"Sometimes, just one sentence can change your mind, break open your heart, soothe your soul or hit you like a truthbomb," Danielle LaPorte
My #Truthbomb card read French Kiss Life!
Fast forward a few months and I'm climbing off a plane in Marrekesh ready to embark on a cycling adventure for which I've done almost no research. My plan was to let the experience wash over me.
Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakech comprises an old fortified city packed with vendors and their stalls (the medina), bordered by modern neighborhoods. Today it is one of the busiest cities in Africa and serves as a major economic center and tourist destination. Immediately one notices the abundance of red sand stone buildings from which Marrekech gets the nickname "the red city".
We were driven to the edge of the medina, from there we had to walk to our Riad. It was located on the other side of Jemaa el-Fnaa, a famous square and marketplace which transforms into a carnival as dusk settles. This place was insane and so entertaining! It's filled with snake charmers, monkeys that will pose with you, story tellers, dancers, musicians....it's quite the show.
(This is not my photo and I could not find a credit)
We then entered the souks, a labyrinth of alleys crowded with shops, people, donkeys, push carts, motor cycles and cats. At this point my sleep deprived brain was spinning, but in a good way.
A few sights that caught my eye....
This place was built tn the 11th century
This is our street! Can you tell we are cyclists?
A riad is a traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden or courtyard.
It was love at first sight. Riads are historic, unique and so full of atmosphere. Plain on the outside; gorgeous and intricate on the inside, our female Moroccan guide compared the typical riad to the shrouded Muslim woman.
The Pharmacy This Pharmacist was so quick witted, we laughed so much during his demonstration.
Day 2 We collected our bikes and took a short 11 mile cycle through the outskirts of the city called the Palmerie.
The first of many group shots of the fabulous 13 women I shared this experience with.
Lunch on the trail....this amazing spread was prepared al fresco each day we cycled. Hassiem even took requests, one day we were treated to french fries.
It took 40 years for the French painter Jacques Majorelle to create this beautiful refuge in the heart of the city. Yves Saint Laurent saved it from demolition 40 years later.
Babouche are the colorful slippers you can find in abundance in market stalls and shops throughout Morocco. Babouche can be found made from leather or cloth and are often ornamented for special occasions. you slide into them like a mule.