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Back home...just

Southampton, United...
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745 posts
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Back home...just

After an unbelievable nightmare experience at the airport (anyone there Mon p.m will know what I mean) which resulted in 11 people being bumped off our BA flight home, I've just finally got back. 19 hours later than I should have..... but back all the same.

Had an absolutely fantastic time in Marrakech, with the highlight our day trip to the Atlas Mountains.

Believe me when I say that Marrakech is not for the faint hearted (at least not over this Easter weekend). It isn't a relaxing destination even with our day spa expereince at Les Bains.....but we were prepared for it to be a non stop weekend, which is pretty much was.

Thanks to everyone who gave advice over the last few months. If anyone has any questions, just shout. I'll write a more detailed review soon.

Lisa

UK
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1. Re: Back home...just

Tell us more Lisa, i'm going in October and am also travelling with BA. Can you expand on your experiences?

Laurence

Southampton, United...
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2. Re: Back home...just

Hi,

Where to start......Marrakech to us was dirty, beautiful, smelly, amazing and everything else at the same time and we loved it!

It's not a relaxing destination (unless you stay on your Riad most of the time or in the Mountains) but we were expecting that. We would go and get lost on the souks just for the hell of it. Stayed at Riad de L'Orangeraie which was fab.

Food was 'ok'. Never had a bad meal but didn't have anything that bowled us over in all honesty. We ate at La Trattoria Giancarlo, Salam Bombay, Le Foundouk and Chez Chergouni (spelling? In the main square anyway!). Best setting was La Trattoria - beautiful surroundings.

Les Bains was a must, 4 hours of bliss for under £50 each - it would have cost more than that for just one treatment in the UK.

Did an amazing day trip. Drive up through the mountains with a stop at a beautiful Kasbah (aka rug shop) along the way. Lunch at Kasbah Tamadot and then a few hours hiking through the mountains and a Berber village with a fantastic guide, Zine Ahmed. Highligt of our stay. I have his details of anyone needs them.

Trip ended on a slightly negative note. Easter Monday afternoon at the airport was like nothing I'd ever seen in my life. People being pushed over, there was no order whatsoever. Starting queuing for the check-in at 3.45pm. People blatantly pushing in and check in took so long that they were still checking people in at 5.45pm (10 mins after the flight was supposed to depart). Despite being one of the first to start queuing, we somehow ended near the back! As we finally got to the front of the queue, it was announced that the flight was overbooked and the 11 of us left were being bumped. (Wasn't helped by 6 women who had taken forever to put fragile stickers on the one half of the Medina that they purchased, and then spent another few mins swapping boarding passes so they could sit next to their best buddy).

After a traumatic 2 hours I can't describe how it felt to be told this. We ended up being ferried to a half built hotel 30 mins away, and brought back the next morning to fly home via Casablanca. There was a catalogue of errors along the way which I'll save for another day, but we eventually got home about 19 hours later than originally planned. Hey Ho, it certainly made it an unforgettable trip anyway.

The airport rep advised that there was obviously the Easter Monday aspect, but that in general with p.m flights, you get poeple who have checked out of their hotel/Riad at 12, and gone to the airport from there even if their flight isn't until the evening, resulting in the chaos they we experienced. He said he always recommends an earlier flight simply because the airport turns so manic in the afternoon. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing. Still, all you can do is laugh or cry, so we tried our best to laugh.

I'd certainly return one day in the future. Too many places to see to come back any time soon though. (And I kind of need a holiday to recover) When people say you'll either love it or hate it, it's true. If you are used to a couple of weeks on the Costas with then Marrakech will be a big culture shock for you.

If on the other hand you crave something different like us then you'll certainly find it here.

Lisa x

Mentioned in this post
La Trattoria Marrakech
La Trattoria Marrakech
744 Reviews
Marrakech, Morocco
London, United...
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7 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Back home...just

Lisa can you please pm me the details for your guide. been trying to arrange for someone to take us into the desert for a 3/4 day trip and it's so difficult to know who to go with.

Thanks

UK
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538 posts
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4. Re: Back home...just

Wow that was some trip. I'm very much looking forward to our trip. I've just double checked, and our return flight home is a morning one so hopefully i'll escape the mayhem. Thanks for the info.

Laurence

Auckland Central...
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35 posts
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5. Re: Back home...just

Lisa - your experience at the Marrakesh airport sounded very familiar to ours, also on the Easter Monday. Our flight was at 10.50 and we turned up at 8.30. You couldn't even get through the front door let alone get to the check in desk. When we finally made it to the check in desk they were checking in the Casablanca flight which was due to leave at 10.00. That flight had not even left when our flight departed at 10.50. It was a nightmare! People were pushing in all over the place. You literally could not move. It was the most chaotic experience I have ever seen at an aiport! And added to that there was only 1 check in staff on each desk with 3 people standing around watching each of them. Total nightmare so I feel your pain!

Southampton, United...
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745 posts
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6. Re: Back home...just

I know that al airlines overbook, and on business routes perhaps I can almost see why.....but to overbook a flight on an Easter Monday from a holiday destination is absoute madness!

Still, hopefully with the building work going on around the airport, things willimprove when it's completed.

London
11 posts
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7. Re: Back home...just

Wow what a crazy time at the airport... we ended up coming back on the Tuesday instead of the Easter Mon and am now really pleased that we didn't have to end our holiday in the same way as Lisa! We also had an amazing time and did have amazing food - in our Riad! Riad Malika had such good fresh food and the other place I would mention which we found by accident and ended up having lunch there a few times was La Maison Arabe. We sat in a lovely little open air courtyard and ate wonderful lamb and pear taijine with veggie cous-cous and freshly squeezed orange juice followed by mint tea with little nutty pastries... really wonderful!

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La Maison Arabe
La Maison Arabe
2,198 Reviews
Marrakech, Morocco
Southampton, United...
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8. Re: Back home...just

Don't talk to me about mint tea! I'm addicted to the stuff, although having trouble brewing it so it tastes like what we had in Marrakech.

I've got the pack of tea, and fresh mint and of course sugar.

Any tips appreciated.

Spain
Destination Expert
for Fes
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1,210 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Back home...just

1)Bring the water to boil in a kettle. In a teapot for approximately 4 people, add 1 teaspoon of Gunpowder pearl green tea, and sugar to taste. If you are Morocan, this means enough sugar to make the liquid into a syrup!

2) Add the boiling water to the teapot and let the teapot sit on the flame or heating element for a few mintues, stirring a little. Then add a fistful of washed mint leaves, and if it is available, a sprig of "sheeba", or wormwood leaves. If they are available fresh orange blossoms are wonderful as well.

3) Pour, try to pour from high up to make bubbles!

Marrakech, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
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10. Re: Back home...just

And to elaborate on what Ghano said, fill the teapot half way with boiling water, green gunpowder tea and pour two cups. the first cup you reserve the second one which is usually darker( dusty) throw away . After you add sugar and fill the pot with enough water add mint leaves and absinth or marjoram and infuse on low heat for about 5 minutes. take the teapot off the burner and add the first cup you have reserved. Pour back and forth as many times as you can. the whole secret of Moroccan way of making tea is that first cup you reserve. It' s the 'essence of tea'. Enjoy it