Day 2: Marrakech City Tour
We set out into the belly of Marrakech - this granted us visiting monuments such as the Koutoubia Mosque, Saadien Tombs, Bahia Palace, Djemaa El Fna square, various souks and of course, the medina.
Our first stop was at Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech at 77 meters tall. It was built between 1184-1199 and is still in use today. The call for prayer sounds from the top singular minaret.
From there, we explored the Saadian tombs which date back to the late 1500's. They fell abandoned for centuries and were rediscovered in 1917, which then were renovated and brought to the beauty in which they stand today. These sepulchres were constructed during the Saadian dynasty and hold the bodies of the sultan and his family (said to be approximately 60 members). This mausoleum has 3 rooms and it is mostly constructed in marble in intricate, colourful tile.
Our next stop was Bahia Palace, an extravagant combination of palace and 2 acres of gardens built in the late 19th century. It was built with the intention to be the greatest palace of its time - hence the translation being "brilliance". In true Moroccan style, there is no shortage of colours, textures, marble, tile and greenery.
The palace was built for personal use and named after one (the favourite) of the 27 wives held by Si Moussa Ba Ahmed.
Onward! We hoofed onto our last destination before lunch - Djemaa El Fna square, the main square in old city Marrakech. It's a loud, vibrant area packed with vendors, tourists, snake charmers and everything in between.
For lunch we traversed through the medina into a cozy restaurant and climbed 5 sets of stairs up onto their rooftop balcony. This gave a 360 degree view of the sky line of Marrakech. We enjoyed our first traditional tajine meal (a MUST!!!)
After a few hours of exploring the market, getting a lesson in how argan oil is made and learning to tie head scarves, we headed back to our hotel, Les Jardins de L'Agdal.