Traveler: Can Karaca – Interior Designer & Photographer
Where are you escaping? Marakkesh and Essaouira in Morocco.
What was the purpose of your travel? Half Business and Leisure.
With how many people did you travel? One.
Where did you stay? And is there something special we should know about this hotel/house?
In Marrakesh I stayed at Es Saadi Gardens, as far as resort style big hotels is concerned it’s a very nice hotel at a reasonable budget, very central located just outside the old town Medina, easy to reach anywhere in town by taxi or by horse carriage. The hotel has the most popular casino in town and a popular night club at ground level with free access to hotel customers, however I am not a big hotels person, I stayed there only because the company booked and payed it, next time I visit Marrakesh I will stay at aRiad (moroccan big family house with a courtyard in the middle) boutique hotel like El Fenn, which I did in Essaouira a hotel called Houre Bleue. Heuse Bleue was an extremely stylish boutique hotel inside the Essaouira medina, it’s highlidgts are the terrace pool lounge, where you can enjoy a view of the city over the top and it gets even more enchanting at “blue hour” that magical hour right after the sunset when the skies are painted in shades of purple to blue, from which the hotel takes it’s name. The hotel is also home to one of the best fine dining restaurants of Essaouira and all Morocco perhaps.
What did you most like about the trip? The colours, patterns, fabrics, spices, architecture Morocco is full of mesmerizing inspirations at every corner in every detail.
Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip? A well informed small shop owner brewed mint tea for both of us and engaged in deep political and humanistic conversation with me. He did not intend to sell anything he just wanted to chat with a traveller from a familiar country. While we were chatting he was making a bracelet which he gave me as a gift in the end.
Favorite restaurant(s) or food you have tried during your trip? Tajin is the quintessential of Moroccan cuisine cooked and served in a terracotta casserole, the streets are filled with the smell of spices used in it, every traditional restaurant has it on the menu and you never know where you will have the best tajin it might be at a very modest cafe inside the marketplace rather than at a fancy restaurant.
What are the must tries of the city? You definitely need to try food from different restaurants in different cities as Marrakesh has french heritage and Essaouira has Portuguese heritage and both became home to some interesting travelers and entrepreneurs from all around the world so the fine dining scene is pretty vast.
Any hidden secrets you could whisper to us? Morocco is full of surprises in the streets, shops and restaurants opened by entrepreneurs both local and international, streets full of interesting people drifters, travelers, Flâneurs from all around the world so my advice is talk to people they have stories and discoveries around the town they can tell you, there lies the secrets of the town and from there on you develope your unique experience of Marrakesh.
What are your travels quintessential? Medina and the souqs! Of course there is a lot going on outside the old town (Medina) , shops and restaurants outside the traditional labrynth like marketplaces (Souqs) but the true spirit of morocco is still well kept and even enriched with modern input within the historic walls of the medina. getting lost and discovering things is a must and every persons experience is unique.
Would you go back? Definitely more than one time.
Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? Apart from the usual tourist points of interests I can recommend The yarn dyer sweatshops in marrakesh, all sorts of handcrafts workshops in the souqs, The woman’s foundation for Argan in Marjana on the way from Marrakesh toEssaouira where you can buy the best argan oil products. On the same road you will see a huge argan tree and on top of almost every branch stands a goat balancing itself and eating the argan seeds making a great photo. although this is forbidden shepherds put the goats up on the branches because argan gives a distinct flavor to the milk and the meat of the goat. the kite surfing and wave surfing community in Essaouira, CAfe des Epices in marakkesh and the modern shops in it’s building, Dar Yakut restaurant in marakkesh, Taros restaurant and Terrace in Essouira lounge parties with live music and the energy of the people here are great, Bo-zin restaurant and club in marrakesh, the Best Maroc Restaurants book and iphone app.
Is there any tip that might be useful to know before going there? Heavily bargain with everyone almost the quarter of the original opening price, compare prices and don’t trust things organized by hotel Concierge especially the transportation you might get scammed paying double or more.
People are very private about photographs always ask permission before pointing your camera at peoples faces and if they don’t let you never try to secretly shoot you might get yourself in trouble. Respect the locals. Keep a close and tight hold of your things as crowded places are full of pickpockets. Although Morocco is not a dangerous place don’t push your luck too much.
Next stop you would like to visit? Brazil.