Marrakech (French spelling) or Marrakesh is the fourth largest city in Morocco around one million inhabitants. The region around Marrakech has been inhabited by Berber farmers since a couple of thousand years BC, but the actual city was founded in 1062. In the 12th century, the Almoravids built many madrasas, which is Koranic schools and mosques in Marrakech. The red walls of the city, built in 1122–1123, and various buildings constructed in red sandstone during this period, have given the city the nickname of the ”Red City” or ”Ochre City”.
The first day I had planned to meet up a local named Sarah to experience Marrakech. I had this booked by a local agency, so it wasn’t just a random person. I’m very happy I booked this, because finding my way through the Marrakech Medina is really a challenge. I’m glad I wasn’t walking around by myself and I could actually enjoy the surroundings, since I had Sarah showing me the way. I got to walk around in the narrow streets of the Medina and experience all the colors and smells of the city.
We visited the Koutoubia Mosque built during 1184- 1199, it has a great garden surrounding the mosque and if you look to the east you can see the Atlas Mountains rise. The mosque is situated very close to the Jemaa El Fna souk, one of 18 souks in Marrakech and the main square of the city. In this square you can find everything between heaven and earth and especially during nighttime it lives up even more. Something I had heard before my trip was to avoid the snake charmers, which are really persistent and wants you to give them money. Me and Sarah stopped at one of the juice stands and took a juice in the warm afternoon instead of charming snakes.
Look at the Atlas Mountains in the background!
We then took a walk to Mellah, which is the old Jewish quarter in Marrakech, the home of the main spice market and gold souks.
Sarah in Mellah
Just me having a juice in the middle of Jemaa El Fna souk.
Me and Sarah infront of Koutoubia Mosque.