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Surviving Marrakech

Liverpool, United...
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Surviving Marrakech

Several weeks ago I read a post on the forum warning about the traffic and the fumes. I was on the verge of cancelling our 3 day trip to celebrate our Golden wedding. Well we arrived last Friday, have to say the airport is a nightmare coming and leaving. An hour wait at passport control, did not know you had to fill a form in both ways, the passenger next to me on the plane very kindly explained the procedure and gave us 2 forms which was a great help. Surprised that Ryanair didn’t point this out on the plane or by e mail. Most people were filling them in at passport control which delayed things. We were met by our airport pickup which I arranged on the internet. A very efficient company and taken to our lovely hotel. So far so good.

On leaving the hotel to walk the 10minutes to the square, the noise and fumes of the traffic was horrendous, you could see a blue haze in the air. The square is interesting in the day time and amazing at night. Sheeps head and brains on the menu. Thank goodness we went all inclusive!

I have to say I heeded the warnings about crossing the road, as no one will stop for you. This city is not for the faint hearted, We used the same company that did our airport transfer for a trip into the Atlas Mountains, just the 2 of us in a lovely car, really enjoyed the trip, so interesting to see how the Berbers live and work. Decided not to brave the Medina and souk on our own so did a guided walk, which we were so glad we did, an amazing place, but the fumes from the scooters and trying to avoid getting run over in the narrow alleys spoiled things a bit, you have to do it though, it is so worth seeing. Don’t think we would have found our way out on our own. Thanks to warnings on this forum we managed to avoid being led into the Medina by men who tried to befriend us, one said he was a waiter from our hotel, so beware.

To sum up Marrakech. Glad I went, glad I survived, as crossing the road one time I really thought I wouldn’t make it to the other side, I was almost crying, Oh was ok he thought I was mad. If you have breathing problems I would say it’s not for you. We did have a lovely hotel with beautiful gardens, a real oasis from the madness. The city is amazing ,we also did a horse and carriage ride, don’t know how the scooters cars and horses manage to cope together on the roads but they do. If you think you can cope with the madness then go. I have to say 3 days was enough for me, the lovely weather helped, but the nights were chilly. I enjoyed it, but once was enough, I won’t be back.

19 replies to this topic
North Ayrshire...
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1. Re: Surviving Marrakech

The "waiter from the hotel" is one of the oldest Moroccan scams, I think I've even seen it flagged up in one of the guide books, and if you opt to fly Mister o' Leary's Ryanair you will be entering the "twilight zone" as you discovered with the immigration form debacle.

The blue haze in the atmosphere was caused by incorrect petrol/ oil ratios burning through the exhausts of the antiquated 2 stroke moped engines, which is of course toxic to breathe.

But at least you avoided falling prey to the junior-league false guides in the Medina, that for me was the worst aspect of Marrakesh, last time I was there, and like you I don't think there is any pressing reason to return there!

Edited: 3:21 pm, December 12, 2017
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2. Re: Surviving Marrakech

I remember you. I warned about crossing the road and polluted air. Nonetheless, Marrakesh has its charms. I still think Fes, Tangier and Chefchaouen are nicer to visit.

Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: Surviving Marrakech

Yes you did, but I don’t think anyone can prepare you for Marrakech you have to experience it. Once was enough for me, it’s crazy

Bangi
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4. Re: Surviving Marrakech

Just like you, I thought I would never return. But I did!

Salford, United...
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5. Re: Surviving Marrakech

OMG!!! I am a 67 year old woman visiting in January annd travelling solo. I am used to souks in Tunisia and survived Isreal, Delhi and other parts of India this year but this sounds scary.

Liverpool, United...
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6. Re: Surviving Marrakech

Well I am 72 well travelled and been to Agadir many times and enjoyed it, but I was not prepared for the traffic and fumes in Marrakech, they were the main things that caused the most problems. I could not go back to that toxic atmosphere

marrakech
Destination Expert
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7. Re: Surviving Marrakech

Marilyn, every one is different. Don’t let one report put you off.

6 posts
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8. Re: Surviving Marrakech

I agree with Shimmin. I was in Morocco in October for about 3 weeks and travelled solo (almost 60 yo female) and spent about 6 days in Marrakech. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back. Don't miss out on Marrakech.

England, United...
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9. Re: Surviving Marrakech

Norma j, thank you for reporting back about your experience of Marrakech. It's always interesting to read reviews, especially from those who have asked questions first. I notice you are familiar with Agadir, I've visited there for a week and for me that was enough, I couldn't leave quick enough! I don't say that to discredit your preferred choice, but just to show how we are all different, with our own expectations and outcomes.

Marilyn1950, do not be put off by what you read. Although you will have a different experience to that of the souks of Tunisia, the souks of Marrakech are well worth wondering around. Each time I go I spend hours just walking around and browsing and even if at times I end up in some unexpected place I am not really lost. Ultimately it is always possible to get back to a familiar point, Djma el Fnaa being the obvious.

Marrakech really is not a scary place. As with anywhere else in the world, including the UK, you need to keep your wits about you and not leave common sense at the airport, but with a positive attitude and a friendly smile, or a blank face and dark glasses - depending on the situation - you can explore or sit and people watch to your hearts content.

Kenitra, Morocco
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10. Re: Surviving Marrakech

Yes it's definitely a place you should experience and for some they can't wait to get back and for others it's enough to experience just once!

Glad you enjoyed your visit ☺

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