Sunday, May 1, 2011

Magical Marrakech

It's Sunday night and the past 24 hours have been quite the adventure for myself, Ortie, and Lynsey. The 3 of us left Edinburgh yesterday afternoon and traveled to Morocco to celebrate Ortie's 27th birthday. We booked this trip on a Groupon special and got and amazing deal for a 4 day 3 night stay at a 5 star resort. Our private driver, who spoke only French, picked the3 of us up from the airport once we landed. Thankfully Lynsey knows french so she was able to quickly make friends. 

We then arrived at our hotel, Eden Andalou spa and resort. To our surprise, we were greeted by a grandiose lobby full fresh flowers, large lounge furniture, and a lovely man who served us with fresh mint tea.

When I had originally booked this groupon special, we weren't too sure of what to expect, but went into it with an open mind. From the moment we arrived in the lobby, the three of who us (who were trying to act classy) were grinning from ear to ear giggling like excited kids on Christmas morning. We knew we were in for a top weekend of pampering, relaxing, and shopping. 

 After our personal bell boy escorted us to our room, we shut the door and started doing the happy dance yet again. Not only did we get a great deal on accommodation, but we were upgraded to a garden suite with 2 included massages per person, unlimited access to the hammam, and two nights free dinner. 

 I had to do the crab dance on the bed! 

After coming back down to reality, I then went on a photo shoot of the hotel. Every turn had ornate mosaics and opulent decor. 

Lynsey and I kicked off our shoes and enjoyed the relaxation room. 

And thanks to my self timer, we were able to get a few group shots!

 This morning we woke up to a bit of rain, but that didn't stop us from getting out and about in the city. After all, there were Souqs waiting for us to spend our money. And with the exchange rate we were ready to get our bargain on. 

Shoes, bags, purses, lamps, spices, food, ceramics, clothing, you name it, they had it. And they were ready and willing to work up a deal if you had the money to buy. As they liked to say, "no money, no honey." One guy even told me that I am one of the toughest women he's had to bargain with, but of course I got what I wanted to pay every time. 

Thanks MMT for that trip to Tijuana when I was 12 where I learned how to bargain. 

Olives anyone? Yum

And then I found hater blocker heaven. I know a few crazy jokers who would have liked to have been here to witness this in person. 

 Mint for our tea

Spices galore!

After spending all of my money, and I mean all of it; not even 1 coin left over, I walked around the city checking out the sights and sounds of the people of Marrakech. There were snake charmers....

  monkey handlers.....

and plenty of people using their donkeys as transportation. We decided to forgo a donkey ride and headed back to the hotel via taxi.

Once we got back we admired all of our purchases. We have already decided that we need to go back for more before our flight on Tuesday. Good thing we brought our debit cards! 

After a day of shopping, it was time to get our daily Hammam at the spa. We went into a steam room and sweated out a pound or two before heading to the solarium where we overlooked the Atlas Mountain Range. 

Once we were refreshed, it was time to get jazzed up for our reason for visiting Morocco. Ortie's 27th birthday celebration. 

 And what is a true birthday celebration without jumping action shots

Overall, fabulous first 2 days in Marrakech. Looking forward to waking up for our morning at the spa and full body massages. Stay tuned for more to come after our afternoon desert camel ride. 

Until next time, I will see you on the internet. 

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