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Published: April 8th 2016
After a long drive, the group arrived in Marrakesh in the early evening. Dinner was served at the hotel and afterwards we hung out at hotel bar for a couple of drinks before we called it a night.
The next day we headed out with Mohammed, our Moroccan tour leader, to explore the many treasures of Marrakesh.
Our first stop was a Berber Pharmacy. The Berbers use traditional remedies including Moroccan herbs and spices to combat various sicknesses and improve health and beauty. We were enticed by the well-spoken Berber saleswoman into buying some well-known Moroccan exports including argon oil, Saffron, and Green tea with fresh mint for our family back home.
Then we were off to the Bahai Palace. The Bahai Palace incorporates beautiful eastern architecture and was once intended to house the grand vizier official concubines.
After the Bahai Palace, we visited the nearby Koutoubia Mosque. The Koutoubia Mosque is this beautiful mosque situated near the main market square. It is the largest mosque in Marrakesh. The minaret has inspired other buildings including the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat. Five times a day,
you can hear the call to prayer from the minaret of the mosque
Across the street from the Koutoubia Mosque is the Jamaa el Fna square. The Jamaa el Fna square is the major market used for both locals and tourists in Marrakesh. Some of the delights of the square include shady snake charmers, monkey tamers, and fortune tellers. We admired the square from above at one of the many balcony restaurants.
We did not spend much time in the square before we headed back on the bus towards our hotel. From some of our peers we heard stories of the snake charmer forcing them to pay more money to receive their cell phones back. Some of the group also got ripped off by some of the monkey tamers. I am kind of glad that Renata and I decided to stay away from them.
A group of us headed out to one of the local bars that was playing the Australian vs New Zealand championship rugby match. There were only three New Zealanders in our group, the rest of the group were Australian fans. The Canadians and Americans just watched the
excitement of Australians and New Zealanders cheering on their teams. It was an interesting experience, watching a rugby match in Morocco. When New Zealand won the Australians in our group wallowed in defeat.
Luckily, the sad faces did not last for long as the group headed out for a magical horse drawn carriage ride from our hotel to our Moroccan dinner and show in the Jemaa el Fna Square.
We were treated with a Moroccan feast and a show consisting of singing and dancing. Mohammed, our guide in Moroccan proclaimed how good the belly dancer was at this restaurant. He was right! She captivated the guys and interacted considerably with the crowd.
After a great night out, the group headed out to the local bars and clubs to celebrate Halloween in Morocco. We explored the market some more. It was definitely more alive in the night. There were stalls selling Moroccan spices and desserts, music and lots of light. Definitely, not a place to miss!
Tomorrow, we head to Tangier via Casablanca and Rabat. Stay Tuned!
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