Marrakech Express(ions)

Trip Start Apr 15, 2008
Trip End May 04, 2008

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Flag of Morocco  , Marrakech,
Thursday, April 17, 2008

After a slight adventure finding our hotel in the dark, we were informed our reservations were not confirmed!    Wendy expected this.  We still got two lovely rooms and sleep -- at least for one night.  The hotel was in the Medina - so lovely and interesting.  Call to prayers was pretty early, rousing Udo and Wendy well before breakfast.  

All three (yes, three!) hotels/riads at which we stayed in the Medina of Marrakech were lovely.  The second one, Hotel Azalia, provided white crocs for when you stepped out of the shower.  Okay, this was because, without special care, your shower flooded the bathroom.

All three hotels served breakfast, included in our room rate, on the roof.  This was always a pleasurable experience.  In particular, Marrakech Riad's provided a better breakfast than any other hotel we experienced in the country.  It was a relaxed way to start each day.

We explored the souqs of the Medina, marvelling at the displays -- the colours and scents were vibrant, the amount of goods was overwhelming.  The people were friendly and during this first stop in Marrakech, the number of tourists was at a manageable level.

The vendors were aggressive in Marrakech and even looking at an item in
passing resulted in persistent entreaties to come into the shop.

Jaz and Choyce both enjoyed learning to bargain for items and Jaz managed to get herself a beautiful turquoise and marcasite snake bracelet for a great price.  In one shop the owner exclaimed Choyce to be a bargaining pro: "like a Mountain Berber girl" and suggested he'd make money if she worked for him.

The girls spent considerable time looking over the scarves in the souqs.  There were more than, uh, you could shake a cat at.  After long minutes of deliberation, they settled on a number of them.  Jaz took the lead in the haggling.  Here, they model a couple of them in their room at Hotel Azalia.

 On Friday night the souqs were thronged.  People were bustling, vendors
were hustling.  It was a sight to behold.  We had a number of offers on
the girls that evening -- Jaz was worth 60,000 camels and 3 magic
carpets to one good looking young man!




We enjoyed all the action of Djemaa el Fna - day and night - what a busy square with such spectacular life!!


Koutoubia Mosque, surrounded by Menara Gardens, sits on the edge of Djemaa el fna. It is the largest Mosque in Marrakech and is a beautiful piece of architecture both in daylight and when lit at night.  It was the sonorous tones of the athaan, recited by the muezzin, which woke us in the early morning and which sounded four more times during each day. Koutoubia has quite a history.

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