This summer, it’s been great reading so many blog posts on the trips and adventures people have taken. It’s given me so much inspiration for trips I’d like to book over the next months and years. It also made my excitement levels for my own holiday sky-rocket, and now that I’m back I’m keen to record the highlights of what was probably the best holiday I’ve ever been on.
We managed to fit quite a lot in to our 10 days in Morocco, so this is going to be part 1 of our travels. Part 2 will be up in the coming week.
Before booking the holiday, I’d actually not heard of Agadir. Like a lot of people, when Morocco was mentioned I automatically thought of Marrakech. Whilst Marrakech is definitely on my To Go list, I’ve heard that it’s busy and wanted somewhere with a more relaxing vibe, plus a beach. After researching different locations, we settled on Agadir – it didn’t take a lot of convincing as the pictures and reviews were brilliant!
We stayed in Riu Tikida Palace, which is by far the nicest hotel I’ve stayed in. After we caught our transfer to the hotel from the airport, it was about 9.30pm and we were keen to get settled in and ready for the next day of planning and relaxing by the pool on our first proper day. When we got to the hotel, the reception/lobby area alone was astonishing. It was massive, with a dark marble theme and large plush sofas throughout. We took a few pictures which don’t really do it justice. Our room was similarly themed, with several different levels: one for the beds, another as a living space with a sofa, table and chairs, and our own balcony area with more seating looking out towards Agadir’s centre.
We opted to spend the majority of our spending money on experiences to make the most of our time there. The length of time we were there made it perfect as we could have time by the pool and at the hotel’s private beach as well as full days out exploring. Fantasia was an evening event at the edge of Agadir.
We began the evening by being taken to Fantasia and welcomed by a variety of performers giving us a taster of their acts. It was here that a man put a snake round my neck for me to hold – he didn’t give much warning so it’s a good thing I don’t mind them! We were then taken into tents where we had a 5 course Moroccan meal and were entertained by the acts we’d glimpsed on arrival. At one point I was dragged (literally!) up to dance with the belly dancers, which was a unique experience, but I think it’s safe to say I’ll be leaving the shimmying to the professionals from now on!
After the meal, we gathered on cushions around their arena and more acts came out to entertain us. This included some amazing acrobats, fire-eaters and horsemen firing guns, which made me jump every single time.
The next morning, we travelled to Taroudant, which is also called ‘Little Marrakech’. From what the guide was saying, this town was where the builders of Marrakech came from and is built similarly, albeit on a much smaller scale. It was here that we got our first experience of a souk, which is a marketplace filled with everything you could ever need, from spices and vegetables to clothing, and even animals!
One thing that is important when you go to Morocco is haggling. At a marketplace, the first price is never the last, and it can take a bit of getting used to as it’s so different from how we operate in England. Once you get into it, it is fun and keeps you on your toes – the trick is to never show you’re interested in something and to walk away from them, although that can lead to them following you to try and get the deal done!
We also got our first look at how argan oil is made. So many products have argan oil in, and it can be used for cosmetics and for cooking. They take the nut from the argan fruit, and then break the nut to get the kernel inside. It is this kernel that is dropped into a circular stone grinder, and the women sit all day turning it round and round to get the oils out. It struck me how tedious it must be to do the same thing day in, day out, and how tired their bodies must feel at the end of every day. For one of many times on our trip, I felt like things were being put into perspective and it made me feel a bit guilty of any times I’ve ever complained about a hard day.
On the way back, we stopped off to see the city wall which was used in the past to prevent attacks from enemies. It seemed to go on and on, and it was strange thinking of living in a place where you’re hemmed in by a wall on all sides.
I’ll be posting Part 2 of what we got up to soon so feel free to follow me to stay up to date: