Saturday, November 7, 2009

A flleting encounter with Marrakesh

Inspired by the travel post's of 'liya and geekisiddiqui i decided to finally get round to doing a travelling post. 'liya's recent post was on Marrakesh, i thought i would share a few of my photo's and experiences from my trip there.

I was out in Marrakesh at the start of the year for a few short days. But it was lots and lots of fun, despite all the 'fun' we had with Ryanair (will gloss over that!). Marrakesh is a cool city to be in, albeit overly touristy. Despite this it was lots and lots of fun. Being the student I was at the time, I stayed with my friend at a hostel. Despite being a hostel it was pretty swanky, with a beautiful chill out area in the reception area (much bigger then the pic above shows), and cool rooftop terrace.

Which by night looked pretty sweet, and you could even see the minaret from Masjidul Khoutobia (ok not in this pic).
I went and prayed in Masjid Khoutobia, and when i went to take wudu, there was this little old man who would give you hot water for a few dirham's in a little pot (hey i'm easily impressed).

The mosque was pretty cool, although you could see the effect of time was not on it's side, the carpets looked a bit worn close up. It was surprisingly empty inside the mosque (at zuhr time), while the other newer mosques, near the souks and such were much more packed during prayer times.

(KKK style moroccan hoody thing (i went for a red one)

The souks were kinda cool, bargaining with the stall holders was interesting to say the least, you could bargain them down to half the price they started at and still get ripped off. But then the bargaining can be fun (or annoying), depends on the type of person you are. I think if you take it in a light hearted manner, and are prepared to walk away it can be fun. I attempted to chuck in the odd arabic word ,not sure if it worked. My favourite was chucking in 'Ya Allah', if i thought the price was still too high, or Ya Akhi (My brother). But my arabic skills were exhausted pretty quickly, after how are you, i'm fine, i'm from England, and how much is this.

The souks were a crazy place, which i think the photo with the bike captures quite well. It was quite amusing how they would always say, ' come i can give you a good price', with various reasons, the most amusing being 'a good allied price', as there were brits and americans in our group. So some how, one of the dudes we met at the hostel, who had been in Marakesh for a while and became our impromtu tour guide, pretended to be a stall holder, pointing stick and all and offered us 'a good allied price', we were all in hysterics, and can't believe we didn't get chased away by the stall holder.

more random pics from around the souks

For me one of the coolest things about morocco was the food!!! We got shown this cool local place (by the same dude that pretended to be a stallholder), to have rabbit tagine, definately not filled with tourists

It was amazing how soft the meat was, so tender and juicy!!! Ok now it's making me hungry.

The main square in the old city(djemma el fnaa), really came alive at night, full of foodsellers. We ate out there a couple of times, on the recommendation of our impromtu tour guide.

I found it highly musing how the food sellers attempted to get peoples attention. They figured me and my friend was British and then started quoting shops (Marks & Spencers, Asda, Tesco), their taglines (“That’s Asda price”). And most amusing of all random lines from British comedies – “i’m the only gay in the village” (little britain), and ‘Am I bovvered?’ and ‘Does my face look bovvered?’ – including actions, from the catherine tate show. (Of course there was the usual are you Indian first).

Marrakesh is a cool city, and i'm glad i've done it, even though it was a fleeting visit. I think my next trip to morocco would be to some of the other cities and hopefully the atlas mountains.

These pics above show what a surreal view of them we had, palm trees and snow capped mountains. When i was in Granada it was another surreal moment with the snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountains behind the Al Hambra. My trip to Granada is a whole post in itself, which I hopefully will get round to writing sometime soon.


'liya said...

I really love the last photo with the palm trees and snow capped mountains, it's beautiful!

"I attempted to chuck in the odd arabic word ,not sure if it worked. My favourite was chucking in 'Ya Allah', if i thought the price was still too high, or Ya Akhi (My brother). But my arabic skills were exhausted pretty quickly" - we did the same lol. But still it was difficult bargaining because we didn't feel as though we were making any progress :D

I want to read about your trip to Granada now! This was really great, it felt like I was back there. I think we did all that you did except eating anything.. maybe if we had a special guide like you it would have been better to have the inside track with things!

Mushowish said...

Thanks for ze comment liya. I will def get round to writing my granada post when i'm not working/putting off work. Although the posting could be part of putting of all this work i should be doing.

I really loved the snow capped mountains, made me really want go see and explore the atlas mountains. Hopefully will do that next time i hit morocco!!