I've always been one of those people that when things get too stressed out, I just, need, to, get, away! And I haven't changed and to be honest I don't think I will. Although I have my faith and Christ to get me through every situation, I find that taking a break from your stressful surroundings can be an additional help. Of course it all depends on your financial situation, work and family responsibilities but if you can, I would recommend routine breaks away, even if its by yourself, even if you drive to the country side for the weekend, it doesn't always have to be a full on holiday, just a break.
You see it is very easy to stay drowning in your situation without a clear direction on what to do or what steps to take next. I believe taking yourself out and away from the noise, you receive a renewed sense of direction, clarity, faith and ultimately, PEACE...
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it""
-Isaiah 30 vs 21
With that said, I flew to Morocco for five days and stayed in the beautiful city of Essaouira and then later Marrakech...
During the stay in Essaouira, we checked into an amazing, most beautiful place called Riad Baladin. For those of you that don't know what a riad is, its a large traditional house or courtyard, converted into a hotel. The only fault I could pin point with Riad Baladin, is their lack of breakfast options, other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.
Personally, I prefer Essaouira over Marrakech, because its quieter, more tranquil and cultural. The city is still being developed but I think thats the beauty of it, it hasn't been overly manipulated and stripped of its stunning traditional culture.
Riad Baladin Hotel
Streets of Essaouira & Market
This Zara jumpsuit is so old, but comes out to play on every holiday...
Ok guys, a lot of you follow me because of FOOD! So, if you are wondering "whats the food like?"... One word, AMAZING! If you've read my post on My Thailand Adventure, we did the same thing and searched for the best street food restaurants/markets. On this particular day on a hunt for some lunch, we came across a row of wooden sea food huts by the medina, selling fresh fish that you can choose from and have it grilled and served. You have to haggle a bit, because the thing with anywhere you go, you're a tourist and that means £££! So makes sure you ask for the 'best price'.
Freshly grilled seafood at Essaouira Medina
We spent a total of two and half days in Essaouira, to be honest, its was so chill, and its exactly how I liked it, even caught up with some uni work, it was like home from home. On the afternoon of the third day we caught a coach back to Marrakech to spend the remaining days of our break in Morocco. It was three hour 2.5 hour drive with a 30 minutes stop over at a restaurant so you can grab something to eat or use the loo. We arrived in Marrakech at 6pm and caught a cab to 2 Ciels Luxury Boutique Hotel which was completely inspired by Parisian decor from top to bottom. Beautiful but I wish they adopted some tradition.
2 Ciels Luxury Boutique Hotel
I honestly have mixed feelings about Marrakech... I mean it was nice, but not breath taking, plus the weather was a lot cooler so I had to carry my hoodie out with me, most evenings. Also considering we were in Africa, and being African, Nigerian myself, it didn't matter where we went, we would get really uncomfortable stares from the locals, even at the hotel which made me feel uncomfortable. However it was a short stay and we planned to make the most of it despite being boggled down every three minutes.
On our second day we planned to visit Jardin Majorelle which was acquired by the late Yves Saint Laurent in the 1980's. Apart from the food (lol) this was the highlight of my stay in Marrakech. There is a charge to enter the garden and see the museum, about £20 which isn't bad for what you get to experience. We also took a break and grabbed a spot of lunch in the gardens at the Cafe Du Jardin Majorelle, situated in a quiet, outdoor terrace. The service was impeccable and waiters were so lovely and polite, hands down the best service received during my stay in Marrakech.
Dress: Zara (old), Sandals: Topshop (sold out) similar here
Our last experience was the street food market in downtown Marrakech, Jemaa el-Fnaa and to be honest, if you don't have thick skin and get intimidated easily, just stay in your hotel, because its CRAZY out there! We took a taxi from our hotel and upon arrival you are greeted with a huge crowd of people heading towards the street food stands, seriously it was like carnival.
You have to carefully make your way through the hustle and bustle of the crowd, and be aware that almost every worker from a stand you walk past will have their 'tourist radar' on and will spot you from a mile off , usually ready to say anything to get you to come and spend your money at their stall. Most of them are hilarious and really friendly, whilst others can come across pushy, which is nothing knew to me, I felt like I was back home in Nigeria, I was quite entertained, and was rather amused, however as mentioned if this isn't something you're used to, it might be an intimidating experience for you.
Not to put you off but just a warning. Onto the food! My toes were wriggling at this point, after clapping eyes on all the delicious grilled stands. We made our way through the whole market, turning down the hustlers along the way, we decided on stall number one which was all the way back at the beginning!
No regrets though, the food was sublime and everything you want when it comes to traditional Moroccan food. Lastly its imperative you make your way to the fresh juice stands and grab yourself a pomegranate juice or an orange juice to wash down all that delectable food.