Another day in Marrakesh?

Old Jan 29th, 2021, 09:22 AM
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Just remember, you are going to a Muslim country, so a lot of what you will want to see may be partially or fully unavailable on Fridays.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 09:26 AM
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My post answering your questions is in "moderation."

Regarding the above, disregard "shared taxi" not practical, you'll want either bus or your own grand taxi. Failing a music festival while you're there, there's at least 1 club that features "people of the Magreb", aka Gnaoua musicians. My first trip to Essaouira was in November & the weather was nice. One trip in March Marrakech was wet & freezing cold & beautiful in Essaouira so the usual advice with regard to counting on weather, you can't.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody View Post
Just remember, you are going to a Muslim country, so a lot of what you will want to see may be partially or fully unavailable on Fridays.
I've never found Fridays an impediment to doing what I wanted to do. Morocco is a very tourism-oriented country, a large percentage of their GDP depends on it. It isn't a conservative Muslim country where Friday closings might be the norm.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 10:01 AM
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The country is multi-religious and used to have a large Jewish population until very recently. I've been asked to leave an area on a friday in Marrakech by a very friendly guy because the king was coming for prayers and 'cause I'm a friendly guy I did.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by artsnletters View Post
. . . Any idea what a taxi from Essaouira to Marrakech is likely to cost? . . . What is the bus company's name?
Well, after 10 hours being moderated it feels more like flushed. So I'll try again, briefly & maybe-maybe . . .

The times I used grand taxis between Marrakech & Essauoira, before I discovered the buses, I paid US$60, 1-way. So this being years later I'd assume it's gone up. I suggest emailing the Marrakech hotel where you'll be booked by your tour providers & ask them the current price. Accommodations routinely book grand taxis for their guests. I realize you plan to take the taxi the other direction but for planning purposes the price should be the same.

There are 2 bus companies, Supratours & CTM. I used the former but I understand they're much the same. Supratours has a website but I found no useful information whereas the following has lots including a schedule & a link for CTM information. I'm going to try to avoid getting the hook again & will try to be tricky with the address, as follows, fingers crossed, copy, paste, adjust: myticketservices dot com slash morocco-bus-tickets-from-marrakech-to-essaouira/
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 07:32 PM
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After 10 hours of waiting to be (ahem) moderated, I tried to answer your taxi & bus questions again with the same result. Unbelievable. I'll try 1 more time tomorrow if both answers fail to appear.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MmePerdu View Post
After 10 hours of waiting to be (ahem) moderated, I tried to answer your taxi & bus questions again with the same result. Unbelievable. I'll try 1 more time tomorrow if both answers fail to appear.
I've had two of my posts moderated as well. One I didn't mind, it got posted in the wrong place, but the other I had no idea why. Seems fairly random. I did get your email.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 10:23 PM
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Sorry everyone for the repetition. Frustrating & now embarrassing.
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Old Feb 1st, 2021, 08:24 AM
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If the trip includes stops in Fez and possibly Meknčs, I do not think that you need the extra day in Marrakesh, although that first day does seem crowded. Keep in mind that you will have the evening to experience the square and the souk.


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Old Feb 2nd, 2021, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by artsnletters View Post
I am going on a 13-day photography tour of Morocco in November (covid permitting) that ends with two days in Marrakesh. The first day is a fully guided tour of the city, including Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, the Koutoubia Minaret, the Majorelle Botanical Gardens, the souk, and Jemaa el Fna Square. The next day is free with lots of optional activities that sound appealing, including a hot air balloon ride (leaning away from this), a cooking class, a full day trip to Essaouira, or do my own thing. I have the option of staying another day after that before flying home. I haven't read anything (yet) that makes me think I want to spend a day going to, from, and visiting Essaouira, but I'm willing to be persuaded. If I have a day or a day and a half free in Marrakesh after the first day tour, what might I do? What do you think of going to Essaouira? Is there a day-trip besides Essaouira I might consider? (I know there will be possibilities in a guidebook, which I'm still waiting to arrive, but I'm interested in the input of those who have been there).
We went on a wonderful 3 week trip to Morocco in 2017 with Journey Beyond Travel and did not go to Essaouira on the advice of friends who had just been there and felt it was not worth the travel time. You may want to look at the JBT site, https://www.journeybeyondtravel.com, as they have lots of wonderful advice and ideas, book recommendations, etc. We were very pleased with our trip with them. I don't think you will need another day, though.
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Old Feb 7th, 2021, 02:40 PM
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@bilboburgler: "The country is multi-religious and used to have a large Jewish population until very recently."

Not since 1948.


@bilboburgler: "I've been asked to leave an area on a friday in Marrakech by a very friendly guy because the king was coming for prayers."

Sorry, but that's a trick to find out how easily manipulated visitors are.


Last edited by TimCullis; Feb 7th, 2021 at 02:47 PM.
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Old Feb 7th, 2021, 02:58 PM
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Journey Beyond Travel is a well-regarded travel company. When I first visited Essaouira in the 1970s I didn't like the constant hassle with "This is where hendrix stayed", "This is where Joplin had coffee" and so on. But it's grown up in the intervening years and is well worth a visit provided you stay at least one night and preferably more. A day trip will be mostly taken up with travel so I find it hard to recommend.

These are my notes from February 2020: "In Essaouira I am staying for two, maybe three nights in Riad Gnaouia (about 260 dh for en-suite double with breakfast) near Bab Doukkla. Doukkla is the region around El Jadida to the north, so I knew this would be the northern gate. I chose that area to force me to explore more and had a good wander round that night. Essaouira was my wife’s first trip to Morocco when we visited on honeymoon in 1974, only a few years after the legendary visits by Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Cat Stevens, Janis Joplin and the Stones. In those days everyone was keen to point out places they swore the stars stayed in. It was even claimed Hendrix’s ’Castles made of Sand’ was inspired by the ruin of Borj el Berod, though it was released at least a year before his visit. So I was in two minds about the place, the experienced marred by the ripoff activities of the fish stalls.

I didn’t visit again until about ten years ago and was still not so impressed, but my visits in the last few years have changed my view totally and I now accept it for what it is. It’s not real Morocco, but is a really nice place to relax. Essaouira has grown dramatically since the ‘70s but the medina is of course much the same though now every inch is taken up with a mixture of souq, restaurants, cafes and art galleries. Even an estate agent with properties for sale (expensive compared to Spain)

There must be a couple of dozen argan oil ‘cooperative’ outlets, each with a local woman laboriously turning the quern stone to grind either the organ nuts or the almonds used to make the amalou paste which made from argan, almond and a little honey. Of course all the product in these shops have been produced with mechanised grinders, so the woman with the quern is just for show.

My motorbike is tucked away in a garage just outside the medina, so in the morning I took a 6km walk to the northern beach and back, then had a bowl of lovely fish soup for lunch. In the afternoon I wandered the harbour looking at the huge variety of seafood being sold off the boats including the extremely long and thin needlefish, conger eel, spotted dogfish (very small shark), red snapper, monkfish, oysters, sea urchins—the list just goes on and on.

Essaouira must be a cat paradise with so much fish going spare, I’ve not seen a thin cat and they are everywhere, curled up on the empty seats in cafes and perched on carpet displays. I’ve seen a remarkable number of dogs roaming around, not the normal mongrel street dogs, but specific breeds and more than once watched as older local men gave the dog a bit of a cuddle. Things really seem to be changing in the attitude to dogs.

There’s no mules or donkeys that I’ve seen here; bulk deliveries are done in the quiet of the early morning by Chinese motortrike pickups. There are horse-drawn caleches which are mainly hired by locals. The horses seem reasonably healthy, yes with ribs showing but that’s just a sign they are not overweight. Most of them were munching away with hay sacks over their necks. On my walk along the north beach earlier I had watched as one of the horses was being lovingly hand washed in the sea.

Essaouira is a great place to buy craftwork as many of the shops display prices and the goods on display are more to European tastes. I spent some time watching an artisan creating marquetry (in which grooves are cut from a piece of wood and lighter coloured wood hammered in to create intricate patterns). I had a bit of a chat with the guy in French and told him I remembered this was my father’s hobby when I was young.

I sat for over an hour nursing a nus-nus coffee and an orange juice at a cafe on the square near the fish stalls, listening to an impromptu concert by some Moroccan buskers. In the evening my face was glowing with the sun. My Apple Watch recorded over 12km of walking in total for the day, so in the evening I sought out another bowl of fish soup and a kefta (meat ball and egg) tagine.

I was going to move on in the morning but rain is forecast overnight continuing into the morning, so I’ve decided to chill for another day.

I really enjoyed my three nights in Essaouira.. Some naysayers might jump on my comments and say Essaouira is touristy and not ‘authentic’ but the truly authentic non-touristy parts of Morocco are often boring as there’s nothing to do. There’s a lot to see and do in Essaouira and it’s a relaxed hassle-free atmosphere. It horrifies me that some would attempt to visit Essaouira as a day trip from Marrakech—even a single overnight doesn’t give visitors the time to properly explore. So I would recommend people stay for at least a couple of nights.

After checking out of Riad Gnaoua and packing up the bike I headed off for coffee in the modern part of town with @DarrenEssaouira. A great guy who lives locally, we chatted for over an hour and a half, mainly about Morocco and its current affairs."
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Old Feb 7th, 2021, 06:18 PM
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A nice take on a place I like very much, TimCullis. Especially on the "touristy" aspect which I've been thinking about lately. Authentic Morocco (or authentic anywhere) is often useless if one is a tourist, as you say. Each visit I've stayed a bit longer & at this point think I could happily live there for a time. And for those who stay a bit longer & bother to walk farther there are certainly "real" parts of town.
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 10:13 AM
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Marrakesh

Originally Posted by AJPeabody View Post
Just remember, you are going to a Muslim country, so a lot of what you will want to see may be partially or fully unavailable on Fridays.
which day is best to visit Marrakesh?
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Old Feb 14th, 2021, 09:19 AM
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Yes, it's a Muslim country and on a Friday you will see many Muslim men dressed in white djellabs heading to one of the many mosques for the midday prayers, but life carries on pretty much as normal when it comes to selling to tourists. You may come across someone's market stall with a broom handle across the entrance to show the owner is off to prayers, but plenty other shops will be open. Ditto all the tourist sites.

So one day is pretty much the same as another.
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