Morocco Day 13

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October 28th 2011
Published: October 28th 2011
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Morocco Day 13
Well you know what they say about 13, well as it turned out today has been unlucky for us. Both of us have been struck down with Marrakesh revenge and it has been raining nearly all day. On top of this our room at the Riad started letting the rain in so we have had to change rooms.
We had booked a full day guided tour of the city today, and we were very lucky as our guide Noura was very sympathetic to our condition. Lots of people were speaking to Noura on the tour and we discovered that she had been featured on TV recently in a programme about women working in the tourism industry.
We did manage to get out and this morning had tours of the old palaces and mausoleum from when Marrakesh was the capital. When it was the capital it was one of the main trading places for the caravans bringing goods from all over northern and sub Saharan Africa. One of the seedier sides of this trade was slavery and we visited the square where the slave markets were held up until 1930 when the French banned the trade.
A lot of the architecture here is very similar to that in southern Spain due to high numbers of Moors that moved here when they were expelled from Spain. They were followed by a large number of Jews and as they had established trade with the Kings of Morocco they were given an area of the Medina next to the Kings palace. Most of the Jewish community has now left the medina, some for Israel others to the commercial cities such as Casablanca. There is still one synagogue here serving those that remain.
This afternoon we had a tour of the souks. Here as elsewhere in Morocco you are occasionally asked to come into the shops, but most of the shops where good are made are happy to demonstrate their skills and goods and let you haggle over the price of a purchase or leave after the demonstration.
We did curtail our tour today due to our delicate disposition which was a real shame but we concluded with a look in the main square with its snake charmers and story tellers.
It is our last full day in Morocco today so we are packing this evening to return to the UK tomorrow.

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