Marakech: our first taste of Morocco

Wakling back from dinner to Ryad Nadir in Marrakech our first evening.

We started our Moroccan adventure in Marrakech.

That's not very typical, usually international planes fly into and out of Casablanca, but we had gotten a very good deal. We're not typical travelers, either.

We had booked ourselves online at a ryad* in the Marrakech medina before we left. Getting to the ryad proved to be an adventure in and of itself, because I failed to locate our ryad using my phone's GPS (I had never entered actual gps coordinates before; a quick google search helped me figure it out after) and I overlooked the derb (alley) off the main way the first time we walked past it. Eventually, we ended up being led there by one of the more agreeable touts* aggressively offering to guide us.

Such beauty! And a swimming pool, yes.

After dealing with the hassle of finding the ryad, the peaceful beauty hidden inside was a pleasure.

We didn't stay long in Marrakech, just long enough to rest after our flight(s) there and acclimatize ourselves a little. We spent our one day going to the Oasiria, a waterpark* which we'd found online before we left (and used to help Remy adjust to the idea of going to Morocco).

Remy liked the Oasiria enough that we went back when we returned to Marrakech.

We stayed at an Airbnb apartment when we were returned and I'll discuss that choice later - suffice for now to say it wasn't because we didn't like our riad! It was more a question of having a washing machine and being more self sufficient. And also, since we needed two rooms (souster B came with us!), renting one apartment ended up being either cheaper (in Casablanca) or about the same (in Marrakech).

B let me use her phone to take this photo at the Oasiria. 

After our very short stay in Marrakech, which left me wanting more (always better than feeling like you've had too much!), we took the train to Rabat.

The train ride was definitely interesting enough that it deserves its own post or pixotale. And Rabat (which already has a pixotale* devoted to it) will probably merit at least one post.

But tomorrow I am going to go help souster B pack. She's moving! I'm going to miss her incredibly, but I'm excited to get to visit her later. I do love traveling!

So the next part of our journey may take a few days before it is written. Meanwhile, I have at least one more pixotale waiting to be finished.

That's a deeper pool than it appears, apparently. I didn't go in, but Remy thought it was too cold.

* Alternative spelling: riad. Our riad in Fes used this spelling and the one in Marrakech spelled it ryad, so that's a useful way for me to distinguish the two places

* Side note: before we left, I had read this MarocMama blog on the subject matter of touts in Morocco. (Her blog is a treasure trove of useful information, I added it to my RSS feed and read extensively through the archives before we left.)

I agree completely with her advice to just say no, that's pretty much the easiest way to deal with the whole thing. That said, sometimes people won't take no for an answer and then it helps to just figure out whether it's worth an argument or not.

(Ditto with taxis and the ones that charge you more because you're a tourist. Sometimes it is worth walking away, sometimes it isn't.)

* For some reason, both times we went to the Oasiria AND when we went to the waterfall in Ouzoud, I forgot we had Remy's waterproof camera to bring with us. Sigh. No cool underwater shots this time around.

* You may have noticed that I finally figured out how to add a link to my pixotales in my pages bar! I also added one to my Storehouse stories, because I still haven't entirely decided between them, but I'm leaning way more towards pixotale.