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Snakes, Rugs & Haggling – London to Marrakech as a Family
April 23, 2017
Marrakech is a truly unique city, which if you haven’t heard already, does totally enthral the senses. It’s true, everything you’ve heard is basically true! Before we go into it, the blog piece here is really about our video - that's where we say it all so you'll want to scroll down if that's what you're here for.
Living in multicultural London, we got to know the Moroccan community around Ladbroke Grove London over the years when we lived there (check out our video on that part of London here), but nothing prepared us for our recent trip to Marrakech.
We’ve been drooling over this city for years, mainly because we love exploring places which offer an authentic experience - far from the homogenous versions of city/beach/country life that seem to be overtaking so much of the world.
Anyway, after two kids now at the age of 4 and 3, it was time to take the family on this much anticipated trip.
The promise of an experience rich in texture, taste and sound is very much on offer. You also get to see stuff that’s beautiful, bizzare and totally confusing! And if you’re anything like me and into interiors this place will drive you mad… there’s something exciting around every corner.
the city that’s the closest you could go to where it feels like you're really far away
We describe Marrakech as the city that’s the closest you could go to where it feels like you're really far away. With Easyjet flights and cheap all inclusive deals, it can cater for all sorts. Your money goes far (if you know how to haggle) and you’ll experience lots of amazing things.
Given the atmosphere being completely different to what my two little ones are used to they were fascinated by so much of what they saw. From Snake charming in crowds of people to exploring underground dungeons of great palaces – they will love it and so will you!
Hospitality is a definitive part of the Morrocon culture and I was amazed how extraordinarily friendly and welcoming they were to us as a family. Whatever the situation you’ll always get a friendly face, I guess having kids is always the perfect ice-breaker between cultures.
There’s hundreds of guides, articles and blogs on Marrakech, not withstanding oh ye faithful Tripadvisor when it comes to the particulars. But what we want to do is show you the experience the city has to offer and what it’s like to travel there as a family with our very special documentary-style vlog (we call it a vlogumentary). Below is Part 1 of 2, so please subscribe to our Youtube channel to get notified of the second part when we publish it next week!
Most of what we want to say is covered in our video, but we also want to share with you some of our TOP TIPS if you’re thinking of visiting.
Have a stern face, friendly but firm. Go low and sound disappointed at every counter offer.
Don’t be afraid to walk around
Getting cabs is tempting but a lot of the things to do and see are walking distance from each other.
Wear sunglasses all the time
It helps with not getting hassled.
Small notes in one pocket, big notes in the other
Needless to say, flashing cash is never a good idea. But when you’re busy haggling, whipping out big notes doesn’t help.
Be careful taking photos/video
Not all the locals are cool with it. Pay for something from their stall, and best to ask if in doubt.
Not everyone is selfless
If someone wants to take you somewhere, show you something, help in some selfless show of good custom it’s because they probably want a good tip – some cash basically!
Kinda follows the point above, you’ll be hounded by them but having one for day 1 is probably a good idea. They are cheap at £10 or so and will induct you into the madness.
Eat as they do
Don’t be tempted by some of the food that looks familiar, you must try their cuisine and it’s immensely rewarding if you take your time finding it. Note, don’t go too ‘street’ on the street food unless you want to have an upset stomach!
Crazy motorbikes are everywhere
Just stick to your path and they’ll weave around you.
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