Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season with your family and friends. Here at One Time Fashionista, we’ve taken the last few days of 2014 to disconnect as much as possible, especially from work stress and mundane life, gloomy London weather in the very last week and to clear our mind and focus on being present. We took little over a week long vacation in Morocco in Northern Africa. But we’re now back and feeling refreshed – and with lots of fun pictures and posts to share with you!
After eight long days of action-packed tourism, we wanted to go slow on the last day of 2014 and you’ll be delighted to know what we did on 31st! But not now – in another post, coming soon. Five sleeps late, but here I’m to share with you how team One Time Fashionista ushered into the 1st day of 2015 by taking an early morning trot through the medina by Calèche in Marrakech; it is a horse-drawn carriage that offer a unique way to enjoy the Marrakech medina. Calèche is the French word for “horse-drawn carriage”, and in Marrakech the carriages are often referred to as “calèches” even in English.
The red walls of the city, built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122-1123, and various buildings constructed in red sandstone during this period, have given the city the nickname of the “Red City” or “Ochre City”. Landscape with Palm trees is a common sight in Marrakech Orange trees are omnipresent in Marrakech’s street and almost everywhere
There are several places around the city of Marrakech where you’ll see rows of calèches waiting for customers – two of the more busy arrival/departure points are in front of the Koutoubia Mosque at the entrance to the main square of Djemma El Fna, and just outside the Majorelle Garden.
As planned before, we left our hotel very early in the morning and drove (only about 10 minutes drive) to the Koutubia Mosque minaret area to get the early bird bargain. There are many tours, it is one of the common “scams” that you will be quoted 120 dirhams, then at the end it will be 120 dirhams per person. Just be clear at the start what you are going to pay and how long the trip will be for. There are lots of Calèches at the entrance to Jemma el Fna square, don’t be afraid to talk to a few of the drivers before choosing the one you want to go with.
Top tip: Don’t go on a Calèche city tour during rush hour, there can be quite a bit of smog around at that time and all of the other traffic will be in a rush to get past you. (That’s why we chose an early morning tour). Early bird catches the worm so try to be there around 8 in the morning for the best bargain and the best sunshine and traffic free roads.
Try to negotiate to 100 dirhams for an hour ride in total (not per person) and that is exactly what we got. Ours was more internal route within the medina and it is worth the money as you get to see the city in a different way. Naturally we stopped at couple of places to take few pictures. You’ll also find some Calèche drivers will try to persuade you to stop at his friend’s spice shop and you will be gently urged to go in for a look – but we declined and set off on our trip as we wanted. But it is a must that you agree the route on a map beforehand and settle on a definite price.
While the Calèche ride is a very traditional way to roam around the city of Marrakech, we have opted for outfits with modern and powerful style to experience this joy-ride. An amalgamation of tradition and modernity is how exactly we like to live by!
I really hope you enjoyed the Calèche ride through our eyes. Thank you to everyone who read our posts, encouraged us with your ‘likes’, feedback and wonderful comments in 2014. We will continue filling up your senses with more posts on Vogue, Voyage and Voracity in 2015!
Stay tuned, stay stunned!
Location: In and around Jemma el Fna square, Marrakech, Morocco0