After a fascinating view of the African continent from the tiny airplane window and quite a bumpy landing, I set foot for the first time in the famous city of Marrakech. Spent here only half a day and the night and have to confess I was a bit disappointed with what I found at first – nothing of the exoticism I imagined, just a lot of pushy and annoying people trying to sell – literally – anything. I couldn’t even innocently look at an object without somebody noticing me and trying to make me buy it. Yes, I was expecting this attitude and I already had the experience from Tunisia’s market a few years ago, but this time it really felt as too much. It was overwhelming and tiring at times to always stay alert of people trying to lure us into dubious alleyways to take us faster to what they presumed was our hostel (when the GPS was clearly showing us the other direction), demanding with arrogance for money because “they helped” us (translating into following us around even after we repeatedly told them we don’t need their help), plus the fact that we were tired and melting from the heat didn’t help raising our spirits in any way.
However, don’t get me wrong, because Marrakech is mesmerising nevertheless through its culture, its architecture and, yes, its people too.
After finally being welcome at our cute riad in the chill, shaded lobby with a warm flavoured traditional mint tea, we set out at dawn to see a little bit of the city. The highlight of our short stay in Marrakech turned out to be the dinner we had in the center of the main plaza, Jemaa el Fna, right in the middle of the locals bargaining their products and next to a French guy and a group of British women, with whom we started talking and sharing stories, which made our dinner and the whole experience extremely enjoyable. The food was great (yes, we had tagine and cous-cous and of course we had misunderstandings with the waiter when it came to payment, as apparently “from the house” doesn’t mean “free” here…) and we fell in love with the orange juice sold in the streets (so sweet and delicious, however full of surprises… I’ll tell you later more about that).
And the snake charmer that approached us randomly and just threw a snake around my neck or the guy that convinced my friend after a looooong speech to buy a piece of fantastically-smelling musk, and.. oh, my, so many things happened in just a few hours that it feels we stayed here for days!
Long story short, I have stories that could easily fill an entire book (maybe I will write one!) so I’ll just let you enjoy a few images from my first encounter with Morocco for now. ♥