Essaouira - A Colorful Medina -

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Essaouira is a port city perched on the Atlantic Ocean about two and a half hours for the bus ride from Marrakesh. The bus lines are operated by Supratours. Buses depart from Gueliz and arrive at a bus stop adjacent to the Medina in Essaouira.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by blue skies filled with seagulls along with a refreshing sea breeze and bustle of busy fisherman scurrying about. The Medina of Essaouira is circled by tall walls. Within you’ll find the famous white and blue buildings along the main roads surrounding the souk. If you’d like to stop for a drink or something to eat, I suggest the square in the center of the Medina. The souk here is a much less chaotic and more maritime version of the one in Marrakesh. It is still just as disorienting though, especially the Souk au poisson (fish souk).

Walking around the seafront, you’ll notice numerous stalls selling freshly squeezed orange juice, or alternatively, some sweets made with marijuana ;-).

For dinner, I strongly recommend trying one of the many fish stalls around the “grillade de poissons” (grilled fish). Here you’ll be able to find grilled freshly caught fish straight from boat to plate.

Marrakech - Useful Info -

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If you live in Europe, Marrakesh is the perfect destination for a long weekend or quick getaway. Although it is a very lively city, here you will still have the chance to unplug and escape hectic day to day life back home.

Marrakesh Meanara airport is quite near to the city, only around 10km. This makes transportation to and from the terminal rather quick and efficient.
Taxis should be relatively cheap, even for trips within the city. From my personal experience, they can also be wildly inconsistent.  When I took a taxi from my hotel to the airport, it cost me only 2€, meanwhile, my trip from the airport to my hotel came out to 27€.

When it comes to overnight accommodations, you must have already heard of the famous “Riads” of Marrakesh. These are traditional Moroccan style buildings with internal courtyards that usually house a swimming pool or a hammam. I absolutely recommend spending some time in one of these. As for neighborhoods, there is no doubt that the Medina is by far the best. The Medina is the historic heart of the city surrounded by the ancient fortifications. It is made up of winding alleys and lanes that make up an impressive labyrinth.

The Aya Riad is an excellent choice for those who want a little peace and quiet while at the same time not compromising on location. It is a few steps away from the chaotic markets of the old town! The Riad is composed of 8 rooms decorated in traditional Morrocan style surrounding a courtyard and a spectacular terrace. The terrace is the ideal place to have breakfast while taking in amazing views of the famous rooftops of Marrakesh or the breathtaking sunsets. Sofia, the manager of the Riad is very friendly and organized. She can be reached by email at: riadaya.marrakech@gmail.com - tell her that Giulia referred you!

Kuala Lumpur - Central Market & Merdeka Square -

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The Central Market (Pasar Seni) is a gargantuan building housing hundreds of shops offering batik designs, the wares of local artisans, and every type of souvenir you can think of.

Exiting the Central Market and heading north, you’ll find 3 of the most important buildings in Kuala Lumpur. The first is Masjid Jamek Mosque. You may enter to have a look but be aware that a strict dress code in enforced: men must wear pants and women must cover their hair with a veil. On the other side of the river, you’ll next find the Merdeka Square. At 100m, the giant Malaysian flag at the center of the square is said to be the tallest in the world. Adjacent to the square, you’ll find the Royal Selangor Club; a historic building that has hosted some of Malaysian high societies most important meetings and celebrations since 1890. On the other side of the square, the Sultan Abdul Samad mosque is one of the oldest in Kuala Lumpur.

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