19 Feb 2017
It was true that once you get outside the airport, drivers would start asking you. Closer to the gates, they would try to make you pay 100MAD. As you go futher and deeper into the parking lot, you may be able to find a cab that may charge cheaper. I looked for a cab that would charge me 50MAD or lower (based on why I read). I was able to find one but I shared it with 2 other passengers, which was fine for me. Medina was just 5km away from the airpot. People said that when drivers use their meters accordingly, it would only cost 10-15MAD for that distance. But that isn’t the case most of the time.
We drove into the walled city. The 2 passengers alighted first and the driver left me on the head of the road toward my accommodation. According to the map, it was still a long way walk, passing through a market of people saying “Ni hao Ma”. I was a little intimidating. But it was something I expected, so I learned to ignore it. My question was “Where the hell was my accommodation?”
As per what the internet said, always ask a store keeper and not a bystander. So I did, but unfortunately for my case, the bystanders over-heard and volunteered to help bring me there. I knew they would ask for money. The only thing that I wasn’t expecting was that they would lead me into this small, dim alley. I was thinking twice whether I should follow or not, but I did anyway. I was tired. Luckily, they brought me to the correct place and as expected, they boys asked for money. I then, lectured them about helping people and not expecting anything in return and they gave up on me. They took off without forcing to collect money from me.
Found this little Riad, Riad Johnboy, in the middle of nowhere. I entered that property and it was clean, then my room was huge. It could fit a family of 4. I was happy but I still wished that He was there with me. But no, I shouldn’t!
Few minutes after I got in, the rain started to fall heavily. Luckily, I was already inside. I rested for a a little bit and waited for the downpour to settle down before I went to explore.
It was about 15-20minutes to the Koutoubia Mosque and the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. Walking along the busy streets, I received a welcome gift, a full rainbow on my left. I knew the trip would end up well.
I walked around the highest landmark in Marrakesh, Koutoubia Mosque, and then to the famous square where I was forced to eat at the open-air pricey area. I got a beef tagine at 50MAD and I had my first taste of their orange juice. Ok, indeed, it was sweet. Tagine was yummy too with free Berber tea and bread. Ok, 50 MAD was acceptable. I then headed back home to rest.
Happenings around Jemaa el-Fnaa
20 Feb 2017
To get to know a little bit of Marrakesh, I joined a walking tour from http://www.marrakechbylocals.com/. A non-shopping tour of the city. Met the guide in front of the Koutoubia Mosque.
We walked around the city, passing through the city’s oldest corners, like the palaces, Jewish area, souks and those places that were usually hard to find. I saw a communal oven, tried a bread from them and a lot more. By noon, we headed up to a terrace of a cafe at the heart of Jemaa El-Fna, had a local Berber tea while observing the busy square (Snake charmers, monkey artists, performers etc.)
Early afternoon at Jemaa El-Fnaa Square
After I parted with my group, I had my own sweet time immersing myself deep into the city. I had lunch at a small restaurant and resumed with shopping for souvenirs. Again, it rained heavily, hence I decided to head back home. After the rain stopped, I just had to come out again to have my final meal close to the famous square. The next day, I would travel away from the city.