Marrakech - no I don't need a carpet...

Trip Start Sep 07, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Riad Massin 2

Flag of Morocco  ,
Friday, December 11, 2009

Marrakech photos here:

Stupid Pisa airport closes from 1am- 4am and they kick everyone out and make them stand in the cold for 3 hours and then let everyone back in at 4am. Like most services in Italy seems to be run by clowns.
So arrived at Marrakech on Friday morning after zero sleep Thursday night at Pisa airport and a couple of hours sleep on the overnight train from Sicily the previous night.
Powered through the day though so as not to screw up my sleep pattern too much.

Checked into Riad Massin which is a really nice place. Free wifi, free mint tea and shisha whenever you want and really nice staff.
Wandered around the medina and souks with Santiago. Got lost a few times and also got conned into going to the tanneries by our first of many hustlers.
The smell in the tanneries was something else. The pigeon poo and urine they use to treat the leather is so intense. The mint leaves they give you to mask the smell only help a little...
Can't say that the guys who stand waist deep in pigeon poo all day have a job I envy at all!!

Went to the main square, Djemaa El Fna, for dinner and at sheep's head and other "mixed meats" which tasted weird but pretty good at the same time.
Also tried some snails which were mighty tasty!
All of the street performers, snake charmers, hustlers and crazies in Djemaa El Fna provided plenty of after dinner entertainment.

Saturday - walked to the Gueliz (the new town) with Alison and Santiago - got lost...
Visited Palais Badi and the Saadian Tombs which were pretty good. Bahia Palace was crap.
Walked around the spice souks which were cool. Tried to buy some lavender essential oil but kept being shown stuff that was obviously not lavender - some smelt like olive oil!!!
Tangine for dinner back in Djemaa El Fna and finished off with snails again!
Ended up eating snails every night I was in Marrakech they were so good and my favourite snail vendor always welcomed me with a big smile after a couple of visits.

Sunday - Booked into Sahara trip tomorrow!!
walked around medina and souks with Santiago and Bert. Bought some leather gloves in case I need them at night in the desert as well as a cool leather notebook.
Checked out Cyber Park which is one of the nicer parks in Marrakech as most don't have much grassed area and are big on concrete or paved paths. Free open air internet terminals are pretty cool and a really good open air photography exhibition.

[See Sahara blog entry for next few days]

Thursday had a chill day to recover from desert tour and walked around Gueliz a bit more and then had dinner with Bert and Faz and finished off with Shisha and mint tea back at the Riad

Friday walked around the medina one last time with Bert Heidi and Taylor.
Tried mechou whcih was awesome - slow roasted lamb carved off the bone in front of you and put on a breadroll with spices.
Sheeps head and snails one last time in Djemaa El Fna and Harira and barley porridge from the good soup stall at the corner of the square. Finished the night with shisha back at the riad.

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