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19th February 2015

From Manchester to Marrakech

Wanting to take a break from the Manchester drizzle? Josepha Griffin Parry recommends loosing yourself in the souks of Marrakech

As a post January exams treat to myself, I decided to get away from Manchester with a few friends and have a mini break in Marrakech. We stayed in a beautiful Riad in the heart of the Medina. The area was constantly filled with noisy street sellers, loud colours, vibrant people and strong smells, though not all of these were particularly pleasant.

The street sellers were continuously heckling us: “Fish and chips”, “Lady Gaga” and “Shakira” being the most popular comments. Although top originality marks (and my personal favourite) go to the guy who screamed, “I do not want to kiss you because you have Ebola!”, why they think that would make anyone stop and buy their products is beyond me. However, by day three we considered ourselves experts at negotiating our way around the bustling streets, and filled with confidence, we decided to brave the street food.

Each evening in the main square, tents, stalls and benches were constructed selling all sorts of local dishes. We finally decided upon braving a weird kind of egg and potato sandwich, which the Aussies in our Riad had assured us was delicious and cost the equivalent of 80p. Value for money was ideal and I would definitely recommend trying it, as the whole experience of sitting amongst the locals was rather amusing, although eating it once was probably enough!

Near our Riad there was a small stall selling fruit smoothies which always had a group of locals surrounding it. Presuming they must be pretty decent, I ordered a date and banana one, which didn’t disappoint. The plentiful stands selling orange juice were always a safe bet for a super cheap, delicious and nutritious drink costing a mere 40p.

Finally, after walking past numerous women selling what looked like a cross between a macaroon and a cookie my friend gave in to her sugar craving, buying a bag full of them. The sweet chewy biscuits were a favourite from that point onwards and we made several purchases, much to the confusion and surprise of the woman selling them, especially since we chose to only buy them from her.

I would definitely return to Marrakech; it was such a different kind of culture and was an amazing way to take a break from university and the North West.

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