The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words amur (n) kush, which means “Land of God.”
It is the third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Fez, and lies near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, that we had just driven through, from Tisseldai.
Like Fes, it has the Old Medina of narrow winding alleyways, and the new City (Ville Nouvelle). We were in the Old Medina of course. New City is like any other new City in the West.
We did find that Marrakech was a lot more touristic than Fes, and the locals were a lot more aggressive in trying to get the tourist’s business. A lot of people insisted on money to get photographed especially the snake charmers or entertainers in the Medina.
Below are some of the views inside the old Medina
Riad Argan, where we stayed in Marrakech, was one of the best Riads we had stayed at.
Marrakech is famous for its Medina, the Souks and the Djemaa El Fna, which is a large open-air square (like the one in Meknes, only much larger).
We ended up at the Djemaa El Fna that evening and checked it out; see below
While listening to one entertainer with a decent size crowd; this baby wanted me to carry her and was very inquisitive, checking us all out. Her name was Zaitoon, and she had the biggest eyes I have ever seen
View of the Koutoubia mosque from Djemaa El Fna
Djemaa El Fna view from a rooftop restaurant; Koutoubia mosque minaret in the background
We decided to have dinner here, but this was our first experience at poor service in Morocco, so we left and went to another restaurant where we got better service.
Next day, we did more touring around Marrakech; more scenes below
We wanted to visit this mosque, and we asked when it would open. We were informed it was only open during prayer time, and it would open in 90 minutes, so we decide to explore some more before returning.
We then went back to the Koutoubia mosque to check out this old impressive mosque
At the Spice souk, we met Rashid and Fatima; who had just gotten married a few days before. Rashid was from Malaysia/Pakistan and Fatima was Moroccan. Moroccan weddings last 7 days 🙂 and we got the full scoop on Moroccan weddings
After this, we headed to one of the best preserved Medersa’s in Morocco, and that was the Ben Youssef Medersa; with very beautiful stucco, Zellij, tilework, plaster work, and carved wood décor.
This is easily the best decorated building in Marrakech. There were well preserved dorm rooms for over 500 students.