Good morning from the beautiful city of Marrakech. Today I woke up in a stunning Riad in the heart of the Medina. I arrived late afternoon yesterday, after a long busy queue to get my passport stamped, I was thrilled when my driver awaited me by the exit at the airport. Ibrahim, my driver explained where everything was, and what I shouldn’t miss on my visit. I’m staying in the Medina, the old city of Marrakech. Here the streets are quite narrow, so we had to park the car about 5 minutes walking to our Riad. A hotel employee came to escort me, while a porter transported my luggage in a trolley. This is quite common here, and I’ll post a photo to show what that looks like next time I see one.
I was greeted by the owner of the Riad, a lovely French woman named Cecile, and had my first taste of Morrrocan tea and pastries.
I decided to treat myself and booked a suite for the first night. For those wondering what a Riad is, it’s a type of mansion people used to live in back in the day. Now most Riads have been turned into hostels and guesthouses. The characteristics of a Riad is the rooms, typically no more than 10, surrounding a big open aired garden in the middle, with a sun roof terrace with day beds. Today in most Riads there will be a pool along with lounges to enjoy Morrocan tea.
It’s quite cold this time of the year, and every room has stone floors, I would recommend to bring slippers or some wool socks so you don’t get cold on your feet when walking around. Luckily in the Riad I’m staying at, they have a portable heater to help keep the room warm. As I’m writing this I’m siting with my feet pressed against the heater, in sweatpants and a hoodie, cursing myself for not bringing my winter jacket. I haven’t been outside yet, but I’m sure with the sun warming my face I’ll be fine. I did bring a warm scarf, so I’ll just have to layer it up incase I get cold, or worst case scenario, just buy a new one.
Another reason I haven’t gone out yet, is because I had a rather unpleasant experience yesterday, leaving me quite shaken up. As I was walking home in the dark, a man (Italian) followed me back to the front door of the Riad, trying to start up a conversation, asking if I spoke Italian or French, while coming a bit too close. He was quite persistent, and as I struggled with my keys I could feel him getting closer. I finally managed to open the door, and as I was closing he pressed on through the door, asking me if wanted to have sex with him. The employees heard me starting to scream at him, as I was about to punch him, they came and chased him away. None the less, he wasn’t a local and nothing happened. But it’s still very uncomfortable, especially when you’re a solo female traveller. Why the hell do men think it’s okay in any way to behave like that? Using sex and violence as a way of having power over women and girls, leaving us afraid of walking alone. I think I’ll just stay inside after sundown, to take proper precautions. Before I left I was considering if I should bring my pepperspray, but I didn’t. Now I kinda regret it. But I’m gonna get dressed anyways, walk around and experience this city I’ve dreamt about visiting for so long. I refuse to let that idiot ruin this trip for me. My advice ladies, just be careful when walking around at night alone. As much as it sucks to have to say this, because it shouldn’t have to be this way. You just never know what can happened, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.