Wednesday, 4 November 2015

MARRAKECH - MOROCCO Part 2 - Market Mini-Series

Following on from last week's post - our next big city was Marrakech. 




Finding our way to the car park where Motorhomes can park overnight was a nightmare. My navigator role was tested to the limit – as was my driver husband’s. How he held his nerve as we kept teetering on the verge of being killed, I’ll never know. 
Imagine a cacophony of cars, mopeds, tuk-tuks, bicycles, trucks, buses and donkey carts - all ignoring the marked lanes, no indicating, no entering and exiting round-a-bouts correctly, jumping red lights… you name it – they were doing it.
And that’s not forgetting the pedestrians stepping into the road whilst looking the other way. Inshallah that they make it to other side.

We were almost hysterical – but found the whole challenge strangely exhilarating.


I could hardly believe it when we found our car park. 
We were directed to a quiet location round the back next to a lean-to containing sacks of garlic.



A few men were sitting in the shade opposite us. After we’d settled in, we gave them French walnuts in exchange for tiny glasses of teeth-clenchingly sweet tea.
In the heat the pungent smell of the garlic was rather overpowering. 



We were a short walk from the main action in the famous Marrakech square: Jemaa el Fna (spelt how you will!) 




There were African drummers, snake charmers, men with monkeys and hawks, women offering to paint Henna patterns on my hands, fortune tellers, storytellers, clowns, dancers, singers and beggars. 






The hustling was good natured and friendly. 









At dusk the food stalls cranked up the action. Tagines, couscous and kebabs were all on offer. We chose a non-touristy stall and ate ‘Arabic’ soup with small wooden ladles and sweet sesame pastries called Chabakia.





Mint is massive in Morocco. We saw the aromatic herb being sold everywhere.


























We returned the following morning. Things were much quieter, with people restocking their stalls.



























All in all, the iconic square in Marrakech is an unmissable stop on any itinerary to Morocco whether you’re in a Motorhome or not.





Next stop Ouzoud in the Atlas Mountains…


12 comments:

  1. It looks fascinating and I'd love to see the markets full of spices. Pretty sure we're not brave enough to do it in our motorhome though!

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    1. Moroccan markets are wonderful, Patsy. I didn't think I'd be brave enough either - but since my husband was so keen, I said I'd go provided he drove and I navigated. I'm very glad we did it. As well as having a brilliant experience, I also gained a huge amount of material for my writing!

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  2. I love the scents of a market and you describe so many here. The lack of aroma is definitely one of the differences between supermarket and market food shopping. Not sure I would enjoy the driving here though.
    Ann

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    1. I think you're right, Ann. There's nothing like a market to bombard the olfactory nerves! Moroccan driving is not for the faint hearted - especially in a large motorhome. I would probably do it in a car though - but only because I have experience of driving in challenging conditions in other countries!

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  3. Seeing the stacks and bags of mint reminds me of the stack and bags of Coca leaves in Peru. I can almost hear the bustle of the markets through your photos.

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  4. Thanks, Sue. Coca leaves in Peruvian markets sounds rather more edgy than mint in Morocco. :)

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  5. It is certainly a colourful country, and the markets look quite intriguing. Thanks for sharing them.

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  6. Thanks, Carol. Morocco was more wonderful to tour around than I ever imagined. As well as all the sights and sounds, we've never received so many offers of hospitality.

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  7. Very brave to drive there Susan! What a wonderful description you've given - you really get a sense of the place and beautiful photos as well!

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  8. Thank you, Rosemary. I've been writing travel articles for over twelve years, so looking for photo opportunities has become second nature. :)

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  9. Hi Susan, just enjoyed catching up with your 'markets' posts. Fascinating places and, as you say, the best places to get a glimpse of the real country and the people who live there.

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  10. Hi Linda - thanks for dropping by and glad to hear you're enjoying these posts. There will be more! :)

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