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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech
December 30th 2011
Published: June 17th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Marrakech has the feel of a city stuck in another age with a very vibrant feel. At the centre of the Medina at Djemma al-Fna, you'll find everything from snake charmers to monkey handlers to fresh squeezed orange juice to hawkers sellings pretty well anything you can dream of, and maybe somethings you never even imagined. And beggars, scammers, pick pockets and other interesting types too. kind of like the Internet, with all the Nigerian Princes who write letters to you, about how you can help recover their lost fortune for them, are all in one place. Yes, it's helpful to be a bit on the guard, but, don't forget to have fun too.

We stayed at a Riyad near the centre of the Medina, and surprisingly neither the Riyad owner nor his assistant did not know the going exchange rate for the US dollar. He and his assistant only knew the Euro rate. So, we had to change US$ at an exchange counter in the Medina.

As we tried in Fez, we once again tried to get lost in the Medina, but only really got lost on our last day there when we had to find an open exchange counter that offered a decent rate on the US dollar. Since it was December 31, not many places were open, and the ones that were, didn't offer a very reasonable rate. We did find an out-of-way place that had good rates, and managed to pay the Riyad in cash, instead of having to resort to using plastic. Lately, we've been trying to avoid using plastic, because of the potential for it being abused due to ID theft. The problem is, in the Gulf and parts of East Africa, most exchange places only accept US currency bills dated 2006 or later. There was no such restriction in Morocco.

Oh! For anyone following the dates posted on this blog, they are not quite correct. Because of the way the blog site organizes chronologically, we've been trying to post entries as if each happened one day a time to keep the strict sequencing. We actually spent 3 days in Fez and 3 in Marrakech, but they appear as single day events because of the way the blog site re-arranges multiple events that happen on the same day. It's quite difficult to get a good feeling for Fez or Marrakech in just a single day, no matter how well you've researched or organized your plans.

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