Six down, One to go!

Continents that is. Although my traveling adventures are very few compared to my world-traveled boyfriend I have finally one-up’d him. We went to Marrakech in Morocco this weekend which means I have now visited six out of the seven continents (maybe someday we will make it Antarctica for the seventh). During all his years of traveling the world the one place Charles has never been is South America, which we hope to change this coming spring. It is totally amazing to me that in just under two years I have been able to see so much and experience so many different cities and cultures. I was particularly excited to visit Marrakech because everything I had read about it sounded so amazing and almost too good to be true. Overall, I was not disappointed. The only thing that fell short for me was the food. Though not bad, it was also pretty basic and not nearly as tasty as I was expecting. We did manage to try a lot of the local treats, like fresh squeezed OJ and super sweet mint tea, which were both very good, and coconut cookies and all-spice tea. We stayed in a beautiful riad deep within the Medina (old city) and only got lost one time trying to find our way back through the maze like streets and alleys. The weather was perfect, about 75 F during the day.

My favorite part of the city were the souks. Small covered and open alleys crammed with tiny shops. They were endless! Leather goods, slippers, lanterns, tangines, silk scarves, jewelry, sweets, pottery, belts, purses, toys, hookahs, tunics, hats, spices, carpets and the list goes on and on and on…

Believe it or not there are actually two people in this cramped jewelry little shop.

There is a rhyme and reason to the craziness. The souks are kind of divided into areas. The carpet souks, spice souks, slipper souks, leather souks, etc. This is the entrance to the carpet souks.

One little section was filled with about 15 stalls selling olives and pickled items. Every stall looked almost identical and sold the exact same thing.

We took a little bit of time both days to visit some historical sites. This is the center pavilion at the Palace Badi.

We also left the Medina and ventured into downtown to visit the Marjorelle Gradens owned by Yves St. Laurent. It was a nice quite break from the chaos of the old city.

The Place El Jemma Fna is the largest working marketplace in the world and it is the center of Marrakech. This is where the locals and some tourist come to socialize, seek medical advice, listen to story tellers, and so much more.

For the tourists there are henna artists, water bearers, monkeys, games, dancers, food stalls and, of course, snake charmers. If you walk too close or make even the slightest bit of eye contact any of these merchants will literally chase you down to try and get you to buy something or to have your picture taken with them, which you will have to pay for. I stood behind Charles and snapped this picture of the snakes so the charmers wouldn’t see me.

This is the only picture that I paid for, but I couldn’t resist. The local dentist. He was so happy to hold up a tooth in his pliers and say cheese.

This place is very lively during the day, but as the sun goes down it really comes to life. This video clip is short and doesn’t completely capture the mood, but it should give you some idea of what it was like. This is at sunset just as the square was filling up.

All the merchants on the ground are selling herbal remedies and medical advice. We actually saw a man with a very captive audience lecturing about the human body from an old medical book. Amazing!

We had dinner one night in the square. Although the food was just average, the people watching was great.

I could go on and on about Marrakech, but this would become the world’s longest post. Needless to say, if you ever have a chance to visit North Africa make sure that Marrakech is on your itinerary. Click here to see all the pictures from this trip.

One thought on “Six down, One to go!

  1. Kim says:

    Oh these pictures are amazing!!! I just found your blog from a comment you posted on my friend Joslyn's blog (Simple Lovely). I haven't been to Morrocco but it's on my "must do" list. I live in London for a couple of years. Glad to see you're enjoying it!

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