Who is Mrs T – She is the founder of WISH Africa. She is Mrs Travel Africa and the personification of our aim to explore the continent. She is a traveller curious to discover the premium offerings each city holds and excited to let you know what it can be to travel Africa as an African.
My reason for visiting Morocco was two-fold. Mr T and I had a wedding to attend in Marrakech and we also decided that it was an ideal honeymoon destination.
We arrived at Murtala Muhammed Airprt (MMIA) at 4am for our 6am flight having decided to fly Air Maroc – the only direct airline to Morocco from Nigeria.
Despite the fairly high price tag the experience was not an accurate reflection of the cost. The plane was old, small, with no in-flight entertainment and our meal comprised of a stale cheese sandwich and another non memorable item.
Time to Destination:
4.5 hour flight to Casablanca, and another 1 hour to Marrakech (some people travelled by car, which was a 2 hour drive).
Several people said don’t bother with Casablanca! There’s nothing there! It’s boring! Thank Goodness we listened to my friend Madingwa, who had visited just
a week earlier!
She suggested a trip into town, to a beautiful seaside restaurant called Le Cabestan. If you only do one thing in Casablanca – this place is a must! Be prepared to be entirely enveloped from the onset by the intricately detailed and elegantly curved entrance (despite the not so friendly door men).
Le Cabestan is contemporary in design with accents of a modern Moroccan aesthetic. The contiguous crashing waves which were visible from most areas of the restaurant including the delightfully over-sized bathrooms were nothing short of magnificent.
The three of our five hour layover were well utilized. Whilst the last hour was spent threatening to go to the souk we settled on visiting the Hassan II Mosque – The largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world.
Cue in a late night arrival into Marrakech.
Confession time – I didn’t think that Morocco was going to be as advanced as it was.
Swiss Architects E2A Architecture were commissioned to develop a new terminal extension for the airport. Between 2006 and 2008, the studio developed a 15 300sqm extension that is probably most notable for its unique and functional facade. Their design presents a space where the light comes in filtered by arabesques that cover the windows and enriches the visual contact between the inside and the outside, a structure that’s reminiscent of typical wire mesh combined with some modern touches.
Then the piece de resistance – Palais Namaskar, the venue of the wedding.
Please note – I’ve already used the following descriptive terms – “Magnificent ! Stunning!” and despite being as dramatic a speaker in real life as I write, I am at a loss for words to describe this place. I will simply share my photos, and let you know that I seriously considered being a stow away attempting to take up employment in this wonderland.
Our room, the pool suite, was an absolute joy. The spacious bedroom, the minimal decor and last but not least the view of the deep sapphire swimming pool which was framed with cream linen curtains billowing as if with purpose.
The following day we left for our honeymoon hotel after consuming copious amounts food and water and feeling lucky to have booked a hotel not too far away. The journey was a scenic melody of red clay and rambling bougainvillea.
Les Deux Tour must be the most romantic place on earth. OK fine, I’m biased (obviously) but it’s the perfect distance from town (about 15 minutes), close enough not to be inconvenient and far away enough to give you the seclusion you desire. The whole compound is one big garden, with cute little man-made streams, and sunbathing turtles.
Though we were terrible tourists not managing to make it to Majorelle, Palais Bahia, or Musee Marrakech, we did manage to make it to the Atlas Mountains.
It was definitely worth the trip, if not at least for the views up the mountain, for some exercise. It is important to note that I do not advise anyone to buy anything, at any point, anywhere, with the exception of water. Prices on the mountain can be up to 10 times than what it will be in the souk.
Bo-ZIn: Gorgeous, chic, great food, shame about the terrible service
El Fenn: Cute, tasty and healthy lunch menu, bit tricky to find. I suggest you ask someone to take you right to the door.
Cafe Nomad: I’ve come to accept I am not a haggle in the market kind of lady. However, if you feel like you must see the souk, then this is a fantastic reason to go. It is very cute, has lovely views, and the food is absolutely delicious – order the Nomad cous cous (to share – it is a lot).
La Mamounia: Absolutely gorgeous. We were meant to go for dinner and ended up going for a snack, which was a big mistake as it ended up being the same price!
Morocco is gorgeous, and boy does she make you pay for it. It is an expensive city with prices comparable with London in terms of transport and food. Nevertheless, she’s worth it! The architecture, the design, the history, so much to see and do – even if you do choose not to do too much at all!