Highlights of Magical Marrakech Retreat: April 20-27 2012!
31 Thursday May 2012
We manifested another amazing retreat in the exotic, beautiful city of Marrakech in April 2012. Wanted to share the highlights of our Moroccan adventure living in the Medina with our retreat participants.
Riad – Our Riad, a traditional courtyard mansion, deep in the old city was our home for eight glorious days. We ate delicious breakfasts of yogurt, fresh croissants and bread, fruit, jams, cheese, orange juice, espressos and tea.
Our dinners were just as spectacular with traditional chicken and fish tagines, seven vegetable cous cous, vermicelli, Moroccan salads galore, red and white wine, scrumptious desserts and of course, mint tea, which we also enjoyed with Moroccan pastries each afternoon.
The entire Riad was ours so we lounged in the multiple living rooms as well as the roof garden, where we had daily morning yoga with Aisha. The roof terrace offered incredible views of the city and the Atlas mountains.
Our Riad was walking distance to the famous Jemma el Fna square and souk so the location was fantastic. We all enjoyed Moroccan spa (hammam) and massage treatments around the corner at Hammam de la Rose.
Many of the feng shui and life enhancement classes were held in various cozy spots in the Riad accompanied by mint tea. I taught classes on clearing clutter, romance in the bedroom, manifestation techniques, mental feng shui, choosing purposeful travel mementos, living authentically and more!
Old City and Souk– Walking in the Medina (old city) was a highlight as our retreaters took hundreds of photos of beautiful palaces and historical sites. Below we were amazed at the architecture and tile at a 12th century school.
The spices, foods, clothes, tea pots and everything else you can imagine were on display in one of the world’s most famous marketplaces, the Marrakech Souk! It’s a feast for your senses. I loved photographing the colorful dried flowers and spices. The fresh squeezed orange juice was incredibly delicious!
Our participants couldn’t get enough of the souk where they bought Moroccan lanterns, tea glasses, antique coined purses, artwork, bedspreads, Moroccan shoes, scarves, hats, bottles, bathroom hardware, mirrors and more. My husband, Zouhir, helped them get the best price by bargaining on their behalf. Below is what we called “rug alley!”
Jemma el Fna – We loved walking around the famous Jemma el Fna square where hundreds of street food vendors cook scrumptious dishes. We started out with Harira soup (veggie lentil) as our appetizer and then headed over to Stall #14 where we ate the best fish, French fries and eggplant!
Walking around is an experience our participants won’t soon forget with snake charmers, musicians, dancers, fortune-tellers and horse-drawn carriages all pulling their attention. Mint tea was abundant but on this night, we took them to our favorite spice tea stall which was delicious!
Day Trip to Coast – Essaouira – Our group traveled by private bus to the coastal town of Essaouira with a spontaneous stop at a horsemanship competition, in which we were the only tourists.
Next, we visited an Argan Oil women’s cooperative. They were able to watch the centuries-old techniques of how local Berber women make Argan oil, known as “liquid gold.” Argan oil, from the indigenous Argan tree, is rich with vitamins, anti-oxidants & essential fatty acids that hydrate, protect and nourish the face and hair.
After seeing some “goats in trees” on the side of the road, we arrived in Essaouira, shopped in the medina, ate a delicious lunch and explored the ancient Kasbah overlooking the ocean. Essaouira has been called the “Malibu of Morocco.”
Moroccan Cooking Class – Another highlight was the cooking class held at Riad ZamZam where our retreaters learned how to make lamb and veggie tagines, three Moroccan salads (carrot, eggplant and potato) as well as a traditional cheese pastry. It was one of the best meals on the trip! Thanks to Emma and her staff at Riad ZamZam.
They left with full tummies, a tagine serving dish and a book of recipes to try at home.
Day Trip to Atlas Mountains – Ourika Valley – Only 1.5 hours outside of Marrakech up in the mountains is a quaint Berber village surrounded by waterfalls. The snow-topped mountains and greenery were a welcome site after being in the busy desert city of Marrakech. Along the way, we saw a few camels waiting to take people on a ride.
We hiked up the mountains past café’s, outdoor shops and beautiful scenery to reach the large waterfalls at the top. What a view! It was especially wonderful to have lunch and teach class lounging next to the flowing stream nestled into the mountains. I took time for a short meditation in the natural surroundings.
On our ride back to Marrakech, there were stunning views of Berber villages nestled in the Atlas Mountains.
Trip of a Lifetime! – We had a very special group with so many like-minded people really connecting and enjoying each other’s company. Nobody wanted to go home and many of our participants are planning to return to Morocco. They said over and over “This was a trip of a life time!”
My husband and I are so happy to be able to offer this opportunity to enjoy Morocco in an effortless way. Our participants were beyond grateful to experience such a foreign exotic country with no stress whatsoever. They loved waking up each day to a new adventure!
I want to give special thanks to my husband, Zouhir, who was our guide in every way from making sure our transportation arrived on time, to arranging our daily menus, to bartering for our guests and every bit of translating you can imagine. He was awesome!
We can’t wait for the next retreat! We’re leading a Tuscany Rejuvenation Retreat in Italy from Sept 27 – Oct 4th 2013. Come with us! Until then, we are riding off into the Marrakech sunset…
Sending positive energy your way,
P.S. Check out our Participant Video Reviews straight from the courtyard of our Moroccan Riad.