Globe Trekker - Marrakech & Dubai
Located at the north tip of Africa, Morocco is a country of stark desert, high mountain ranges and richly cultured cities. Known as the 'great' desert city of Morocco, Marrakech lies 60 miles from the coast, next to Morocco's towering Atlas Mountain Range. The city itself is a fusion of Africa, Europe and the Islamic world, divided between the Ville Nouvelle, built by the French in the 20th Century and Medina, home to the souk markets and the famous central square, Jemaa el Fna. KT Comer takes a horse drawn carriage to Koutoubia Mosque, which marks the western edge of the old walled city and stays in the Hotel Central Palace. An old riad (townhouse) located in Medina, the hotel offers budget luxury and wonderful views over the city for only $20 a night. The next day she descends on the markets of the souk to sample the thousands of stalls and myriad of handmade goods found there. Spread over a mile, the souk has remained the centre of life in Marrakech since its inception in the twelfth century. The Jemma el Fna is where all the action happens. The centre is filled by a random and changing assortment of snake charmers, storytellers acrobats, clowns, dancers and so on. Add to this the variety of food on offer and you realise just how special the square is - so much so that UNESCO has made it a World Heritage Site. KT then makes it over to the Jewish cemetery in the Mellah, the Jewish quarter, which lies at the south-eastern edge of the Medina. Waves of Jewish settlers arrived in Morocco in the first millennium BC. Megan McCormick visits a skin auction where farmers bring the skins to sell to tanners who pass them on to the leather workers. In Dubai, Globe Trekker, Megan McCormick, goes downtown to the docks on the Creek, where the majority of trade is done between Iran and Dubai. Megan takes a riverboat to the gold souk of Deira where she tries on some exquisite jewellery. Dubai combines both the old and the new in the most extraordinary way. Megan travels to the Bastakia Quarter which used to be a small settlement nestled along a sandy creek. Some of the most striking architecture can be found along Jumeira beach. The most iconic building in the area has to be the Burj Al Arab. At 320 metres high, this self styled 7 star palace is the tallest hotel in the world. Sitting on its own island, the hotel has 1000 sq metres of gold leaf and is a temple to high-class kitsch. Each one of the 202 suites has its own butler too!