The Marrakech Express

Last weekend my friend Oma and I decided to take a quick trip to Marrakech. Since it is a quick flight from Italy, it is a rather easy weekend excursion.

We stayed at a charming Riad, and once we figured out how to get back to the place, we were golden. It is quite hard to find your way around the center of town, even if you’ve been there a bunch of times like I have. One incredible discovery was a map app that literally saved us a couple times called maps.me.

The maps.me app, once downloaded works offline. If you’ve every been terribly lost in another country, this is a MUST.

The food in Marrakech is delicious and fresh. Some of my favorite places include Le Jardin, Nomad, and Terrasse des esepices  , but make sure you make reservations, this is very easy to do online. Note: Don’t miss Norya ayroN at the top of the stairs at Le Jardin for one of a kind Moraccan style kaftans and tunics.

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We had a great time shopping for rugs and furnishings for our guest quarters. One of my big finds this trip was the most glorious rug vendor Bazar Du Sud, introduced to me by our guide Monica. I highly recommend that you hire a shopping guide. If you are interested in hiring my guide, just contact me through my site and I will connect you to Monica. I had a few places in mind for my shopping excursion, however our guide Monica had some new places on the schedule as well. I love shopping at Mastupha Blaoui, and if you have not been, GO! I found all sorts of great pieces for the guest quarters.

Warning: Leave plenty of time in your schedule as this place is enormous and chocked to the brim with amazing rugs, furnishings and home accessories. One amazing place we went, although it was not Moroccan and is owned by a Belgian woman, is called Magasin General. It is in an industrial part of town and is styled perfectly with treasures from all over Europe with a focus on Belgium. The owner is charming and full of helpful information; not to be missed. It is swoon worthy for sure.

All in all, our Morccan adventure was successful, and I managed to snag a few treasures for La Fortezza. I hope you will come visit sometime and stay with us in our newly appointed rooms.

Check out my instagram feed for more photos of our weekend trip to Marrakesh…Ciao for now

xx Annette

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#marrakechworkshop 2015 part 4 – Project Soar

IMG_8662 As many of you followed along on my #marrakechworkshop IG feed, you probably saw us spending our first day in Marrakech with some very cute girls at Peacock Pavilions. Some of you may or may not know that the owners Maryam and Chris spend tons of time to helping young girls ages 8-14 in their neighboring village. Project Soar, their amazing non-profit, is an inspiring project that nurtures and educates girls to aspire to be accomplished, educated women who can affect a difference in the their village and change in the world. Maryam and Chris open their home at Peacock Pavilions every Sunday, and the girls play sports and take part in various programs throughout the year. It’s the perfect environment to learn about opportunities, career paths, and to just have fun. Throughout the year Maryam and Chris work to raise money and awareness for the girls. When Maryam asked Deborah and I to take part in a photography-centric craft project with them, we jumped at the chance.

We all met at 10:30 on the basketball court at Peacock Pavilion; 43 adorable girls were in attendance that day. They were all enthusiastic about spending the morning playing basketball and learning about how a camera works. Deborah put together a really cute video, and I took care of the sun paper craft project. It could not have been more fun!  Our Project Soar translator Faysal ( who works with Project Soar) was terrific, plus he is a photographer/film-maker, so he was jazzed about the program for the girls.

Peacock Pavilions

Project Soar has become near and dear to our heart, and Frank and I are excited to continue to support Maryam and Chris’s efforts. It has become our pet project this year.

Speaking of projects here’s how you can help immediately!!!

Project Soar needs 15 bikes and helmets pronto!!!
The older girls will be moving to high school next year and it is at least a 45 minute walk to school each way.  This is when girls often drop out of school, leading them to become child brides and their childhood as well as higher education end there and then. A bike can make the difference!

We think a basic bike, rigged up with basket for books, a helmet, and a bike lock will cost about $400 in Marrakech. (bikes are more expensive because they must pay a big take since they are imported)

15 bikes = $6000.00 Check out their website, and please find it in your heart to help these amazing girls. please donate now.

Just think a few dollars can make a BIG difference.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Please watch for more on how you can help coming on my blog…

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