Our tour guide, Yousef, met us at the riad shortly after breakfast for our 6-hour walking tour. Before retirement, we always felt the need for a vacation after returning home from vacation, because the trips were always packed to the hilt so that we could see as much as possible. Since we’ve retired we’ve approached traveling at a more leisurely pace. Unfortunately, this Morocco trip was planned and paid for before we retired. So we are now back to the necking-breaking pace of trying-to-see-the-world-in-7-days.
One of the great things of hiring local guides is that they’ll bring you to places that aren’t in the guidebooks or blogs. So you’ll actually get to experience the city as a local, as opposed to as a tourist spending money on overpriced trinkets and beer in tourist traps.
In the Marrakech Medina, having a guide with us also miraculously warded off all the scammers. It was such a relief to wander around the Medina not having to worry about “friendly locals” accosting us, or salesmen stopping us from taking photos of their wares (or pressuring us into buying something after I’ve snapped that photo).
One of the few museums that is open is the Dar El Bacha Museé. Built in 1910, it was the summer palace of the governor of Marrakech, but recently converted to a museum. Like the Museé de Marrakech, the collections on display are small.
Our last stop of the day was the Secret Garden. Previously a 400-year old palace in disrepair, it was recently restored and opened to the public in 2016 as an oasis within the bustling Medina.
By the end of the sixth hour, I was a walking zombie. Luckily, Joe and I had planned to have dinner back at the riad, so we didn’t need to travel too far for food.