Waking up in Morocco

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August 13th 2006
Published: August 14th 2006
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Djemma el Fna by dayDjemma el Fna by dayDjemma el Fna by day

Performers at the square. This photo cost me 5 dirhams... a real ´bargain´ I suppose, considering I was verbally abused by them for not giving more... you see if you speak english they think you earn pounds and expect much more from you than from other tourists.
Salaam- Ah-lee-koom,

Marrakech: Markets, souks and the old medinas, cous-cous and tagines, street performers, leather and crafts vendors...
Essouira: beach and a local music & art scene.... Jimmy Hendrix village just a 30 min walk away.
Cassablanca: 'casa' & 'blanca' white house. Cassablanca beach and Hassan II mosque.
Fes: My favorite place in Morocco... the oldest Medina and the town of ancient wisdom and learning.

13th & 14th August
Circumstances outside my control brought me here, Morocco, our new meeting point, and suddenly my new destination. I'm early, two days ahead of Rose and Kingy, rather than two days behind. It was a bit of an overnight culture shock experience, arriving into Marrakesh from London that is.
I'm hiding in this internet cafe, passing time away from the heat of the day, waiting for my courage to vapourize. I haven't made it further than 300 meters from the hotel yet. I'm running low on batteries, lack of sleep and delirium prevailing.... and it's hectic out there, serious human traffic conditions and mobile obstacles... like donkey carts, people trying to wrap snakes around your neck for a photo, women offering to paint 'hanna' tattoos on you, not to mention men touching you to get your attention... and everyone shouting out something at you in a different language. They are so multi-lingual here with French being the chosen language for approaching the tourists... In my case, they all think I'm Spanish... How do I say in spanish..."I'm sorry, I haven't been doing my Spanish homework, try again in English?"
It was a rough landing last night, I mean turning up at Marrakesh airport late at night on Lucky 13th after 3 long days of waiting around for a flight.... then having to sneak into a random stranger's room (Jolla, the girl I met at the airport) for a spot on her floor, which she'd offered, due to a case of 'too many tourists' at the hotel and not enough beds. It was either that or collapsing into a street gutter from exhaustion.
I'm about to walk outside and face this new exotic world..... and hopefully find some food that I can actually eat... sucking out snails from their shell is not my idea of a delicious snack.... not just yet anyway. All in good time.

P.S. I don't know what it was that I had for lunch.... some kind of
Angry CobraAngry CobraAngry Cobra

I could have been in the shot if I´d wanted (I still had to part with a couple of dollars, though). I asked the ´snake charmer´, who was not all so charming, if the cobra´s fangs had been removed and he just showed me the scars on his hands...
meet on cous-cous (there is a chance it may have been lamb...gross!), but it tasted nice anyway.

15th August
All is good here. All that it took was finding a nice hotel and some decent food to put a smile on my face again. That proved easier than I thought. At the hotel I met a nice bunch of Italian backpackers to hang out with on my second evening in Marrakech. We went out for dinner at the local market, out in the main square Djemma el Fna, which was quite an experience in itself. Maroccan food is delicious, we had a selection of vegetarian dishes, including char grilled eggplant (yum), grilled meat on skewers and cous-cous.
My first night's sleep in my double bed at Hotel Afriquia was very deep and I woke up feeling like a brand new person. To my surprise, Rose and Kingy had arrived earlier today, so I went to look for them after lunch. We went for dinner at the market together for yet another fill of Maroccan delicacies.

16th August
Today has been great, Rose, Kingy and me went sight-seeing and visited a Palace and the royal tombs... very very beautiful. I was inspired by the Islamic curves and ornaments.
We've just booked ourselves on a 2-day safari in the Sahara with Camel riding and camping under the stars. We leave tomorrow, it promises to be loads of fun, especially with my new fellowship of friends...... bring on the adventures!

26th August
I love Morocco!
After a couple of weeks here, tomorrow I'll be heading off to Spain. It will be a sad day saying Goodbye to this place and to my friends Rose & Kingy (Marcus), whose company I have been enjoying tremendously.

I will post the pics once I have a bit more time. Stay tuned!

Additional photos below
Photos: 33, Displayed: 24


Djemma el Fna by twilightDjemma el Fna by twilight
Djemma el Fna by twilight

The main square in Marrakech
Djemma el Fna at duskDjemma el Fna at dusk
Djemma el Fna at dusk

As darkness settles over the square, Morrocans get busy putting up the night stalls and the shefs prepare to cook up a feast... where locals and tourists take equal part in the daily ritual of eating tapas, cous-cous and fried seafood.
Dinner at the square...Dinner at the square...
Dinner at the square...

...in the company of a bunch of Italian students from my hostel.
Our shef... Salvador Dali´Our shef... Salvador Dali´
Our shef... Salvador Dali´

... he really looked like him, we couldn´t stop laughing.
Yummy gummy...Yummy gummy...
Yummy gummy...

...snails. Hmm!
Our favourite OJ boyOur favourite OJ boy
Our favourite OJ boy

3 Dirhams for a freshly squeezed OJ, (50cents), brilliant!...We were very loyal customers, kept going back to stall number 42 for our daily refills. That´s Kingy (Marcus) on the right.
Somewhere in Morocco....02Somewhere in Morocco....02
Somewhere in Morocco....02

...along the way to the Sahara
Canyon watchingCanyon watching
Canyon watching

...or at least they pretended to be canyon watching, really they were just waiting for me to leave to get back to their secret business.
Somewhere in Morocco....03Somewhere in Morocco....03
Somewhere in Morocco....03

...along the way to the Sahara
Somewhere in Morocco....04Somewhere in Morocco....04
Somewhere in Morocco....04

Rose, Kingy and me
The Artisan´s shopThe Artisan´s shop
The Artisan´s shop

...it became our quick stop for tea, courtesy of Tufik´s hospitality and his desire to practice his English.
Tea sessions, 01Tea sessions, 01
Tea sessions, 01

...at Tufik´s shop. This is his little nephew, proudly demonstrating his tea pouring skills

13th September 2006

I´m very happy to know that u did everything u wanted to.... I hope u keep enjoying your time... waiting 4 u in Brazil, vivi

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