Morocco · 8 Days · 48 Moments · March 2018

Emily's adventure in Morocco

6 April 2018

Last dinner in Essaouira @ The BistrO in the old Jewish quarter. Loved this place!!! Enjoyed a ‘coke a cola’ special with dinner, inside the restaurant of course. The atmosphere, the service, and the food was perfect. From the vegetable hearty salmon ravioli, plate of the day, to the melt-in-your mouth lava cake, it was all just perfect. At about $60 it was much more reasonable than our dinner the night before. We would highly recommend this place to any travelers.
Returned to Boheme of Morocco the third time to buy our fabulous plates. Honestly the store is so cute I could have baught a bunch more! Afterwards we grabbed a quick foot massage and enjoyed a bottle of wine with traditional oud music in our riad. Loved it!
Lunch @ La Fromagerie -we hopped in a taxi and drove about 7 minutes outside of the city center -gorgeous property which makes their own goat and camel cheese -delicious food, great local wine, and after the biggest cheese platter I’ve ever seen - we were not disappointed about this choice -we ordered the first choice on the menu A must recommendation for anyone in Essaouira! Also, the camel cheese was quite mild and tasty.
Stumbled upon the fish market on the way to enjoying a Moroccan tea. Walking around more local streets, it was easy to see how tourism is quite possible the most important part of the economy here. Many houses and the streets are falling apart but the riads that have been refurbished draw in many tourists.

5 April 2018

Walking around Essaouira streets this morning. For a Friday everything was busy with what seemed like more markets then usual. Found an adorable little African shop name Maridadi where we finally found the puff I have been looking for. We scoped out a cute square in the old Jewish quarter where we will come back to for dinner.
Dinner @ O’Blue Mogador Recommended by Ahmed at the winery, this little gem is tucked back into some old and abandoned streets. We were able to knock on the door and make reservations for 8:30pm. They only serves between 7:30-9:30pm and I think the Chef lives above the restaurant. A few options within a set menu and we tried some local seafood. It was the most expensive meal yet at 1200 Durham but creative dishes and a great view of all that was happening in the kitchen.
Fun shots from around the city and enjoying the sunset from our terrace.
Arrived at Dar Adul in Essaouira where we will stay two nights. A fun artist riad/restaurant within the Medina that has fun live music every night. A great location and gorgeous rooftop terrace.
The wines I tasted and the amazing food.
Stopped at Domaine du Val d’argan winery on the way. It is just 23km outside of Essaouira and the only vineyard in this region. A small opperation that produces about 120,000 bottles a year. All vines are from France and a great tasting and lunch are offered. 300 Dirham’s for a feast and unlimited wine. Ahmed the main tour guide has been there since the start in 2001 and gave us great restaurant recommendations for Essaouira.
Last breakfast at Riad Charai and then we were off to Essaouira. Along the way their famous goats in the argon tree caused me to stop and take a picture. Turns out they were totally staged and I am not so sure great for the goats :( they seemed trapped in the trees. More research is needed for this but holding the baby goat was still so cute. This one was 20 days old.

4 April 2018

Dinner @ Pizza Tajine pretty close to Latitude 31 and our riad Great pizza and even better cat company. We named this orange fella Maroc Obama. He was uber friendly and wanted to come home with us.
Lunch @ Le Jardin Beautiful courtyard area in all hues of green with roaming tortoises on the grounds. I had the quiche and Cesar salad, Ryan the sardines and pigeon pastilla. The orange blossom creme brûlée was shared and devine!
Local art installation at Dar Bellarj Free entrance and amazing doorways surrounding the building.
Bazaar Cafe for a quick beer on the terrace, which is not so easy to come by in Marrakech. Gotta keep Ryan fueled for my shopping adventures though. ;) Located in a lively area which caters more to tourists, right across from a school. Perks of laughter surround as I think the school gets out around noon.
Awesome showroom we stumbled upon on the street. It looked closed but we rang the bell and were let in. Wow! Amazing selections and I wanted everything. We found some fabulous vintage light up letters and talked with the owner for quite some time. A great find!

3 April 2018

Dinner @ Nomad It is hard to get reservations here so we made them the first day in Marrakech for the rooftop terrace. However it was chilly and I didn’t have pants on. We each had a starter, myself the veggie pastilla and Ryan the bone marrow. For mains I tried the fish balls and Ryan had the lamb burger. My first pescatarian meal in Morocco and it wasn’t too bad. Although I would order differently next time I think. Cute spot with a fun lookout over my favorite market square. Shops closed around 10pm so it was fun watching them pack up.
Strawberries here are huge! The seller outside of our lunch spot let me taste one and it did not disappoint. Grabbed a cab back to the old city (Medina) and totally got taken for the price. Ended up paying 50 dirham/$5 for what should have been a 10 Dirham ride. It doesn’t matter where you travel it seems, it is pretty difficult to get local taxi prices. Bonus, the donkeys were still being loaded up at the gate where we got dropped off so I could snap a pic.
Lunch @ Le Petit Cornichon in new town Marrakesh Amazing food and location. Turns out the chef used to work at Le Bernardin in NYC. We had a two course meal with delicious Gris from Essaouria. Might be the best meal yet says Ryan. We both had the cold pea soup and Ryan had the pasta with duck carbonara while I had the quinoa salad. Love the space, the service, and most importantly the food. This is a top recommendation for anyone traveling to Marrakech!
Walked to Majorelle Gardens from our riad - about a 20 minute walk and we made sure to get there early. The line was not nearly as long as it can stretch and we waited about 15 minutes to get to the front of the ticket line. While inside we decided to buy tickets to the Berber Museum which was a quick tour of the people within Morocco. Apparently almost 80% of Moroccans have Berber descent. Fun fact: it is one of the oldest spoken languages but was never written so they are creating the written character alphabet now. It should be finished soon and they are using ancient symbol to formalize the written language. This began in 2003. The property was owned by Yves Saint Laurent before he passed away in 2008 and has a lush cactus and koi pond experience. :)

2 April 2018

Dinner at Latitude 31 was about a 15 minute walk from our riad. A nice break from traditional Moroccan food which is not overly vegetarian. (Only about 3 choices on each menu) Cool space Delish food: mozzarella, tomato, and mint pesto salad for me and Harira soup for Ryan to start My main was an outstanding spinach and sundries tomato ravioli and Ryan had sea bass on the tastiest saffron risotto I’ve ever had. A popular place amping travelers for sure and would recommend Latitude 31 to anyone in Marrakech.
Just some fun shots from the Medina today. I just want to buy it all!!!!
Henna Art Cafe restaurant was amazing!!! Great food, location, and love the henna art there. I had the amazing avocado boats which I will try to recreate once I get home. (Think avocado mixed with tomato, couscous, and cucumber perhaps all stuffed back into the halves) Ryan’s falafel sandwich with spicy sauce was perfect for him. Bonus the cutlery comes served in Moroccan slippers. You can get henna done there and some really cool henna artwork too. We are hoping to go back tomorrow and buy a frame they are finishing.
Walked from the palace towards our lunch spot and absolutely loved the street. Some cute boutiques and nice Souk-ish style shops along the way.
Wow Bahia Palace is worth the visit. Only 10 Dirham entrance fee and stunning architecture to gawk at. Didn’t even need a tour guide because you can just overhear those all around you.
Walked to Mellah, the Jewish quarter, past the synagogue and around Place des Ferblantiers looking at the Moroccan lanterns. A perfect place to pop into Kosybar for a mid day white wine and beer.
Started the day at Badii Palace and learning about fragrance, health, and skincare products from a local shop keeper. Then we checked out the Saadian Tombs which were worth the 20 minute wait in line. Stunning tile work and carving. Bonus was the adorable orange kitten with bright blue eyes!

1 April 2018

First dinner in Marrakech is at Narwama recommended by our Riad, right by the Koutoubia mosque. An interesting walk to this location but seems more internationally friendly in this area with more hotels and riads in the area. Moroccan Mezze Starter Maroc Rose Wine Narwama Salad *not pictured Ryan’s ridiculous lamb tajine :( The bathrooms have the best architecture. Apparently this riad turned restaurant is over 500 years old. The fire dancer was an I tweeting touch...
Made it to Morocco, staying at Riad Charai (thanks to Annalice for the recommendation). So beautiful I just want to lay here but dying to go out, explore, and shop shop shop!!!!
On the way out of Chefchaouen, driving to Marrakech. Cute kitten to start the day!

31 March 2018

Nighttime views, so many blue hues.
Drinks first at the Parador Hotel. We walked down to the only local ‘bar’ in Chefchaouen but it seemed pretty seedy. Like...taking metal doors closed half-way seedy. So back to the Parador for adorable small beers. Then we had dinner at Lala Mesouda. Even though we had reservations at 9 when we arrived there was no room. Only had to wait 5 minutes and wishing I had more time to explore the surrounding streets. Very interesting decor for a top rated restaurant. Food was okay but no toilet seat in the woman’s bathroom was a bummer. Total cost of the meal was $14 so can’t really complain. Sadly vegetarian cuisine in Morocco means about three or four stock choices and here only one so I went with the shrimp. 😬
I can’t stop taking photos. Discovered a whole new area off the beaten path below our riad!
Lunch at Sofia restaurant was easy and popular. The owner spoke flawless English and we shared a 7 veggie tajine with couscous. Ryan had fresh squeezed orange juice and I had a mint and spices tea. Total bill for lunch was 71 Durham = less then $8.
Walking around Saturday mid day and the city was a buzz with locals shopping, cleaning fish, playing, and adorable cats everywhere.
Wandering around the Medina streets and found the grandma’s soap shop. So many scents and senses overload. I didn’t purchase anything which I might live to regret...
Amazing breakfast at the riad with out of this world tapenade. Photo shoot outside the door and off we were to the ras al ma, watching women do laundry in the village river.
Walked to the Kasbah (museum) for a great view point of the city. The 10 Durham admission fee=about $1. The sun was beginning to come out at the perfect time.
After buying an amazing lamp I stopped to take a few photos on the street. Ryan starting talking to a man about his wife’s rug co-op so we went in the shop. Best decision of the trip so far. We found an amazing reversible rug and learned a lot about the Berber people from Hamad while drinking our mint tea and viewing numerous pieces.

30 March 2018

Ryan tried out a local beer and our first dinner in Morocco is in the books. Flag Speciale beers are so cute - half the size of regular bottles. We ate at Casa Hasan with a lovely atmosphere and yummy food. There is a great view of the square and kasbah from their terrace.
I just love it sooo much! Hues of Blue ❤️
First mint tea of the trip did not disappoint!
Just some shots from out Riad in the perfect location! Right in the twists and turns of the Medina alleyways.
Chefchaouen We made it and I am in love with the charm already. The village is hustling and bustling with locals and a handful of tourists of course. EVERY SINGLE photo is a great photo!
Who knew Morocco was so lush? Wow!
On the drive to Chefchaouen we pulled over to redirect the map and got passed by the apparent Tour de Morocco. Followed them for a bit but the small back country roads caused quite the traffic jam. We turned around and decided to take another way. Added about and hour to our drive but it sure was beautiful.
Mystery of the morning what language is below the Arabic on this sign? Answer: it is the Berber language!
Took forever to find the rental car place and get bags in the Casablanca airport but we are finally off. Surprised at the bright green grass and beautiful blue sky. Note to others: signage in the Casablanca airport if not very prominent and if any, is misleading.