Marrakech- The City That Comes Alive At Night

Before this year I had never been to Marrakech before and in fact I had never even thought about going there. It wasn’t until my sister happened to mention what a great time she had had when she visited a couple of years ago and how amazing the hotel was she stayed in.

During our time in Marrakech we opted to stay in an all-inclusive 4* resort which was close enough to the city centre, luckily our hotel put on a shuttle bus during the day which was perfect as it took us right into the centre of the Medina.

Medina
We visited the Medina in the day time arriving at roughly 11 o’clock, we headed straight to the square where there were a large selection of drinks stalls selling fresh juices for about 20p we couldn’t get over how cheap they were when in London you would be paying at least £4.50. The juices were amazing they were so fresh and made to order we got one orange and the other mango and they were both so delicious.

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The Medina in the day time was fairly quiet, there weren’t many tourists walking around instead it was locals trying to sell fresh local produce. We did notice however, there were a number of snake charmers in the square which was quite scary (especially if you are terrified of snakes) so we avoided them like the plague.

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When we returned to the Medina one evening the atmosphere was COMPLETELY different, as you can see from the title of this blog post it is literally the city that comes alive a night. The atmosphere was buzzing, there were hundreds of people walking around the Medina visiting the different performers, it was amazing and the hustle and bustle was exactly what we were expecting to see when we went in the day time.

Souks
Visiting the souks in the day and night were two completely different experiences and we would definitely urge everyone to visit in both the day and night. The souks are under cover keeping you out of the heat in the day which is amazing as it would be far too hot otherwise.

During the day time the souks were basically deserted, apart from the market stall holders and a few stray cats roaming around. Every stall and shop we passed would try and entice us in telling us all about their products. It is a known fact that you should barter with the shop keepers when in Marrakech so that is exactly what we did, it was so much fun and you could see the happiness in their eyes when you agreed on a price and purchased the item.

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In the evening the souks are literally as busy as Oxford Street the shop keepers are occupied by customers who are already in their shops as this is obviously prime time for them to make their money. During the day we noticed locals riding through the souks on their mopeds and bikes which was something we kept having to dodge, we didn’t expect to still see this happening in the evening but I guess they have got to get home somehow.

As we were browsing the souks during the evening taking in the atmosphere and culture we happened to notice the young boys working in the souks all had their phones out watching something very intensely. We wondered for a moment what they were watching when we noticed it was football it’s funny that you can be in the middle of Marrakech and there are still young boys obsessed with football- the sport that speaks one language.

Food Stalls
When we first visited Marrakech in the day time we were looking for the food stalls as we had been told we had to visit them during our stay. We couldn’t for the life of us find the food stalls and it wasn’t until we returned back in the evening that we realised they were only set up at night.

The food stalls were such an experience and something we would definitely suggest everyone visit during their time at Marrakech. The men working on the stalls were hilarious, they were coming out with some hilarious English phrases; ‘M&S simply the best’, ‘you are well skinny minny, you must be starving marving’, ‘where are you from Wembley, Hackney, Chelsea Essex?’.

We decided to go back to the first man we spoke to as the food on their stall looked so delicious. We were seated at the table and all the staff behind started to sing ‘….’ It was hilarious and they were all so full of life.

We decided to try the mixed skewers, chicken tagine, vegetable cous cous and of course some of the traditional bread we saw being sold. It’s safe to say we were so full after so it was nice to finish the meal with a Moroccan tea (fresh mint) although they seem to like putting sugar in their mint tea in Morocco so it is incredibly sweet, I wasn’t a massive fan but that’s probably because I am not used to it.

Transport
We were lucky to have a shuttle bus at our hotel but we happened to notice lots of other hotels did as well. We would definitely recommend the shuttle bus/coach so if you are thinking of booking a hotel a bit of the way then find out if your hotel puts on this service.

If you want to use a taxi we would suggest using a taxi that your hotel recommends. We found that the same taxi drivers often sat outside the front of hotel. One evening we had to get a taxi back from The Medina as the last shuttle bus was at 8pm, all I can say is that if you want a real life experience of Grand Theft Auto then by all means go ahead and take a taxi because my gosh we did and it was the  scariest taxi ride of my life. We might have just been incredibly unlucky with our taxi driver but just be careful when you do get into a taxi as health and safety goes completely out of the window.

There are lots of horse and carts in The Medina that will take you around the city, we didn’t do this so we are not sure how much it would cost but everything in Marrakech is so cheap so it probably wouldn’t set you back too much.

Marrakech is an amazing city and like nowhere we have visited before, we would 100% recommend visiting!

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EIX Alcudia Hotel Review 

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During our trip to Mallorca we decided to stay in Alcudia a seaside resort about 45 minutes away from Palma. The hotel we stayed at was called EIX Alcudia. It was in fact an adults only hotel which we have never stayed in before so we were interested to see if there was any difference in our experience.

Upon arriving at the hotel the reception staff handed us each a cold glass of cava, this was a lovely surprise and incredibly refreshing seeing as we had just driven 45 minutes in a taxi with no aircon. We booked the hotel directly through the hotels website as they promised a free airport transfer. We did try and get in contact with the hotel before our stay to book the transfer but we didn’t hear back from them so unfortunately we did have to pay for a taxi.

We were able to check into our room slightly early which was a result and meant we could settle in right away. Our rooms were a decent size and very clean, we were particularly impressed to see we had been given a room with a balcony overlooking the Swimming pools.

We didn’t realise the hotel had two pools, there was a large rectangle pool and also a curved pool which were separated by a bridge. We spent the majority of our time by the smaller curved pool as we preferred the atmosphere and the steps that led you into the pool where perfect for sunbathing on.

The hotel did state they had a gym so of course we had to check it out whilst we were there. We wouldn’t really call it a gym it was the smallest hotel gym we ever seen the cross trainer was practically next to the jacuzzi, needless to say we didn’t go back. When we were taking a look we did happen to notice the spa facilities on offer at the hotel. There was a jacuzzi as mentioned previously but also a sauna and steam room.

The breakfast choice was amazing they had everything you can imagine on offer (minus smoked salmon). The fry up was pretty impressive if you are into them, imagine 3 or 4 different types of scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages. They had an egg chef that would prepare made to order omelettes, he was also in charge of cooking pancakes, waffles and friend eggs. We also happened to notice they had cava on offer which is something we haven’t seen before.  We also loved the fact you could sit outside and enjoy your breakfast in the sunshine.

The Internet connection at the hotel was amazing, we got so much work done on this holiday and we were able to upload our vlogs go YouTube daily which was amazing.

We had a cloudy day in the middle of our stay and one of the reasons we booked this hotel was because we knew they had bike hiring facilities. We went to reception to book our bikes for the day and we were picked up in a minibus and taken to the bike shop. It was ridiculously cheap only costing something like €10 for the entire day.

We mentioned earlier about the free shuttle bus service that came with the hotel, the day before we departed the hotel we spoke to the receptionist who contacted the shuttle bus service and arranged our transfer. There was a bit of confusion at first as the shuttle bus company couldn’t find us on the system, but once we explained that no one replied to our email about use arranging it they seemed fine.

If we were to go back to Alcudia we would definitely stay at this hotel again the location was perfect, it was less than a five minute walk to the beach, shops and restaurant which was ideal.

If you have any other questions about the hotel please do let us know, so we can answer them for you.

 

Ways to keep you entertained on holiday by the pool

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We love going on relaxing holidays. The sort of holidays that involve checking in, chucking on a bikini, grabbing a towel, finding your spot by the pool and not moving for a week or two. For the first couple of days we can just sit there ALL day long basking in the sun saying over and over again ‘this is the life’ because lets be honest life cant really get much better. The only thing you really have to worry about for the next week or so is whether or not you have got enough sun cream on because burning is certainly not on our agenda.

But are we the only ones who start to get itchy feet after a few days? We are so used to have hectic schedules where we are running around here there and everywhere that by day three we have some energy to burn. We therefore decided to collect and combine a list of of our favourite things to do to help keep us entertained and gives us another excuse to have an afternoon nap in the sunshine because lets be honest we deserve it!

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Lilo or Ring- who ever said lilos and rings were for kids? We always purchase a new lilo or ring when we go on holiday because firstly they make the perfect floating sunbed and secondly they are just fun. This year we both had watermelon rings from Primark, they were such a bargain and only cost us £5, when other stores were selling them for like £30!

Uno- this is one of our favourite games to play around the pool and can keep us entertained for hours. If you haven’t played Uno before then you really need to purchase it for your next holiday trust us your competitive side will definitely come out.

Play bat and ball- at the beginning of the holiday we are always shocking at bat and ball we can barely keep a rally going but with a LOT of practice by the end of the holiday we are pretty happy with our rally!

Magazine- Chilling by the pool reading a magazine catching up on the celebrity gossip or latest fitness craze. This year we opted for women’s and Men’s Health which we really enjoyed reading and also learnt some new work out tips as well. Does anyone else on holiday find themselves reading the same magazine over and over again until you eventually read every single article.

Books- we always manage to read so many books on holiday, its one of the only times in the year that we actually sit down and just read. We absolutely love getting stuck into a book that we cannot put down and always try and stick to reading when we get home but then life gets in the way and its not until the next holiday that we get our nose stuck into a book again!

Play would you rather- if you have never played would you rather its a game where you ask someone a question that starts with ‘would you rather’ and ends with a dilemma for example  ‘would you rather shave your head or not go to the gym for one year’.  The more you play the game the more ridiculous the dilemmas become.

Drink cocktails- need we say more?

 

Whats in our hand luggage

For some people they will only travel with hand luggage – putting baggage in the hold is just so expensive anyway! When we go on short holidays we will ALWAYS travel with hand luggage, whats the point in paying the extra when you can usually fit everything into a small wheelie suitcase anyway. Additionally it means that you have your luggage with you all the time so as soon as you get off the plane there is none of that faffing about waiting for the carousel, plus the little panic when your suitcase still hasn’t appeared isn’t fun at all.

However for those longer holidays where you have check bags we thought we would share our hand luggage essentials so your holiday can run as smooth as ever.

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1) Spare underwear/clothes – this is number 1 because its SO essential you do this. If by that very unfortunate event your suitcase ends up halfway across the world in China you need to have some spare clothes and of course spare swimwear. We always pack a spare bikini and underwear in the event this might (and we hope never) happen.

2) Phone – this is most probs a given as we know everyone these days are glued to their phones, however it has to be on our list anyway. These days you can download the airline app and have your boarding pass on your phone, we LOVE this and it saves that stress of printing or losing your paper ticket. Paper is so old school now anyway 😉

3) Portable charger and cable – this is vital for your hand luggage to keep your devices fully charged. The cable is important because some airports have charging points and some planes also have charging sockets, so you will never have to worry about your phone running out of battery.

4) Magazine/books – you have to have something to read to occupy your time and in case of a delay too! We always treat ourselves to a magazine for holiday, because we rarely buy them otherwise. Plus once you have the magazines you can also read them by the pool. If you don’t want to carry so many books we recommend downloading kindle app to your phone or tablet, or even purchase a kindle.

5) Headphones – we use our headphones to listen to music on the flight or at the airport. However we often download programmes to watch on the flight onto our tablet, so will use headphones to catch up on our favourite TV show.

6) Moisturiser/lip balm/toothpaste & toothbrush – planes can make you feel so dry due to the air con so we always carry moisturiser and lip balm with us to keep our hands and lips moisturised. Brushing your teeth can make you feel ten times better about yourself and if you are travelling long haul then we would definitely recommend this one.

7) Socks – planes can be so so cold due to the air con, therefore we will always bring a pair of socks in our hand luggage – there is nothing worse than feeling cold on the plane. However if you are on a long haul flight they will provide you with socks!

8) Eye Mask – if you are on a night flight or a long flight then an eye mask will be your best friend! Eye masks are so small and easy to fit in your hand luggage, and may make that long plane journey not feel so long!

9) Local guide book – you may as well kill some time by flicking through the guidebook and getting ahead of the game with planning your trip.

10) Pen & paper – We always make sure we carry a pen and some paper with us. We always find we spend the plane journey planning the holiday and writing down the things we want to do and places we want to see, this often involves flicking through a guide book (see point 9!). Sometimes we draft out a mini itinerary too to make sure we fit everything in.

11) Anti-bacterial hand gel – this is a necessity as you never know what you are going to touch or if there will be any tissues to dry your hands. In addition aeroplane toilets are not exactly the nicest! We love ones that smell nice and fruity!

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Happy travels! 

A weekend in Jersey

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands which sits between England and France. It is well known for its beaches, walking trails, world war tunnels and of course the delicious food. I have been lucky enough to visit Jersey since I was a baby as I have family who live over there, but if you have never visited then you really should.I would suggest booking an early morning flight from Gatwick, Luton or London city airport. The flight time is only 40-45 minutes so its super convenient and when you arrive either hop on a bus, hire a rental car or get a taxi to your final destination. Jersey is 9X5 which is great as it allows you to really explore the island during your visit and even better you can explore it by foot instead of by car.

We were due to fly out to Jersey at 9oclock on Friday morning but unfortunately we were delayed for several hours due to bad fog on the island. When we eventually did get on the plane at 1oclock we were unable to land as the visibility was still poor, so back we went to Gatwick. We transferred across to a later flight and we had our fingers crossed that we would be able to land. Due to the flight being cancelled earlier on in the day we were given some food vouchers to spend in the airport before boarding the flight at 18:30. It wasn’t quite the Friday evening we had in mind but never mind these things happen and we eventually made it.

We were staying in the parish of St Lawrence on the Victoria Avenue. My grandparents’ house overlooks the beach and the view is truly stunning. We liked to kick start our day at 7 o’clock heading out to the beach for a morning run. We ran along the sea front towards St Hellier where we found 50 rows of steps that we would run down and squat jump back up, it was a killer especially when we had a two mile run back. You truly cannot beat working out on the beach with the sun shining down on you; I wish my workout was like this every morning.

This weekend for us was a super chilled weekend, as we have visited Jersey lots of times so we didn’t visit the tourist attractions. I have however written a summary of places you should visit when visiting Jersey at the bottom of this blog post.

Once we had showered after our early morning run we headed up to the local shop called Benest to collect the daily paper. On our return we had some breakfast and then decided to walk into St Hellier, for a Saturday morning browse. We wondered into lots of little shops (the kind of shops you only ever enter if you are on holiday). the sun was shining and it was such a beautiful day we decided it was time to stop for a coffee. We wanted to visit an independent coffee shop but because I was being fussy and wanted an iced coffee we ended up in a coffee shop called coffee republic, which definitely isn’t an independent coffee shop.

Saturday afternoon was spent walking to St Aubins where we stopped off at The Boat house for a beverage, I opted for a crabbies ginger bear which was delicious. On our walk back the sun was setting and it was truly beautiful.

We finished our Saturday in a restaurant called Café Post in Grouville. The food in the restaurant was amazing and I wanted to eat it all over again. To start I had duck pancakes followed by a vegetarian nut roast served with Mediterranean vegetables and pesto and for dessert I went for the cheese trio. The atmosphere of the restaurant was lovely and the lighting made it feel lovely and cosy.

I had the best night sleep and naturally work up at 6 o’clock, after chilling in bed for a while it was time to get up and and out my running gear back on! The sun was still rising and it was the perfect start to our Sunday morning!

Breakfast today was a small drive away and the food was delicious (more about this on our Jersey breakfast post coming soon!). We had a short walk around the Victoria Park before our taxi came and picked us up for the airport.  Luckily our journey home was a lot smoother than Friday!

Things to do whilst in Jersey

1.) Corbiere Walk to the light house- you can follow the old railway track from St Aubins.
2.) Visit the Elizabeth Castle (opens early April and closes late October)
3.) Visit the Jersey beaches- St Aubins Bay, St Brelades, St Ouen’s Bay, Grouville & Greve de lecq
4). Wildlife park
5).Water sports- surfing etc
6).War Tunnels
7).Island RIB voyage
8). Day trip to Guernsey, Herm, Alderney or Sark