares. There are several vendors selling carpets and slippers and leather goods. But the best part about this place is that it is no pressure. You can actually go into a store, handle the goods, see what you like and leave without someone trying to sell it to you. Plus most stores have fixed prices. There is order in the universe.
Here we ate a small lunch while we waited for our Arabic Calligraphy to be done. It was so beautiful and so affordable and my favorite souvenir. Love this relaxing place.
Then we kept on walking up to New Town on Avenue Mohamed V. There are several stores and shops. We even went to the mall, which much to our dismay was all decorated for Christmas. This is a very different part of Marrakesh from Old Town. I wish we had spent a couple nights here so we could relax our senses a bit. While here we also were able to get some western food. After being the country for a few days, my stomach needed a break.
After dropping the boys off at the hotel, my daughter and I walked to the Les Bains de Alhambra, which is a wonderful Hammam. It was only a couple blocks from our hotel and it was the only time we walked unaccompanied but it was also the only time we had several cat calls. I didn’t feel threatened but I saw a big difference from when we were walking with my husband and son.
Since it was my daughter’s first time she just had the regular hammam. She was shocked to see how much dead skin came off her. I also had a ghassoul application. I felt as clean as newborn babe. My daughter thought it was a little different to have women scrub you and throw very hot water all over you but she said she would do it again. It was different than in Turkey. In Morocco they use a black eucalyptus soap instead of the foamy soap. We had very small rooms and it was just the two of us. But when we were done and dressed in our robes we were led to the larger solarium where we were given some tea.
After resting we had our last time at Place Jemaa El Fna. We bought more items including my textiles, Fatimah hand and a genie lamp. Finally my son found his souvenir, a fez. For our last meal we simply stopped at a bakery and got some really yummy breads. We were ready to come home.
Morocco was my dream trip. It ended up being my first really big cultural shock. The towns and villages are lovely and the people once you get to know them are nice. Marrakesh is loud, busy, crazy, in your face but I am so glad I went there.
If there is a next time I will plan a longer trip to see other parts of the country, I will spend minimal time in the big cities. I will also not try eating so much of the local cuisine, it simply didn’t agree with me. I will also hire a company that gives me more of a guide rather than just a driver so he can bring the country more to life.
I hope you will give Morocco a try. It opened my eyes to what I am comfortable doing, seeing and eating and that is okay.