Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Moroccan Adventure: City of Marrakesh

Our Morocco adventure begins in the city of Marrakesh.

Djaama El Fna during the day
DJAAMA EL FNA. Marrakesh's main market square, where snakecharmers flock in the day.

Coming from 10 months of living and travelling across Europe, though I enjoyed most of it, it was nice to be out of the continent and taste yet again the feeling that I had when I first got into Belgium – the feeling of being lost.

Danco and Jerick to Paris Orly
TRAVEL BROTHER TO MOROCCO. My flatmate and friend Danco and I on our way to Paris Orly Airport

With hardly any plans and booked trains and hostels, Danco and I, took our flight from Paris Orly to Marrakesh. It took us 2 hours before we landed in Morocco. Dirtier than Paris (and less French), sunnier than Brussels, less smokey than Amsterdam, and far less Christian than Rome – Marrakesh is clearly not Europe.

We stayed in an amazing hostel – Riad Massine II, and I must say that I never received such accommodating response compare to what I received here.

PALAIS BADII. One of the ancient sites in Morocco.

Marrakesh screams with color, from the colors of the ceramics to the colors (and smells) of the spices. At the same time, we had fun looking at the arabic lettering and drinking Coca-cola with the label in Arabic.

Stop? Don't cross?
ARABIC? I'LL STICK TO ENGLISH. I don't know what this sign says.

After lunch which was for 20 dirhams (€2), we met a fellow Canadian-Asian backpacker, Lawrence, to go around with. The sightseeing parts were tough because of the heat that's why we always kept a bottle of water handy.

Colorful Ceramics


Meeting/bargaining with the locals
SHOPPING, SHOPPING, MORE SHOPPING. (Top to Bottom) Colorful ceramic plates; Some local sweets made from different sundried berries, fruits etc; While in another ceramics shop, we promised him that we will recommend his shop and now I'm doing him free publicity.

After visiting the tourist sites, we decided to go to the souks or the marketplace, to do some shopping. They say that shopping on your first day is not advised because it's better to get a feel of the real price first, but we managed to buy a lot. I think it was only because we enjoyed haggling and bargaining (or bullshiting) and we always bargain the cheapest (starting at 5-10% of the original price). That's why they always ask - "how much would you pay for it?" so that we won't be able to bargain bad. Anyway, in the end, we bought a lot, which I think was fine since in the next days we didn't had much time to go around.

Djaama El Fna during the night
LIGHTS AT NIGHT. Djaama El Fna at night.

Marrakesh at night was also fantastic. Djaama El Fna, the main square, lits up at night. Food stalls, magicians, herbologists keeps the square busy. And for us, we decided to get "drunk" from the fresh orange juice (3 dirhams). After an exotic meal for dinner, we chilled out the rest of the night in a terrace where you get an overview of the square.

Djaama El Fna terrace

Dinner is served
FIRST NIGHT. Danco, Lawrence and I chilled out in a terrace over looking the square; Brains for dinner? Yummy.

More stories soon...
(Finally, I manage to finish one entry!)


Anonymous said...

The sign in Arabic says

"Do not take photos of this sign"


Glad you enjoyed your trip, looks like you had fun.

Anonymous said...

that's hysterical!