Day 323 – 325 : Marrakech Madness

Trip Start Mar 23, 2010
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Trip End Mar 23, 2011


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Flag of Morocco  ,
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It was time for the third continent of our journey, and entering Africa's northern tip immediately provided a whole new dimension to our travels. As with Istanbul, but taking it a step further, Maroc was going to be a complete change to what we had encountered previously and the status quo of the day.

Entering Marrakech is immediately a slap in the face. Stepping off the bus right into Djemaa El Fna, with hundreds and hundreds of people moving and squawking around you is a dizzying affair whilst looking for that little alley off the unmarked road which leads to the cheap hotels. We found it quickly enough, and settled into a great place, dumped our bags and got involved.

Djemaa El Fna itself is an awesome affair, with a totally different atmosphere and array of activities to take your interested depending on the time of the day. They have musicians, traditional medicines, snake-oil sales salesmen, snake charmers, story tellers, palm readers, henna artists, con artists, skill testers water sellers and all other manner of things – and this is before the sun goes down.

Once the darkness sets in, the food stalls come out, and things turn up a notch. The variety is good, and you’ll have someone persuade you there food stall is the best every 2 and a half steps, but the offerings are very cheap and tasty in there. Not totally satisfied though, we decided we would get in on the act and attended a cooking class at an amazing little vegetarian place in town, trying our hand at some Moroccan inspired dishes – picking up a few handy techniques along the way.

And, when not in the square or slaving away in the kitchen, you’ll probably be lost in the Souks where you can buy just about anything at a "very good price", you just have to “make your offer” or give an “example of what you like to pay”. We heard so many yelps of “konichiwa & “ali baba”, were given the hard-sell on so many things we weren’t interested in, and pestered by café touts it nearly got tiring – luckily, it was still fun, and we had some time on the coast booked in to recover anyway.
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