Africa, Around the World, Morocco

[Riad Les Yeux Bleus & Exploring Adventures – Marrakech, Morocco]

December 25, 2016

It has been awhile but as a reward, be prepared for an ungodly amount of pictures from our recent travel to Paris and Morocco. There will be more from Morocco as I lost track of time seeing friends and family in Paris. So, without further ado…

We arrived in Marrakech late at night but as we wove through the clay building lined streets, the breeze of dust and new smells welcomed us through the windows of our ride from the airport to the riad. I should mention at this point that I actually hear hotels aren’t great in Morocco, save for a few exceptions. The alternative is a riad, which we opted for. A riad is traditionally defined by having all the windows facing inward. How does that make sense? Isn’t it dark? The answer is, surprisingly, no. The light for most of the riad comes from the sky, the center of the riad opens up to the sky for perfect sky and star-kissed views day or night.

Here is our riad – Riad Les Yeux Bleus (The Blue Eyes). The staff was unbelievably friendly and the food was delicious since we opted to stay in on our first night and rather late arrival. We also were greeted with an included and massive breakfast every morning on the terrace. One of my favorite memories of Marrakech is that everyone almost expects to eat their breakfast on a rooftop when there.

Breakfast on the terrace…

SO many delicious things under these mini tagines

Welcome to Riad Les Yeux Bleus

Many a night we came back here and sipped mint teas pool side. (taken on iPhone)

We lounged around in the morning, looking at the maps we borrowed from the library

The book nook, another place Ben couldn’t fit into

And we’re offf. Hitting the dusty red streets of Marrakech

 

It’s at this point I’d like to recommend an amazing book that we found on another blog. This book, Shopping Marrakech (by Susan Simon) gave us many a walk through the souks which as one might expect is chaotic and quite hard to navigate. Though, there is always a friendly person to push you back into the center.

I bought a lot of cookies, I have no self control.

Also I bought some olives and some mini tagines, again, not much self control

Eventually, we made our way to a delicious restaurant, Nomad. We ate a lot and I should mention my hair is super greasy because we went to a hammam that morning where they poured oil into my hair. For reference, a hammam is a spa experience which has several tiers. The local one is where you are naked and separated by sexes, the next level is what we did – still traditional but we stayed together and weren’t naked. The third being a full blown western spa experience. Here is our lovely hammam should you want to explore, I highly recommend it.

Because I have no pictures my quick recap is that it was very hot but nice to be together, I Couldn’t more highly recommend this hammam. They served us cookies in between our massage and hammam which is where you basically lay on a hot slab of marble covered by a heat buffering sleeping pad like mat. The attendants are very nice and come in to douse you with what you assume is hot water but is in actuality lukewarm water. Don’t be afraid! This experience is so worth it.

We broke for lunch…

That spicy chickpea and popcorn combo is something I’m still trying to recreate.

Prune lamb tagine and viewssssss

So here is what we ordered in case you want to recreate the experience: Mezze plate, Lamb Tagine: spiced lamb shank with prunes, a reduced sauce and a buttery farro.

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