Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
58Trip End Apr 15, 2008
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We stayed in a beautiful Riad (traditional Moroccan B&B with open-air courtyard connecting the rooms) in the oldest part of town, the Medina. The streets are more like narrow alleyways, which sell everything: leather shoes and purses, scarves and clothes, blankets, rugs, lamps and electronics - no handicraft is excluded. We were instantly enveloped in the shopping frenzy and bought gifts for ourselves and others, always bargaining fiercely for the best price. Bargaining is a staple of the culture here, so much so that they people have made an art of it
We met several locals who, for a small tip, lead us through the lesser traveled streets of the Medina for a look beyond the storefronts. A student named Mustafah took us to the ovens downstairs from the souks (stores) where the local women bake their bread and roast nuts. We stopped by a shop where men dyed scarves and blankets with natural vegetable dyes (cool pics) and, later, met an herbalist named Dr. Zhivago who gave us a lecture about the healing properties of plants and herbs. And finally, the carpet dealers, selling beautiful hand-made rugs made by Berber women in the mountains. These were true works of art that we could not possibly afford on this trip.
At night, the main square, Jaama El Fna, transforms into an open-air dining bazaar. Food stalls line up their picnic tables and serve up delicious seafood, couscous and salads. There is no better (or cheaper) place to eat in all of Marrakech and we enjoyed spicy suppers every night. It was some of the best food we have eaten in all these months.
Morocco is an awesome place, if not a bit intense, the people are genuine and their culture is intriguing. Come here if you ever have the opportunity, you will be blown away.