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Author Topic: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.  (Read 2817 times)

Online Emkay

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This trip was over a year ago so im having trouble remembering all details offhand and I dont have many pictures without me in then but after a couple requests i figured it may help some. Feel free to ask any other questions.

There are other routes or methods of travel I could have taken but to me this is one of the coolest airports and the only flight out of GIB that doesn't go to the UK is to Morocco so thats what I booked. GIB is a small, quaint airport that functions as an airport and no more. There are open air balconies overlooking the only runway and road  and facing the rock which was a great way to relax until the flight.
The main road cuts directly across the runway




Every time a plane lands the barriers go down and a street cleaner truck goes over the whole area in case of trash thrown from car windows. The airport isnt so busy but I was there during peak so I got to witness it quite a bunch.
Finally my Royal Air Maroc flight landed and I was off to CAS airport.


The airport terminal itself in CAS is quite small yet it seemed like we were taxiing for a ridiculously long time on both arrival and departure.
RAM business class actually looks pretty decent


Yea right, I wish! The cabin was the standard fake J. This is one of those flights that boggles my mind wondering how it exists. There def is string pulling keeping it going. There were less than 15 people on board and the Moroccan Jew on the flight who said he flies it often said its more full then hes ever seen.

 One of my main travel pet peeves which really annoys me is getting on a bus to get transported to/from the aircraft. I'm fine with walking across the airport but absolutely can't stand busing it, even though the business bus was infinitely more humane, so for starters this airport annoyed me.
 It was the 3rd flight of the day and my son finally fell asleep after being extremely overtired and cranky. As soon as I boarded the flight headed to RAK though, the steward decided that I had paid for parenting classes along with my ticket. He grabbed him out of my wife's hands and dramatically proceeded to show us how we are really supposed to properly hold him. I was literally begging him to stop as he violently woke my kid up and had him crying but to no avail. He had a remarkable resemblance to borat and sounded like him also. I was convinced that this was all a joke and I was on some hidden camera TV show and I was gonna leave with a new car or home remake-over  but alas it was simply an individual who's mind ran on a different frequency then most other humans.
Not a soul was in "business class" but the flight attendants had to make a large demonstration of closing the curtain between Y and J after takeoff. Economy was barely half full. It was a short walk from the plane to the terminal where the head of arrival security was waiting with my name on a card. I was directed into a small entirely empty and random arrivals lounge to fill out the arrival forms and was escorted through the diplomat line. The agents are extremely slow and not so helpful, (I heard they work for Iberia in their free time). I gave them all 3 of our passports and they were taken back like I just did something shocking and illegal. They made me take then back and slowly processed them one by one. I can't imagine that the people in back of the regular line waited under 1-2 hours. They don't give out forms on the plane and there are no signs by arrivals telling you to fill them out and where to get them nor are there any chances of finding or borrowing a pen so people wait on line, get told its not filled out then wait again. There was no no business class lines or any lines for that matter.
I got my baggage, withdrew money from the ATM, separated from my airport escort (after a tip of course) and met up with my driver who was waiting to take me to the Le Meridian.
To (hopefully) be continued...
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 08:17:34 AM by Emkay »

Offline Yaalili

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 08:26:10 AM »
Cool start, keep it up!

Online @Yehuda

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2016, 11:04:57 AM »
Nice start! Keep going. Also, this was posted in the wrong board. Mod?

Offline Dan

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2016, 02:21:10 PM »
Wow, that's quite a start!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Online Emkay

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 08:31:40 AM »
The Le meridian Marrakech is a strange mashup between a 5 star resort and a college dorm. While the lobby was inviting




and the grounds were relatively expansive and well kept,







the actual rooms felt drab, more dated than Freddie and unkempt with sparse furnishings.





My window view


My welcome amenity



Nonetheless at a Cat 2 SPG it was a great value ( It has since gone down to a Cat 1 making it a even more lucrative).
  The streets of Marrakech are a larger hazard than any Zika virus. Crossing the street is  a two person job, one to cross the street and one to pick up the pieces. There are almost no lights, stop signs, or order. Cars share the streets with tuk tuks, scooters, horses, donkeys and other sorts of fast erratically moving projectiles with the potential to change your bodily shape. Street marking are merely suggestions and Moroccans do not listen to suggestions.
Taxis were easy to flag down and were all  tuned into radio stations playing an eclectic mix of Muslim prayer calls and modern American pop songs,

   We headed to Majorelle Gardens for a respite from the hectic streets. It was mainly desert plants and was eerily relaxing and a sort of oasis from the crazy streets right outside. Its a different world in there.













  We spotted neon lights on the top floors of the mall across the street from the Le meridian and went to investigate. It turned out to be a new arcades and indoor kids amusement park. Was creepily empty with litteraly not a soul there besides 2 dozen workers just constantly sweeping the already sparkling white tiled floor. It was surprisingly nice and fun with some pretty cool games.
  There is a water and light show directly outside the mall, I believe it was on a 15 min circuit. The actual mall was brand new so parts were still under construction but there were some cool stores there. Like this Apple certified location that was selling android phones



To be continued....
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 10:38:58 AM by Emkay »

Online mmgfarb

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the actual rooms felt drab, more dated than Freddie and unkempt with sparse furnishings.

"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Online @Yehuda

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 09:26:47 AM »
Nice welcome amenity.  ;D

Offline Something Fishy

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LOL, very well written piece. Great pictures, too.
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 10:19:46 AM »
a TR is worth a thousand posts! very interesting so far.
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 11:08:14 AM »
Nice TR so far! Looking forward to seeing more (hopefully).

Online Emkay

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 03:06:41 PM »
In the morning I went to check out Ben Youssef Madrasa, Its a tremendous 14th century Islamic school. The history didn't interest me as much as the ancient and intricately detailed architecture.







Decided to go for a camel ride as this guy we found hanging around the corner near the hotel looked cute and irresistible, dont you think so?





Jemaa el-Fnaa is a cacophony of lights, sounds, and smell. This is the main town square where hundreds of vendors and thousands of people crowd every day and night. Night and day are two different experiences, going shortly before sunset should help you experience both.
Dozens of food carts and pop up restaurants sell all sorts of grilled edibles and spices



(and non really edibles)





while countless juice carts all selling the same product vie for your business.





Colorful water sellers



and costumed entertainers roam the area somewhat aggressively looking for handouts while monkey abusers and snake "charmers" stage photo ops for a couple dirhams.





There are  other creatures too.



Acrobats, fire eaters, and boxing shows all compete for the crowds and tips.
Seasoned storytellers hold ever growing audiences rapt while they give over tales of traditional legends.



There are games such as this where you have to hook a bottle with a ring on a fishing rod. The reward is the bottle and the cost to play is more than that.



And then theres this guy who simply has a scale and a flashlight.



He looks old and wise though so i'm sure he has a plan.

I told myself I wasn't really going to spend any money or be conned into buying something I dont need, but somehow I walked out of there with a full goat skin/fur that felt and smelled straight off his neighbor Ahmeds goat. Its a year later and after trying every option to get rid of the odor it now smells like Febreeze, Dr Scholls, leather treater, bleach.....and freaken goats!

Too be continued....

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 03:11:27 PM »
Lol, you have the goat on your wall or floor?

Online Emkay

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2016, 03:24:25 PM »
Lol, you have the goat on your wall or floor?
Wrapped in plastic and stuffed in a hidden space far away from my wife until the end of time.

Offline Dawie

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2016, 04:03:52 PM »
. I gave them all 3 of our passports and they were taken back like I just did something shocking and illegal. They made me take then back and slowly processed them one by one.
just had that in JNB... weird

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech.
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2016, 04:10:33 PM »
just had that in JNB... weird
I also had that in JNB.