Africa & the Middle East Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Marrakech Trip Report

Jump to last reply

Just got back from a long weekend in Marrakech.....some thoughts and a link to my blog for photos. I will be posting more tomorrow.

http://www.eatdreamtravel.com/2012/03/that-is-marrakech.html


"That is Marrakech." It is a phrase people use there when there is nothing else to say - when you notice the contradictions, the contrasts between old and new, the idiosyncrasies that make this place what it is.
Nothing encompasses the phrase more than this photo (see blog) Taken outside the medina, it encapsulates and explains Marrakech in one image. After all, Marrakech is both the ancient walled city (the medina) and the swanky jet-setter resort destination, in one day you can hear the call to prayer throughout the medina and an elegant jazz trio at a posh hotel.
Marrakech, and I imagine this applies to the rest of Morocco as well, is not an easy place to visit. It is not a place to sit-back and relax and be a passive tourist. It requires you to actively engage with people, with your surroundings, and with things that can try your patience. It is loud, chaotic, dusty, and the people can be aggressive. You constantly have to jump out of the way of speeding motorbikes (and donkey carts), fend off people trying to sell you something you don't want, and ignore the malnourished stray cats. At the same time, the city is enchanting; the colors are bright, the smells of slow-cooked lamb tagine and piles of spices surround you, and mint tea is offered unexpectedly as a sign of friendship.

If you go to Marrakech, I recommend that you let yourself get lost in the souk, the marketplace. Just wander. Say no thank you to the shopkeepers who call to you, but don't be afraid to look when they tell you "no obligation to buy" (this seemed to be one of the few english phrases every shopkeeper knew). Be respectful about not taking photos of people without asking first, but as you'll see here, we took lots of photos of the goods for sale. Make sure, in your wandering, that you head down the dimly lit alleys, the ones where you don't see any tourists. There you will find Moroccans making what they sell - carving the wood to make the animal figurines, cutting leather for purses, hammering hot iron to form lanterns. Another thing that may strike you is the way stores selling the same items are all grouped together - ten shoe stores in a row, twenty leather stalls, etc.

7 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcements:
  • Writers Needed for Mexico
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 24, 14 at 12:19 PM
  • Writers Needed for Georgia Coast
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
  • Writers Needed for Rwanda and Uganda
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
View all Africa & the Middle East activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report 15 days, 5 walks, 4 medinas, 3 gal of mint tea, 2 camel rides, one Morocco!
  2. 2 Trip Report 2 Weeks In Iran: So Far Away From The Clichés!
  3. 3 FS: 2013 Toyota Sequoia PLATINUM / Evoque 2012
  4. 4 Mala Mala Luxury Suite or Sabi Sabi Mandleve Presidential Suite?
  5. 5 Trip Report Morocco Sahara Desert Experience - Trip Report
  6. 6 Questions about Chobe
  7. 7 What camera to use on safari
  8. 8 Wildlife camps in Kenya and Tanzania
  9. 9 Staying out all day vs coming in for lunch in Botswana parks/concessions?
  10. 10 Lamu or Zanzibar?
  11. 11 India
  12. 12 Tanzania (Ruaha): Trip Report for Mwagusi Camp
  13. 13 Ideas about the trip.
  14. 14 Israel/Jordan -- other trip options to bypass Israel?
  15. 15 3 days in Teheran
  16. 16 CAMEL TREK IN MOROCCO
  17. 17 Trip Report trip report s africa, victoria falls & Botswana Zambezi Queen
  18. 18 Draft itinerary - Portugal, Spain, Morocco
  19. 19 Some advice re driving from Durban to Capetown via Umtata
  20. 20 Oman - moderate priced hotel near souks
  21. 21 Taxi - Casablanca Airport to El Jdidh
  22. 22 Ethiopian Air - Horrible
  23. 23 Botswana vs Namibia in May
  24. 24 Discover Namibia Tours & Safaris - Gemma Dry
  25. 25 FOREX Nairobi airport
View next 25 » Back to the top