not a member? click here to sign up
12 Step Planet: Marrakech
Eamonn Seoige continues his tireless non-stop race around the globe with a voyage to sunny Marrakech.
Eamonn Seoige, 21 Sep 2012
What is the transport like?
Transport really isn’t an issue when visiting this grand old imperial city. Visitors to Marrakech tend to stay in boutique guesthouses, known as riads, either within the walled Medina or just beyond its environs. All you need is a decent map, a steer from the obliging locals and a decent pair of walking shoes! Marrakech is a feast for the senses and best experienced on foot. Everything from the winding labyrinth of souks to the great market of Djemaa El Fna is within strolling distance. If you fancy travelling onward to the laidback seaside town of Essaouira or the capital city Rabat, a number of luxury coach companies operate from the main bus station in the new city. ONCF run a daily train service connecting Marrakech to all the key urban centres, including Casablanca, Fes and Tangier. It’s also possible to hire a chauffeur-driven car and take a day-long trip into the breathtaking Atlas Mountains. After a few days of market bargaining and sightseeing, you might be glad of a break from the Medina’s claustrophobic chaos!
What’s the food like?
Moroccan food is world-renowned and for a very good reason. It’s the result of multiple influences over many centuries, including native Berber and Arab traditions. European occupation has also left an imprint on the daily cuisine of this North African country. Amongst the chief ingredients are a large range of herbs, spices, olive oil, dried fruits, vegetables and everything from lamb and beef to rabbit and camel meat. One of the most celebrated Moroccan dishes and a daily staple is couscous. It’s prepared using semolina and is often served with a meat and vegetable stew accompaniment. This dish is broadly known as a Tagine, due to the clay pot in which it’s served. Burek fried pastries are also a popular offering and normally come filled with minced meat and spices. Moroccans certainly have a very sweet tooth. The variety of confectionery available in Marrakech’s markets is astounding! Jalebi is amongst the most popular, a chewy sweet made from flour, sugar and saffron.