After only a few days, Marrakech has already left me breathless. To say that all of my senses have been activated would be an understatement. Overstimulated, or everything feeling like a giant blur would be more accurate.
This place keeps on moving, much in the same way it has for hundreds of years.
There’s no way I could ever come close to uncovering everything this city has to offer, but here are a few snippets of my initial experiences. Much more to come in the next couple of weeks!
The markets are what I previously associated Marrakech with, and for good reason. Just about each and every walkway is slammed with merchants selling anything and everything. These merchants are aggressive too, and will often hound you if you show even the slightest bit of interest in their products.
It seems that there are an infinite number of items for sale throughout this area, but one of the biggest surprises is the large amount of fresh herbs available. Every so often I’ll get hit with a fragrant mixture of mint, tarragon, thyme, and cilantro. Not too far ahead will almost always be a giant table filled with fresh bright green herbs.
Definitely not something you would expect to see in the desert-like climate of Morocco.
Jemaa el Fnaa Square
The central square was one of my first experiences when I arrived in Marrakech, and it can best be described as overwhelming. A mix of tourists and locals shuffle in every direction, perusing the numerous stalls selling everything from food, to clothing, to knickknack souvenirs.
During the day things are a bit more calm, with snake charmers, musicians, and other entertainers littered about the square. These guys are very bullish when it comes to separating you from your money, and I even had one try to get me to overpay for something I had never agreed to.
Once the sun sets things really start popping, as the food stalls all open up and attempt to lure all passersby in with the prospect of a cheap fresh meal. I’ll be covering some of the local eats in a future post, but just know that this is the area to visit if you’re looking for good bang for your buck during dinnertime.
While in Marrakech, and throughout my time in Morocco thus far, I’ve been staying in riads. These traditional structures appear as nondescript buildings when approached from the outside, but inside they contain open, often beautifully decorated courtyards, with guest rooms along the walls facing in. This aesthetic has been a nice breath of fresh air after pushing my way through crowded streets.
In Marrakech there are tons of different riads to choose from, all at different price points, so you’ll easily be able to find something that suits your needs. I ended up staying at Riad des Eaux et des Epices, a small but beautifully spacious place that’s located nearby the spice souks. At around $28 per night, this place was an absolute steal.
Happy Friday everyone!