Destination: Marrakech, Morocco
When we visited: March, 2007
Why to go:
After visiting a number of European destinations both as a backpacker and with my family, I truly felt like we’d stepped into an exotic and breathtaking city when we entered Marrakech. We were fortunate to have a guide, Youssef, to show us around and share its fascinating history with us.
What to see:
Marrakech is a cornucopia of sights, sounds and aromas. Among the moments I’ll never forget: the scent of orange blossoms at the ruins of Palais el-Badi; the cacophony of merchants and onlookers at any of the city’s incredible souks, or markets; the hissing snakes (tended carefully by their owners) in the central square, Jemaa el Fna; and the fresh beauty of the pools, flowers and greenery at the gorgeous Jardin Majorelle.
Where to stay:
We stayed three nights at the lovely Dar Karma. A “dar” is a house built around a courtyard. Dar Karma was simply but beautifully appointed, from the painted ceilings to the orange trees and fountain in the lobby. The final night we stayed in Marrakech, we enjoyed dinner at the dar. Sitting in a candlelit room off the courtyard, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful final evening.
Where to eat:
We had a lovely lunch at the Café des epices, overlooking the spice souk. And we enjoyed refreshments in the Jemaa el Fna. But our splurge meal was at the gorgeous Dar Moha. Tables were arranged both inside and outside around a pool, and rose petals were scattered across our table. Small courtyards with trees, fountains and flowers enhanced some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten.