eco travels: marrakech, the red city


known for its rose-colored walls made of red sandstone, its maze-like streets and its labyrinth alleyways dating back to its founding in 1062, marrakech has a rich history that can be traced to neolithic times. with its myriad outdoor suqs {the araab word for bazaars} brimming with handcrafted silver baubles, pink pottery, woven tapestries and fragrant spices as well as the vibrant central square + marketplace, jamaa el fnaa, known as the busiest square in africa, marrakech is a locale vibrating with high energy + travelers from all around the world converging in a region filled with talented artisans + genial locals.

here are my six fave must see + must do experiences in this colorful, sometimes cacophonous + always dynamic city of marrakech: 1. dar cherifa cafe a sunny riad and eatery offering an entirely vegan menu. the vegetable tagine, served up in a traditional earthenware pot, was flavorful, fantastically filling + perfectly seasoned. insouciant kitty cats lounge around + happily dispense of patrons' leftovers. a beautifully tiled courtyard with blooming orange trees provide a tranquil + multi-hued venue; 2. maison de la photographie is an open-air photography museum featuring some of the most intriguing images + a visual history of quotidian life of the people of marrakech. a beautiful panorama view of the city is offered from their rooftop cafe; 3. majorelle garden french painter + passionate botanist jacques majorelle poured his heart + soul into the creation of this dazzling green oasis, a calming garden filled with exotic plants + trees from all five continents. you'll find a quaint cafe within to rest + enjoy traditional mint tea: the perfect place to recharge amidst songbirds; 4. musee yves saint laurent is a museum dedicated to showcasing the work of the legendary fashion designer who emancipated women from their restrictive clothing and gave us flattering utilitarian wardrobe essentials; 5. koutoubia mosque is a red brick + stone, 12th century mosque with an expansive garden + fountains. a central landmark located in the medina quarter, it is an architectural wonder with decorative arches, spires + orbs. from the mosque comes a call to prayer five times a day; 6. the market: jemaa el-fnaa this prominent marketplace was a place an introvert like me shied away from, but late one evening with the urging of our convivial host, my partner + i ventured out into the night air under a blanket of bright stars and we were swallowed by the whale. in the most beautiful sense, we were enveloped by the clamor of wide-eyed merchants, the smell of handcrafted incense, the colors of handmade berber rugs, and endless stalls of steaming food. it is a highly stimulating experience, but it is also the most magnificent reminder that we are alive + we were experiencing all of life's exquisite sights, sounds + smells. 

full of plant-strong options, i was overjoyed with the veggie + vegan cafe options available throughout the city: try the 100% vegan earth cafe + the veg-friendly nomad restaurant for more plant-strong options.

{eco mode: top photo, wearing a handcrafted, organic cotton sun dress from eco label by the sea; bottom photo, wearing a #30wears cropped sweatshirt with an entirely thrifted outfit including a faux leather moto jacket, oversized chinos + a vintage military messenger bag from mad vintage paris with a handmade, organic cotton scarf purchased in turkey}