The Magic of Marrakech

Trip Start Sep 20, 2012
Trip End Nov 13, 2012

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What I did
Place Jemaa El Fna, Koutoubia Mosque

Flag of Morocco  ,
Friday, October 12, 2012

This was a long drive from Fes to Marrakech but it gave us the chance to see the towns and villages along the way. We can't get over the development/ construction everywhere but so much of it is half finished and abandoned. There's certainly a lot of investment pouring into this country. It also showed us the people living in poverty or squalid conditions.
Driving into Marrakech immediately impressed us. It's hard to remember that it sits on the edge of the Sahara Desert with the High Atlas Mountains behind it. It really is like an oasis in the desert - beautiful parks, tree lined roadways and avenues, no buildings above 5 storeys and all are in an ochre colour often adorned with cobalt blue. It looks stunning.
At dusk, we set off in a horse and carriage for a ride to the main square, Place Jemaa El Fna, to discover a busy, bustling, congested, crazy square filled with people, eateries, performers, snake charmers,  hawkers. The eateries were amazing, one serving boiled sheep heads which is very popular with locals. It all looked fantastic. I wish we could have eaten here to soak up the atmosphere but we had a restaurant booking nearby. It was a Berber restaurant and we were greeted by Berber women singing. The food was great and we were entertained by the Berber women and a belly dancer who was very agile. It was a great night but we can't help but feel that the real Marrakech was waiting for us just outside the restaurant doors.
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