So it’s been five months since my last post on here. Quite embarrassing to say the least, however, I do have an explanation for my absence. Although my blog was up and running, it had some glitches and that made me super uncomfortable. Seeing as I built the site myself, I wasn’t sure exactly what route to go about fixing it.
I’ve actually missed being on here, especially since I have a more fluid plan for my content and I plan to serve you guys more value. Anyhoo, that’s not the point of this post. The point is to let you all in on my 25th birthday spent in Morocco, sponsored by travelstart.
I turned 25 on the 3rd of May, 2019 and I knew I wanted to do something super special for my 25th. I reached out to TravelStart and asked if they would please make my 25th birthday dream come true and they were super excited to do just that. Travel start sponsored the tickets for my boyfriend and I, however, everything else was fully covered by us both.
We flew Turkish airlines, with the hope of spending a day in Istanbul Turkey (because why not kill two birds with one stone?) plans to explore Turkey failed, but that’s story for another day. We ended up spending the whole day at the airport, thankfully we booked a Yotel at the airport, so we weren’t too bored just hanging around waiting.
We left Nigeria on a Saturday evening and arrived Turkey the following morning. We spent Sunday exploring the new Istanbul airport. We restaurant hopped and got a few duty free items and really just took the day off since Morocco was packed with activities for the rest of the week.
We landed Marrakech on Monday, but did not really do much till Tuesday. We had a long day, so we opted to check in at our Riad, go shopping, get some food and prep for the rest of our week.
We Stayed at Riad Omri, a small boutique hotel in the old Medina of Marrakech. The alleys leading up to the Riad were really narrow, with lots of locals in the area as well as stray cats and donkeys for transportation of the locals goods. Breakfast at the Riad was always simple, with the same things on offer every morning – fresh orange juice, freshly baked breads and butter, yoghurt, honey, as well as eggs on request.
On Tuesday the 30th of April, we visited the YSL Museum + Jardin Majorelle. These are two of Marrakech’s famous site seeing spots. If you travel to Marrakech and don’t visit these places, did you really go to Marrakech?
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The YSL museum was amazing to see. It’s amazing how a persons legacy is lived through his works in a confined environment. It was definitely an empowering moment and it made me analyze my goals an worth. The YSL museum is right next to Jardin Majorelle, so we bought a combined pass and walked to the garden after the museum. The garden is your go to spot for Instagram photos. It is super colorful and every instagrammers dream. After all the site seeing came hungry humans, so we stopped at Cafe Majorelle for lunch.
While on holiday, I try to make the most of my days. So I accommodate as many activities as I can into a full day. In the evening, we went to Jem El Fenna.
We did some traditional Moroccan shopping, took some pictures, had dinner at the cutest rooftop restaurant (Nomad) and I got a henna painting. Hustle your way through the square or you’ll get duped off prices.
On Day two in Marrakech, the 1st of May, we visited Essaouira and went Camel riding at Le Palmerie in the evening while the sun set after which we ended the night at the most exciting place Lotus Club. On our way to Essaouira, we stopped by an Argan oil factory to see how Argan oil is traditionally made. This was particularly cool, because who would have guessed what the process of manufacturing was like. It is a whole cycle and you’ve got to respect the process.
The ride to Essaouira is about 3 to 4 hours, but it is definitely worth your while, especially if you stop at the factory to see how the locals make their Argan oil or you stop to see the goats in the tree if it’s that time of the year. All in all, Essaouira is honestly so beautiful. It’s a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle in the busy city of Marrakech. It is much calmer and breezier and offers you some amazing sea and port views with a beach and lots of fresh sea food to eat.
The port of Essaouira definitely smells like fish and there are loads of birds which make you uncomfortable, but it was definitely an experience. I enjoyed spending my day in a more remote area. It was a nice get away from all the busy experiences of Marrakech.
I walked around the port, took some pretty pictures. Had a fresh strawberry and Nutella crepe that was super yummy. I walked around the beach and did a lot of people watching before we finally settled to eat some lunch right across the beach with a gorgeous view of the sea.
We drove back to Marrakech just in time to catch the sun set at Le Palmerie, where I went camel riding.
Le Palmerie is apparently the rich area of Marrakech, where all the celebrities and Politicians have their huge mansions. Naomi Campbell and Ronaldo are said to also have properties in this area.
Although it was a little frightening at first, I enjoyed camel riding and the views. It was a great way to end an amazing day.
After camel riding, we went back to the Riad to chill a bit and freshen up. After which we set out for some night life at Lotus Club. I thought I had an amazing time earlier, but Lotus was the peak of my day. The ambiance was the definition of LIT, with great entertainment and live music. The food was also amazing, we had main courses and I just had to have a tiramisu – because did I really eat out if I didn’t order tiramisu on the menu?
On day 4 the 2nd of May, we went to Bahia Palace for some site seeing, then spent our afternoon having a Moroccan Hammam – which knocked us out and made us hungry. We had lunch at one the prettiest lunch spaces in Marrakech, Le Jardin.
Bahia Palace is super pretty for picture taking and all those instagram shots. However, if you ask me if it is really worth it, the answer is NO! This is because you have to pay to get in and once you take all your pictures, there’s not really much to it.
Maybe if you get a tour guide, the experience might be a bit better. We didn’t hire a tour guide, so it felt like we were just walking around a pretty empty building.
For lunch, we had the chicken tangine and lamb. The chicken tangine was a slow cooked succulent dish with lended flavors from the pear it was cooked with. We thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The lamb on the other hand was a different texture, quite unique. I wouldn’t say it was not good. Perhaps it just needed an acquired taste.
Ofcourse I had to change to change to match the vibes of Jardin Marrakech. Would I really be a blogger if I didn’t do prior research and try to color coordinate my outfit to match the views? I don’t think so.
We ended the night at Comptoir Dana and then Sofitel Marrakech, I had to start my 25th right and not like an old lady wrapped up in bed. First, we had dinner at Comptoir Dana. We ordered calamari and lobster in Ravioli as well as Magic Marrakech and Pink Panther for drinks.
The food at Comptoir was really good. I’ve seen people say on IG that they did not enjoy food while in Marrakech. I beg to defer, I actually enjoyed a variety of meals we had while on the trip.
I turned 25 on the 3rd of May, which was our fifth day in Marrakech. For my 25th, I knew I wanted something fun and magical – different from the usual. I opted for a Moroccan cooking class at another Riad called Dar Darma Riad. Dar Darma was spectacular, I had looked into it when searching for Riads to stay at in Morocco but it was way out of our budget. I was excited when I found out they had cooking classes, so I signed up for that and spent the day at the Riad relaxing and enjoying its environment. We also met another couple who took part in the cooking class. They had flown in from France and it was their fourth time in Morocco, i don’t blame them – there’s so much to discover.
We got welcomed at the cooking class with some traditional Moroccan tea, a tradition everywhere you go in Morocco tbh. After some chitchatting, picture taking and some tea drinking, we got down to business. I learnt how to make some traditional moroccan dishes, which created super fun memories.
Tangine is always cooked in a clay pot (a tangine) over the stove. This helps seal in all the flavors and keeps it juicy. Below, you can see the outcome of this flavorful dish.
We made some cheese and vegetable pastries as well, similar to the Nigerian samosas. Both were good, but I particularly enjoyed the vegetable ones better. The left over philo pastry was used to make some dessert. It was fried and then sprinkled with confectioners sugar and served with some chocolate sauce/Nutella and strawberries. It was delicious to say the least.
Turning 25 in Marrakech has definitely been the highlight of my year thus far and I am glad Travel Start could make this trip happen for me. It was a well deserved break and I’d definitely recommend Marrakech as a travel destination.
So here are 10 things to do when in Marrakech;
- Visit the YSL Museum and Jardin Majorelle
- Take a day trip down to Essaouira
- Visit Djemma el Fan Square and Souks
- Get a henna painting while exploring the city
- Get Lunch at the rooftop of Nomad Marrakech
- Enjoy Camel Riding at La Palmerie while the sun sets
- Go to dinner at Lotus Club and Comptoir Dana
- Enjoy night life at Sofitel Marrakech
- Get a traditional bath at a Hammam in the City
- Take a traditional Moroccan cooking class at Riad Dar Dama
Travel Starts with relationships. It’s even better when it starts with love.