EAT SLEEP LOVE, FAR FAR AWAY, MOROCCO, TEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU
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TEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU, MARRAKECH.

10 things i love about you - marrakech - morocco - annika ziehen - midnight blue elephant - 02

I have decided that after my somewhat sad travel love story and now being back in Marrakech I really needed to focus on reclaiming this wonderful city and my work. After all this is what I’m here for, namely the Pure Life Experiences conference and so I have actually no time for idle chat with silly boys. I’m also here to use my few spare hours for some serious shopping, which I will tell you in detail in a later, but I promise you, you will become a souk pro and you have been warned!

At first being back here was not great. Mainly because getting into Marrakech wasn’t as smooth as I expected. While I was the first off the plane for the first time ever, the line at passport control took 1.5 hours to get through and my suitcase was very worried looking by the time I got out. As soon as I had wifi I found out that the silly boy from the somewhat sad travel love story now has a girlfriend. And on top of it, it is raining and cold so there is really absolutely nothing rose colored about Marrakech at the moment. I wouldn’t argue with you when you said that this trip started kind of sucky.

But a few hours, some glasses of wine, and a really awesome chicken tajine later, I’m alright. Also, the Ecuadorian minister of tourism has requested a meeting with me, which put me in a good mood and made me feel like a O.s.V.I.P. (oh so very important person). It also made me have yet another glass of wine, because – help! – what do you actually talk with a minister of any kind?

I took my busy schedule ahead and the horrid weather as a great excuse to eat a bubbling hot tajine, covered souks shopping, and of course to take a long nap. That gave me enough time to also realized that I am really truly in love with Marrakech all on its own. Need reasons? I’ve got plenty.

10 things i love about you - marrakech - morocco - annika ziehen - midnight blue elephant - 02

one While I’m not a religious person, I love church bells and even more so the call to prayer. It sounds nostalgic and foreign and wonderful to me. Sitting anywhere, overlooking the medina in Marrakech, will give you a beautiful dissonant concert of all mosques calling during prayer times.

two Every single corner of Marrakech seems to be decked out in roses. I usually don’t care to much about them, but here they are just something else – effortless, pretty, and homey somehow. three I was happy to learn that the tortoises in front of the beauty shops at the Place des Epices are not to be used in potions and such, but actually sold as pets. That explains that every riad has some and I love them. four Nightlife. And by this I don’t mean clubs and bars. I mean the Jemaa El Fna and the souks completely transformed and magical once the sun sets. five Jardin Majorelle, one of my favorite places. Resting place of my soulmate, Yves Saint Laurent, and simply stunning. Don’t miss out on the Berber museum inside, curated by his partner, Pierre Bergé. six Getting lost and finding your way. The medina of Marrakech is a maze, a sometimes frustrating one. But at least you will feel a great sense of accomplishment once you manage and find your destination (just count in plenty of extra traveling time!). seven The freshest orange juice for 4 dirham; even in restaurants it is cheap compared to anywhere in Europe. Make sure you ask to make it sans sucre, this amazing juice doesn’t need any additions. eight Beauty shopping at Place des Epices. All you will ever need is sabon beldi (black olive soap), a kess (scrubbing glove), and lots of rose water. nine Keep calm and drink mint tea. Of course after all you are in Morocco and mint tea is awesome. ten I have always loved Moroccan architecture: geometry and marble that unlike the marble I know is soft and somehow organic.

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