Marrakesh 2

Trip Start Mar 11, 2007
Trip End Apr 13, 2007

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Friday, April 6, 2007

Wow. I needed a vacation from the blog. It was beginnging to be like work. And speaking of work don't let anyone kid you. Traveling in a country like Morocco is nothing but work. People with no planning skills are screwed here. I'll paste Mike's take on things below. There was a week long taxi and bus strike that messed up our plans to go on a desert trek. (Enshaala) it's God's will, I guess. And it appeared we might be stuck in the hinterlands of Ouerzazate (pronounced WAR za zot) and Mike might have missed his flight out.. So we forked up the money for a flight back to Casa instead of waiting out a strike in a town where you are not just a piece of tourist meat: you are a succulent, juicy, trapped piece of meat. We got bad vibes there and beat feet it outta there. The strike ended the morning we landed in Casa. Go figure.

Marrakesh was so lovely; exciting, dirty, clean, contradicting etc I'll write about it later: This keyboard is different than the other ones and it's hard to type. And I need a break still. I'm almost home and will finish in a few days when I get back to Madison late on the 13th.

We found a cool city south of Casa called El Jadida. It's a beach town and we got a nice hotel with a pool and the people here are cool because they're not used to too many tourists. The Tourist Tax is low; if at all. i.e. they rarely rip you off and when they do it's for a dime or so. More later when I get back to the States.
From Mike Scott -
April 5 2007 Marrakech Morocco
Please note, "a" and "q" are switched on the keyboard, so are many other letters;
Please excuse the typos.
Below is a diary of my last 48 hours in Morocco.
Arrived in Casablanca at 12:30pm. Met Davo and jumped a train to the city main station.
There we transferred to an 'express' train to Marrakech. The train was overfilled.

This was in part due to a taxi driver strike and bus driver sympathy strike. The taxi drivers
wish to preserve their freedom from liability when they hit pedestrians. The bus sympathy strike is over, but the taxi driver strike lives on to now and maybe for a few more days. Hence, I walked more than 10 miles yesterday. In Marrakech, THE thing to do is visit the souks at the Djeema El Fnaa.  Souks are markets. At the Djeema El Fnaa, it is sensory overload. Sounds, smells good and bad, colors, EVERYTHING. One is constantly being cajoled to look at and buy everything.

Haggling for desired items is tough, and it is part of the experience. My favorite activity was the relative inactivity of watching the action from a tea or coffee shop. We found a rooftop tea shop where we filmed and photographed for an hour while sipping super sweet mint green tea. Then, on the periphery we found a tiny restaraunt where we had a delicious chicken and veggie dish (tajine) cooked in a clay pot.

The owner tried to charge us 20 times the actual price, but we suspect he was just "funnin"
us as he was really grinning at us. We took a beer break late afternoon and then back to the Djeema El Fnaa for dinner at the food stalls. Every stall has a tout/barker totally hustling us to eat at their "best" stall. There were sausages, french fries, eggplants, snails, seafood, steam qnd smoke and smells everywhere. There were many stalls selling whole baked goat heads. The customers at the  head stalls were almost exclusively Moroccans. And the traffic here is pretty wild. Davo and I watch out for each other. His previous trekking experiences, have definitely made him a savvy traveller.

There are many other stories of mostly nice and sometimes not so nice encounters, but those stories are for another time.
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