Thursday, 7 February 2013

Marrakech moments

Marrakech is a crazy place. It took us 24 hours to begin to get to grips with how to handle it. The stall holders in the souks are not pushy and accept your "non merci" with good grace and move onto the next tourist. (An easy species to spot with Northern European sun-denied skins and floppy rucksacks ready to be filled with leather slippers, kaftans and wooden camels.) We quickly learned to walk on the right and keep close to the walls of the narrow streets filled with donkeys, carts, motorbikes, bikes and people.
We also learned to be wary of the "guides" who pounce as soon as you stop walking and look around to get your bearings. Theirs is a cynical skill to get you as lost as completely as possible so you are reliant on them to get you back to the main square and give them "money present". We got ourselves lost several times but managed to get ourselves out of it again without giving in to these unofficial guides and without paying for the privilege. At one point we hooked up with a lost German family and a couple of French girls and by combining our maps and newly acquired street wisdom made it back to the main square.

You can't stop to take in everything around you or not from street level anyway so you either take pics while on the move (see above example!) or find a cafe with a terrace panaromique where the mint tea is hot and sweet and get your pics from there.
The people we've met have been warm, friendly and welcoming. They want you to enjoy their town and are delighted when they learn it's your first trip. "Enjoy, enjoy!"

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