Saturday, May 30, 2009

Relax, (wo)man

I love being in Marrakech right now. I'm completely free to do or not to do anything. It's chilling on it's purest form. My two previous trips to Morocco have also been very relaxed and chill, but this was kind of "organized chilling" - today we cruise around in the city and do nothing and tomorrow we go to Essaouira. Something like that. If you have limited time, you don't want to waste it all on doing nothing, no matter how enjoyable doing nothing can be. This time i don't even have an outbound flight bought, not to mention having plans of where i want to go or what i should to do in Morocco. I don't even know for how long i'm staying here or where to next. I will be in Marrakech until Jevgeni gets here and afterwards .. well, i guess we'll see.

So now, i'm at liberty to wake up exactly when i want (no dorm-neighbours or early check-out), eat for breakfast what i want (no lack of money to afford any tasty food) and spend the rest of my day exactly how i want (no travel-mates). Mmm, priceless.

My very own hotel-room

After my first night in Marrakech i took up a mission and walked through 20+ hotels in the market-side medina (meaning „old town“ in Arabic) trying to get a sense of room prices. The lowest rate i found in close proximity of Djemaa el-Fna was 70 DH (~ 100 EEK) for a night, so i exchanged hotels. There actually were also a bit cheaper options available (65 DH), but i didn’t like the idea of walking in dark and empty side-streets alone after midnight trying to find my hotel. Some small streets look a bit dodgy already in the daylight, i doubt darkness would add any charm to them.

The hotel i chose was ~ 3 minutes walk from Djemaa el-Fna and on a very lively street, so i was content. It turned out to be accidentally a very good choice. Though very basic, it is still a solid nice place, also a significant improvement over my previous hotel-room and all that for much less money. In my new room i actually have besides the usual stuff a sink, a table and two windows, one for the street and one for the courtyard (usually such places only have windows to the courtyard, if even that). But the best thing of all – i have an electrical plug! which for some reason was missing from my previous hotel room. The cleaning ladies are scrubbing floors and washing sheets all day long and most of the clientele seems to be muslims, meaning no annoying bunches of tourists. It looks like the hotel is constantly about half empty, which means the showers are clean and mostly available. During the day the place is almost abandoned, so i can sunbath on the rooftop terrace in an actual bikini without being bothered (most of the time).

For 20 DH hotel’s cleaning lady agreed to wash all my clothes. What i did not think about was that of course she will hang everything to dry on the roof along with the rest of the linens. Seeing all my colorful strings there flapping in the wind made me extra grateful that the hotel was not over-crowded :).
Note to myself: Ragne, next time you organize yourself a laundry day, to avoid embarrassment, take care to be far away from the hotel until sundown.

Sunset view of Koutoubia Minaret from the rooftop of my hotel

Koutoubia Minaret, famous landmark of Marrakech, in daylight

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