Although I didn’t go to sleep at a decent hour the night before, I woke up early so that I could get breakfast and visit some of the touristic places since I was on my own and without a CouchSurfing host. My Riad was very close to most places and on certain occasions I walked, but when I was uncertain of where I was going, I hopped into a taxi. Catching the taxi has been one of the most stressful and painstaking tasks since coming to Morocco. I did read beforehand that I should negotiate the price of the cab before entering the taxi or ensure the driver uses the meter if he has one. I did these things on all occasions. However, negotiating on a price for a short distance was tiresome. This was the one time where the little bit of Arabic I remembered was useful. When I was offered a price in English, such as 50DHM, I would shake my head, chuckle and respond “La. Humsa wa Ashreen” or “La. Ashreen” (No! 25 or 20 dhm). I never offered more than this as the bus ride from the airport to my hotel was only 30dhm one way and this was a much further distance than any place I intended to travel to whilst in Marrakesh.
That Sunday, I choose to visit two palaces – Palace Bahia and The Badia Palace. The Badia Palace was relatively uninteresting. Walking amongst the ruins, I could see the opulence which once was, but for the most part, it was nothing but an old, broke down palace. I walked around the ruins which were akin to some of the great ruins in Greece; a bunch of rocks. Although nothing spectacular, the trip to the palace proved amusing as I was extended a marriage proposal from a man old enough to be my great grandfather.
At one point I began chit-chatting with some security guards (in English) at the palace. They began talking about me in Arabic (saying that I was beautiful) and then I responded in Arabic “Shukran”. Needless to say, it threw them off a bit.
I also visited the Bahia Palace which proved much more spectacular and interesting. I am not exactly sure what either of these palaces were used for or who lived in them once upon a time, but this palace was colorful. The walls, ceilings, and entryways were adorned with beautiful arabesque paintings and central to the palace was the beautiful garden with a small fountain.