moroccan riad in marrakech

Instead of staying in a touristy hotel in Marrakech, we chose to book a room in a traditional Moroccan riad. At first we were slightly uncomfortable, especially since none of the rooms had locks on the doors so our belongings were out in the open, but after we met the family that owned the riad, we really enjoyed ourselves; these arrangements made our trip even that more special! Dar Jaguar is an ancient riad that has absolutely beautiful touches in ever corner. We stayed in the Damascan Blush room and enjoyed a view of the courtyard and the sounds of birds every day — even though we were in the middle of the very busy medina. It was like our own private oasis with very tasty Moroccan pastries and freshly-squeezed juice in the morning. I would go back in a heartbeat! We absolutely loved relaxing on the rooftop of our riad, […]

       
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Filed Under: Hotels, Marrakech, Morocco, Travel28 Comments

women’s argan oil cooperative in morocco

We took a tour of a women’s Argan oil cooperative in Morocco and it was one of those experiences I’ll always remember. The co-op was in between the Ourika Valley and the Atlas Mountains, and when we arrived, Berber women were preparing the argan tree nuts for production. This oil is made from a nut that only grows in Morocco, so many of these co-ops are scattered around the country. This particular co-op employs widows from the local villages so they are able to support their themselves and their children. All of the work is done by hand so it’s a tedious process, but this ensures that the product is pure. Argan oil is commonly used in cosmetics but it also has many culinary uses. The oil has a nutty flavor and can be used for dipping breads and different dressings. We purchased a bottle of pure Argan oil to cook […]

       
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Filed Under: Marrakech, Morocco, Travel7 Comments

camel rides in morocco

camel-rides-in-morocco

Camel rides in Morocco? We did it! Part of our private tour in Marrakech involved camel rides (near the Atlas Mountains) and let me tell you, I was terrified the entire time. At first I felt sad because the camels were tired, covered in flies and missing fur, and then after I hopped on one, that sadness turned into fear. Camels are tall and I’m afraid of heights; not a good combination. At one point, I even asked the nice boy guiding us along to help me off my camel, but B convinced me to ride around with him. Fine. I’ve heard of tourists getting ripped off and paying and arm and a leg for very short rides, so unless you’re great at haggling, I suggest hiring a private tour guide like we did. Our guide picked us up near our riad in Jemaa el-Fnaa and planned an itinerary based […]

       
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Filed Under: Marrakech, Morocco, Travel30 Comments

berber market, argan cooperative and atlas mountains | marrakech, morocco

If you’re interested in reading any of our travel posts from Morocco before you watch these videos, you can find them here. The first video shows a Berber market high up in the Atlas mountains. We had hired a local tour guide to take us around and after riding camels near the city, we were not expecting something like this at all. We were the only tourists amongst a group of locals going about their daily routine and experienced things we would not find in the Medina. We walked past a man fitting a donkey with a shoe, saw camel legs and brains being sold at a stand, and caught a glimpse of a young boy having his blood drained in one of the market huts. He was coughing and throwing up due to illness and they believed that by draining his blood, the “bad” blood would leave his body. […]

       
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Filed Under: Marrakech, Morocco, Travel, Travel Videos10 Comments

marrakech morocco | part 2

marrakech-morocco

When I look back on all of our travel photos, the ones from Marrakech Morocco stand out the most. They simply amaze me because I’ve never experienced such colorful city in my life. There was eye-candy in every direction — from stray cats lounging on wooden carts, to the local women in their beautiful headscarves, and fruit stands and spice markets — I couldn’t get enough. We found ourselves spending most of our time near the Koutoubia Mosque and Jemaa el-Fnaa, the vibrant square with food vendors, spices, souvenirs, snake charmers, and monkeys. We also walked around snapping photos of the unique architecture, and browsed the many pastry shops. We bought local sweets, spices and Moroccan lamp shades to bring home with us. Even though our trip was wonderful, it was eery to see the covered Argana restaurant that suffered a bomb blast in 2011. Everyone welcomed us with open arms, we fell in love […]

       
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marrakech, morocco | part 1

The smell of smoke and spices will forever trigger memories of Marrakech and everything we experienced there. We spent quite a bit of time in Jemma el-Fna, the busy main square of Marrakech, watching and listening to snake charmers play flute-like instruments and locals sell their freshly squeezed fruit juices. Our beautiful Riad was located in the Medina, so we chose to have meals at the busy restaurants surrounding the square, attempting to take everything in. Stray cats covered the restaurant patios and streets, and tourists strolled in front of the Argana Cafe – or what remained of it. Artwork attempted to cover the destruction from the 2011 bomb that closed the restaurant. At night, the square came to life. Smoke from the food stands formed a thick cloud around us and chatter and music filled the air. My husband had monkeys thrown onto his shoulders and shortly after, a woman grabbed my […]

       
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Filed Under: Marrakech, Morocco, Travel16 Comments

thanksgiving week

I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from a trip we took to Marrakech, Morocco this year. We were on a tour in the Atlas mountains and came across a group of women carrying hay on their backs. They were visibly tired and hot, so our driver (a local) gave them his large bottle of water and some sweets. Keep in mind that they work this hard every day; it really puts things into perspective. The next time I think I’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I’ll remember that I’m very lucky to have food, shelter, clothing, and a working vehicle. Because that’s what travel makes you realize. What are you thankful for?

       
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Filed Under: Marrakech, Morocco, Travel6 Comments