Karolina and I spent the last two weeks traveling through Morocco. The trip began with a week long drive trough Morocco’s major cities; Agadir, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, and Fes, with a long 500km track back to Marrakesh and then again back to Agadir for a second full week of beach resting. With a new continent came a new culture, religion, customs and people that while overly helpful really just wanna make a buck off of a busload of tourists. There’s a lot to tell and show so my next few posts will be purely Morocco based. Hope you enjoy ’em.
Known also as the “Red City”, Marrakesh has a population of around 1 million people and if I was a betting man I’d say all of them work at the largest market in Morocco known as the Djemaa el Fna. This market recently made headlines when a bomb exploded in a busy touristy cafe about a month ago, which explained the hundreds of police officers and dozens of security checks we came upon all throughout our trip. Morocco cracked down on any extremism through a show of force and never during our trip did anything of that sort even cross my mind, safety was well advertised all around us.
Djemaa el Fna is also considered the busiest square in Africa and while I have nothing else to compare it to I am willing to believe it. From ‘dancing’ Cobra snakes, eatable snails, dry fruit stands, and the most delicious orange juice vendors in the world to souvenirs galore and any major brand knock off you can imagine, it’s all here. Prices very, and I don’t mean by article but by your nationality. Item cost is generally divided into three categories; Americans, Germans, and everyone else including poor eastern Europeans like us. But no matter where you’re from you should generally never pay more than half of whatever price is given to you initially. Bargaining is in the Moroccan blood and sometimes you’re even invited to do so with a hot cup of mint green tea. Always bargain, ALWAYS! And even when you’re absolutely sure that the vendor won’t go any lower, start walking out of the shop and see what happens… “OK, sold!”.
The market feels a little empty during the day, especially since all of the food vendors setup their tents in the evening hours. The night is when all the true c0llors of this desert market come out. Be ware when taking photos though, look out for people that intentionally ‘jump’ into your frame and then chase you down for money for their image! And when deleting the said photo doesn’t work just walk away, that usually worked for me though one Moroccan did tell us to go ‘F’ ourselves. All this over a photo I didn’t mean to take and promptly deleted showing the person that I’m not going to pay for a photo I no longer have. It’s all a scam anyway.
More on this city in another post.