we took a quick trip to marrakech morocco the other week. it was sort of a last minute trip and luckily we may have been the only people not affected by the great iceland ash cloud.
we met e’s dad there and stayed in marrakech for 3 nights and tried to get a good feel for the city and take in all of its chaotic yet laid back energy. it was my first time traveling to a muslim country, so hearing the call to prayer 5 times each day was different, especially the one at 4.30 am that woke me up each day. by the end of the trip the call to prayer was more like the soundtrack to morocco. another interesting thing was crossing the streets. they have faint cross walks painted, but no one stops for them and to cross the street you have to wait for a break in the traffic and then run for it.
the old part of the city has a giant square (djemaa el fna) with snake charmers, old ladies sitting on the ground, dudes with monkeys, fruit carts, scooters buzzing around, clown-like men with water for drinking in a leather backpack and brass cups attached to themselves, and other little groups of people huddled around. at night it gets even more crazy with open air street food venders and different circles of people huddled around. off the main square is a maze of streets that were built to confuse invaders. they are only about 5 feet wide, are full of little shops (souks) with aggressive salesmen selling every type of moroccan product you can think of, and to buy anything you have to get your haggle on. then once you’re done, the adventure begins, because you have to find your way back through the maze to the square.
another day we took a trip to the atlas mountains and walked to a berber village which was like we had time traveled except there were satellite dishes on the roofs. the village we visited was basically made from dirt and powered by donkeys. right next to it were large couscous fields, with snowcapped mountains in the background.
one last thing. moroccan dates are sooo good. i like dates no matter where i am, but in morocco they’ve got some really good ones. i ate so many dates while we were there.
morocco was a real trip to visit, and hard to describe with words, so maybe these photos will help…