Daily Archives: 25 January, 2011

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The One With Europe ’11 Day 7 – Sex And The City Of Marrakech

Cocktail At Hotel Amajena

Marrakech lived up to it’s name as the biggest imperial city. At every corner, you are reminded what you loved and hated about Morocco. Unlike Fez, here in Morocco, I’ll suggest you ditch your guidebook and go exploring. For the most unplanned for excursion yielded in the most surprising results:

– Now I understand why Lonely Planet suggested having a “lazy breakfast and suntanning at riyad terrace” before going for a “leisurely stroll in the medina”
– Breakfast at the crack of dawn at a sunny terrace on a winter morning was great. The selection here proven to be healthier (and lesser) than those in Fez, and I am glad
– As we went exploring the medina, the first thing I noticed was the endless stream of motorcycles roaring through the narrow alleyways. Unlike Fez, Marrakech was not a motor-free site. The fumes was intoxicating
– At almost ten in the morning, the medina was slowly clambering to life. Stall owners huddled by the pathway having a cup of mint tea, enterprising young men cajouled us for that early dirham, and yet more workers cleaned and dusted their goods for a day of business ahead
– And to the shopping. Goodness did we shop. The art of bargaining is a refined one, bestowed to the shopaholic few, and one that I wasn’t blessed with. Eventhough I paid a little more than I should, I have learned to accept that I pay what I think the good is worth for, and I think that brass bookmark is worth fifty dirham
– The market at medina was best viewed from a vantage point. As I sipped my late morning coffee, I looked across the flat roofs of medina short buildings and the multi-coloured stalls going about their trade, I felt… contented. To be here at this point of time making my own history. Not many people had that privilege
– Got conned by a snake charmer. For someone who has great fear for all things slithery it was absolutely dumb of me to be tricked. All of twenty dirhams, but still! I could get a nice shot glass for that.
– Had my first non-Moroccan lunch. Over pasta we wondered if we had enough going on to fill yet another day in Marrakech.
– Decided to visit Hotel Amanjena, the beautiful palace-like hotel where Sex and the City 2 was shot at. Discovered that it was located some 10 km away from the medina, and no metered taxi will venture that far out
– Upon reaching the hotel, we were told we better book the taxi for a return trip, for no taxi will come this way
– The concierge spoke perfect English, and upon knowing that we were from Singapore, he wondered if we were “mystery shopper” and proceeded to offer us a complimentary tour around the sprawling complex
– Wow, just wow. With only 39 rooms, every inch of Amanjena spells luxury and riches. We saw the seven archways where Carried stole that kiss from Aidan, and the couch where they shared a platter of snack. The legendary pool was the centrepiece of the hotel
– We were honoured to have seen so much of the hotel, including some rooms. To round of that entire SATC2 experience, we sat beside the pool and had some cocktails. I had two, including a Cosmopolitan, in honour of Samanta
– Made our way back to the medina, totally happy. Rested before venturing out to have a simple meal of roasted chicken and cheese omelette at a decidedly local cafe. For only thirty dirham. That’s only like 1/5 of what I paid for my Cosmo.

So what is left to Marrakech to explore? Some historical places, and then on for two spots of pamperment, back to back. I think mud face mask for mentioned at least once. Hmmm.