How to get stuck in the medina of Marrakechs with the rental car - a guide.By Elisa | On 13. April 2017 take an adVANture · On April 13, 2017
Before I take you on a road trip from Fez to Marrakech , I'll show you today why Marrakech and Google Maps are a terribly bad combination. A small excerpt from my travel life, which shows once again that not everything is always as it would like to imagine. In the meantime I can laugh about it, even if my knees are shaking with the thought of the situation.
Once stuck with the rental car in the medina of Marrakech: √ Check.
It is sometime at the end of March, behind us are some exciting days coming from Fez. After boundless freedom and vast landscapes, the last stop of our road trip follows. The drive to Marrakech takes off, wistfully we leave the mountains behind us and steer towards the sunset. It's already dark when we reach the city limits, using Google Maps we navigate to our hostel. At least we'll try it, because shortly after that happened, what I've been most afraid of all the time. We are stuck with our car in the middle of the medina, where actually vehicles of this size are not allowed. Around us crowds that squeeze between us and the next house wall. Behind us a multitude of mopeds, which make it clear to us with an unmistakable noise that we have no business here. One of them actually pushes our car briefly, which fortunately leaves no damage. We would very much like to make room, turn around once and disappear as quickly as possible. What might even have been possible, the people around us would just wait for a moment.
Other countries, other customs, so there is no back and forth anymore. The mopeds are now squeezing past our car, only a few millimeters away from major paint damage. Until a young Moroccan takes pity on us, knocks on our window and gives us the opportunity to turn around. A few meters in front of us is a small square, which is a bit wider than our car is long. So I manage in a few moves to turn the Dacia by 180 degrees, between a greengrocer on one side and another stall on the other. An old gentleman sits next to us on a wall next to us, gesticulating that we should not damage his bicycle protruding into the street at right angles. I try to be calm in person, but I just think: "WTF, then just take your damn ... bike to the side, you Vollhorst!".
Our helpful Moroccan takes a seat in the passenger seat and leads us out of the medina, to a public car park near a school. There we can also leave our car for the next 2 nights, for 100DH fee (about 10 €). I have to catch my breath for a moment, with shaky legs and sweaty hands I get out. We take our backpacks and he shows us the way to the hostel, which we would have found difficult in the current condition. Upon arrival, our helpful Moroccan turns out to be what we actually expected here. The 100DH that we offer him, are far too few, at least 200DH it would be. With flimsy reasons, he explains his greed and ultimately we have no choice but to pay him his required amount. Where are the people who just help for the sake of helping?
In the telephone reserved hostel then the next bankruptcy of the evening, the male diva at the front desk knows of no booking and space for 5 people he would not have anyway. Besides, he was tired now, and after all, we were guilty of everything. Finally, we end up in another hostel near the famous Djemaa el Fna and fall into bed exhausted.
The first impression of Marrakech was not positive and also on the next day, the picture did not really want to change. Too often we were duped then, encounters ended rude or even offensive and even the nice acquaintances never took place without background. What a pity, because we met the local people with mistrust.
Although I have to say clearly that I had this impression ONLY from Marrakech! With so many tourists, it makes no difference whether you are nice to one and unfriendly to another. Because behind the next corner already waiting for another potential customer. During our road trip the day before, we invariably met friendly and helpful people who make you believe in the good again.
And what do we learn from this? Google Maps should not always be the first choice, planning seems to be everything and definitely I'll probably make similar mistakes again soon.
Other articles about Morocco: