Hello all, this has been such a long awaited moment and I don’t know if you should be less or more annoyed now that I won’t say “I’m going on holiday” but now rather that it’s even more constantly shoved in your face and will be for the next week! This is how our first day went, we really hope you enjoy reading it!
We booked our Uber for 2am, to Baker Street where we have booked our 3.01am coach to Stansted Airport. We haven’t mentioned this at all, but Jessica’s mum and grandma will be heading to Philippines until end of January on Saturday, so this was going to be the last we see them this year.
Coach to Stansted Airport:
We arrived at the coach stop with plenty of time, so we walked to the station to take some cash out and hoped to find somewhere to eat, although there was no luck there. Heading back to the coach stop, we noticed the earlier coach arrived and thought we’d ask if we could get on it with our ticket and so we did. The journey was about an hour and a bit, in which we was much occupied with our joint jack in James’ iPod whilst falling asleep.
Breakfast at Stansted Airport:
Since taking the earlier coach, we was way ahead of time and of course, our first stop was to get coffee and food at Joe’s Coffee House with both getting a Mocha each, James a tuna melt toastie and a chocolate croissant and Jessica a duck wrap, whilst waiting for our desk check in to be announced.
Stansted to Marrakech:
Due to our lack of sleep and early, very early start, we both knocked out through most of the journey, even which James was dead asleep before and during take off. The flight was smooth, from what I remember and bonus points to the fact that we landed half an hour before our actual arrival time, which gave us more time to get our luggage, exchange some money and toilet breaks before taking another transportation to the hotel.
Travel Tip: Bring a pen! when you land in Marrakech, they will ask you to fill in a little from and only provide about 2 pens for the whole airport, this will save you so much time as this is only the beginning of security checks.
Transfer to the hotel:
To our surprise we only shared our transfer with two other couples, which all conveniently was staying at the same hotel as us, it was a quick half an hour journey, which was also our first time experiences the complex traffic and what we would call j walking.
Hotel: First impressions
Upon arrival, we had been greeted at the door and our luggage had been taken from us and put to one side. As you walk in, the lobby is huge, just as it showed on the TripAdvisor pictures; very authentic with it patterns and beautifully spaced with the reception on your left. We are staying in Marrakech Ryads Parc & Spa.
We was fully aware that check in was at 3pm and we had already arrived by 11. I say fully aware, it was acknowledged but we forgot once we reached there and didn’t have a plan, nevertheless, we decided to take the opportunity to walk around and explore our hotel, as we did receive our all inclusive wristbands.
As you walk out the back of the lobby, you will find yourself at a somewhat outdoor dining/seating area, before taking the nice walk down to the pool, surrounded by several sun beds. As you can imagine, coming from cold morning London to afternoon 30 degrees, James and I were not dressed for the pool. So we walked back up and changed into suitable sunbathing clothing, no better way to waste 4 hours.
Luckily, during our wait, it was also reaching lunch hours, so we was not to fussed on waiting to check in. Food was better than expected, we say in the greatest respects, only because you can imagine what all inclusive food would be like. From rolls of bread, to two selections of pasta, freshly cooked in front of you chicken and many selections of mixed herbed sides and vegetables, big bottles of still water provided too.
After we had finished, it was only just after 1, we had a cheeky ask if our room was available yet and it was! We was escorted to our rooms along with our luggage, up until this point we had not realised how big the hotel actually was. The building we are staying is simply amazing, they say staying at a Ryad is better, as you get that more ethnic feel and although it is a hotel, they call it both and you can see why.
The room itself is very spacious, cute bathroom with two sinks, bath/shower, of course a toilet and even a bidet, all complimented with a balcony.
Once we settled in; out our bags away, freshened up and changed, we decided to explore.
Unfortunately, we had been mislead to think that the shuttle bus was free, was that wasn’t the case, we can’t actually complain as in convention it would have costed us £3 together and it was a return ticket, I would say the only downfall was that the times to go and to come back was very far apart and not frequent at all, but we went with it.
Travel Tip: (which we failed at) Do not accept directions from ANYONE, polity say no thank you and walk away to lose all contact, or else they will force it and ask for a ridiculous amount of money at the end of it.
Haggling with Mohammed:
This is where the fun begins, we fell for it kids! How dare we? Once we came off the shuttle bus, we had been approached by a man (hint numero uno), claiming he worked for our hotel and was very enthusiastic to show us where to go from there (see where I’m going with this). Walking walking, he’s introducing himself, asking for our names, telling us that we’ll go here, there and everywhere (well this was hint numero dos). Stupidly, we continued to go along with it, hoping he’ll leave us at some point, got brought to this argon oil and spices shop. We were the only customers there (hint numero tres, and a scary one at that) and again, out of respect, we went with it and I must say, we thoroughly enjoyed the explanations on how things were made and what it was specifically for, although you knew he was trying to sell us everything possible! We did leave with some argon oil and saffron, of course with James’ new skill of haggling!
Then Mohammed is back, comes out of nowhere as if he was told we were done to bring us to the next destination (I lost count, let’s not count anymore, you get it). At this point James put his foot down and told him we had no money left, but of course we did and of course we still followed and of course we bought, within reason!
After this stop, Mohammed directed us to go our own way and asked for his money. L.O.L!! For being our guide…. we gave him what he thought we had left. In all respects, it was our fault, but we didn’t ask for it at the end of the day and as he was doing a job, we had to do ours. It was overall an experience we had taken lightly and anyway, not all was lost, we bought items we wanted to buy anyway!
Repeatedly walking through Cyber Park:
After all that mess, we were left to wonder on our own, which was fine, but then anxiety kicked me in the ass and started getting worried about the camera being on show and how every person we walked passed was staring at us, I was ready to go back to the hotel, but due to the timetable, this wasn’t exactly doable. We could have taken a taxi back, but what a waste of money that would have been, instead we walked to one end to the other about 4 times through Cyber Park, trying to figure out a plan and where to go. After finding somewhere to go, we realised we may have been going in the wrong direction and had just had to refuse the fifth time to walk through that park again, so instead we headed to the bus stop about an hour early. We did go into the supermarket and entertained ourselves with the discussion of Mohammed to pass the time.
We got back to the hotel just in time for dinner. All that walking and haggling, it couldn’t be waited, so we headed straight to the dining hall where all the smells were appetising our noses. We went all out with this meal; our starter, vegetable cream soup paired with a roll of bread, for main, there was again another selection of fresh cooked fish, shish kebab, mushroom cream pasta and of course will all the spices and herbed sides you could ask for, song with a olive salad bar and 4 different types of dessert, which James managed to try them all.
Time for rest:
As you can imagine, the early start, massive change in weather, tired feet and full stomaches, we headed straight to our room after dinner; rested, showered and refreshed to come out onto the outdoor seating/dining area for James to edit and I write this post, while sipping on unlimited vodka something cocktails (let’s face it, this will become a regular thing)
We hope you enjoyed this very lengthy post, let us know if you’ve liked this and if you’ve been to Marrakech before, in the comments below!
***PLEASE NOTE*** If the vlog does not follow after this post, we may have wifi problems, so please be don’t be alarmed, we hope to have it up as soon as possible! Don’t forget, we have planned to do a few giveaways while we are here over on our VLOGS, so make sure you are subscribed!
UPDATE: Vlogs will now we uploaded when we get back and Day 1 and 2 will be one vlog and day 3 and 4 will be another etc, rather than uploading 7/8 separate videos!