Friday, January 18, 2013

marrakech: day two

Rise and shine - at least in Marakech!

When I wrote yesterday, we had planned to go to Yves' home and the big mosque here in the city. Just as I had uploaded my blog-post, we changed our plans and went to a specialized Hammam-spa. Yes, that's what they do here. Let me run you through it, as it was heavenly.

We stepped into an oasis of silence and peace. They asked us to change into our bathing suit and then they walked us to the hammam-'bath'. A room which compares to a sauna -- very hot, very steaming. They let us lie down in there for about ten minutes, when they returned with treatment number one: Savon Noir (I believe she called it)... Translates to 'Black Soap'. It's a Morrocan specialty and evidently it polishes the skin. Its texture is like soft, soft caramel. When they had soaked our bodies in it, they closed the door and let us steam for about another ten minutes.
Back they came with a black glove in their hands. They scrubbed our bodies 'til the point where I wondered, if we had any skin left. I thought I was the scrubbing-master.... Turns out: Not.
Once again, they left the room and let us steam for about 5 minutes. They came back with a clay-mask and covered out bodies and faces in it. 5 minute steam. Rinsed our skin, let us wash our hair and moisturized us in Morocco's famous argan oil.

We were left with totally and utterly soft baby-skin. I don't think my skin has ever been this soft. The entire treatment took about 45 minutes. Both before and after we were served with tea and snack in their lounge chairs.

You can get the treatment alone or with your partner. I thought it would be odd to have another person rub my belly, but it wasn't. To them, that's their everyday. It was amazing.

VERY zen, we left the Hammam (Le Bain de Marrakech -- The Bath of Marrakech) and went back into the souk, where we spent the day. We had tuna sandwiches and walked around in the noise and dirt. It sounds unpleasant, but it's fascinating.

By 5 o'clock, we went to our hotel, relaxed, showered and went to an amazing restaurant in La Nouvelle Ville (The New City) Marrakech is known for its "Old City" and its "New City". The difference is big. We live in the old part of town - in the Medina, to be exact. A place considered holy in Islam. This part of the city is, as its name, old. It's dirty and it's noisy. The New City is like a modern European capital. High street chains like H&M, Zara, Mango and several more lie in the streets along with hip night clubs and cute cafés. You wouldn't believe the difference. Big boulevards, palm trees and clean streets. No homeless dogs, no donkeys. 

But yes - that's where we went to dinner: Comptoir, was its name. It was un-be-lievable!!! An old brasserie of a palace turned into an amazing and extravagant restaurant/night club after midnight. At 10:30 they dimmed the lights, and down the humongous stairs came several belly-dancers dressed in amazing clothes and jewelry. They rocked the place for around 15 minutes with amazing rhythms and breath-taking moves. I actually filmed it, but it was so dark that my poor iPhone couldn't snap half as much as my eyes. 

We stayed 'til around 1. Had drinks, watched the dancers (they came back!) and talked to locals. What a night.

Much love and gros bisous

Psssst: First picture below is from Le Bain de Marrakech.
The next two are from the square in the souk.
Third is my man drinking OJ for 4 Dirham (1,3 kroner!!!)
Fourth is.... Me :)

Pssssssssssssssssssst: When I return to Paris, I'm gonna make a list of where to go, where not to go, what to eat and what not to eat -- all the places I go will be included, so don't worry: I'll write down everything so you have a guide to the city!

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