MADS MIKAELSEN

MY CITY: MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

Why I visit Marrakech: I had never been to Morocco before, but I had visited the other country`s in north Africa. I wanted to explore Morocco to experience the culture as I did in the other countries.

My first memory: How great it is finally to relax by the pool, have a coke, and hearing birds singing around you. Fantastic.

My romantic memory: The expression in my girlfriends eyes while I hold her hands while we went through the back-alleys on our way home to the hotel, and how she kissed me when we finally closed the door.

My favourite place to eat: De Jeunera. 2-4, Angle Rue Kennaria et Douar Graoua, Marrakech Medina. French and morocco`n food. Starter 50-75 Dh, main course 85-110 Dh. Coffee 25 Dh, soda 15 Dh. (Dh is the local currency). If you want to eat something else than the usual Marrakech would offer, this is the place for you. Perfect location, choose between three floors, the roof offers an amazing view. Good food, nice service, and affordable prices. The prices is a bit more than the locals, but still much less than the usual cost. It is located a bit away from the crowded people, on a corner, a little hidden gem.

What do you eat there? I had a sirloin steak, mashed potatoes and pasta, which was really good. We wanted something else than the local cous cous and chicken with argan oil. The meat was cooked to perfection. And the restaurant had the best location in the town.

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Meet the locals: Djemaa el Fna is the best place to meet locals. And tourists. It is called “the biggest marked in north Africa”, and is the place to be whether you want to eat, go shopping or meet locals. It`s most crowded on saturdays, after dark the life is wild.

My favourite bar: Cafè de Theatre. Good food, good milkshake, good people. Sportsbar, shows footballgame after your choice.

My secret place: Parc el Harti. The Park. Time to relax, away from everything. Sit down under a three, on a bench or just walk around a let your thoughts go through your head.

My best advice: Walk down Mohammed Avenue during sunset, and go to Djemaa El Fna before it get`s crowded. Find a nice place to eat and calm down.

My favourite shop: Carrefour. Got everything.

My best buy: I brought a “Ali-coat”, purchased on the street. It is handmade, camelwool.

Taxi or other local transport: The locals always try to exploit you as a tourist. Taxi is cheap. Start low, 1/4 of what they are starting with. Train is also cheap. Buy a ticket before you go onboard.

Keep away of: If you had any stomache-problems in the past, do not eat in the market at Djemaa el Fna. Be sure to cook every meat well done.

What was your biggest mistake? Walk around in Djemaa el Fna with a purse easy to open. You must also  be at your gate 30 minutes before you are about to take off. Sometimes the Airlines leave before the estimated time – do not miss your flight.

Where next: Malta, the paradise of Europe.

Pictures by Sarah Elise Gjemdal

Facts Marrakech
Marrakesh is a city in the northwest of Morocco. It is the fourth largest city in the country after Casablanca, Fes and Rabat. Located to the north of the foothills of Atlas Mountains.

Climate: Cool winters and hot dry summers. Average temperatures range from 12 °C (54 °F) in the winter to 28–29 °C (82–84 °F) in the summer. Particular hot period from June to September when temperatures peak above 30-degrees-celsius. 

Marrakesh is quite liberal. However keep in mind that it is still an Islamic, male-dominated city. Marrakech is broken up into two distinct areas—OldCity (also called “Medina”), which houses the souks (or market area) and ModernCity, which houses the commercial quarter (Guéliz) and residential area (l’Hivernage). 

If you snap a picture of a snake charmer, monkey, or street dancer in Marrakech, they will expect you to pay them and hassle you if you don’t. Even directions come with a price tag!
Djemma El Fna, is the ancient square at the heart of Marrakech, and acts as a gathering point for locals, street performers— as well as street food vendors.

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