Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
September 30, 2012
From journal A wander round the sights and smells of Marrakech
St. Augustine, Florida
October 24, 2011
From journal Week in Marrakech
April 24, 2011
From journal Intense Marrakech
March 31, 2011
January 10, 2010
From journal Marvelous Marrakesh!
April 4, 2005
Tagines: aromatic stews concocted in conical earthenware dishesTerjla: the tart starter salad of tomatoes, garlic, spices, and of course, couscous in its myriad tasty mixtures.
As well as being delicious, mint tea is reputed to be the finest calmer of stomach conditions. Moroccans like their mint tea very sweet - the people here apparently consume more sugar per head than in any other country.
From journal Mysterious Morocco
Virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages, Marrakesh protects its mysterious labyrinthine medina, which hides sultans' palaces, the ornate mansions of rich merchants, and some of the most colorful bazaars in the Arab world. Late in the afternoon, Moroccans as well as foreigners crowd the Djemâa el Fna to hear storytellers and musicians perform, to see acrobats, and watch smoke rise from the outdoor food stalls as vendors whip up a wild array of fried fish, meats, salads, and such Moroccan delicacies as goat brain!
This intoxicating city is for the eyes, a place where even the refined elements have a roughness to them, yet what is rough has its own refinement. Apart from the many things to see and do, one of the most refreshing things about Marrakesh is that time slows down here. The helter-skelter of mopeds, Mercedes, donkey carts, and pedestrians in the streets is really just a mirage; beneath it all, you can feel a languor in the way people walk and the way they take time to stop and talk to each other, conducting their daily affairs much as their ancestors did. With its dramatic beauty and unhurried rhythm, the Jewel of the South can beckon even the most seasoned traveler to stop moving and stay forever.
Washington, District of Columbia
December 16, 2004
The places closest to the Djemaa el Fnaa are more aimed for tourists. The quality of products was not very good, and the prices were very high. You will have to make your way into the heart of the souks to find items of good quality.
I highly recommend the cloth found in Marrakech. The weave is well done, and the colors and patterns are quite captivating. One of my group members bought a beautiful piece woven of cotton, silk, and cashmere in gorgeous sunset colors that I have not seen elsewhere.
I would not, however, recommend buying many things here if you have a chance to travel to other parts of Morocco. I was able to find things, such as wood, carpets, and pottery, that were of much better quality and price when visiting some of the other cities. The merchants are very good bargainers and start out at often outrageous prices. Even though I already had an idea of the prices being charged in other places, it was very difficult to find a good deal.
From journal 2.5 weeks in Morocco
November 21, 2004
Despite all of that, it is still somehow an environment that demands you recognise the positives. It is an area where commerce thrives and the industrious succeed; where business deals are struck; where the locals socialise over a cup of tea; where individuals pray to their god; and where children are trained as apprentices in the family business. You get a real sense of social cohesiveness, and despite the dark and dusty alleys, it is neither a threatening nor a sinister environment. We saw locals playing checkers, guys shaving, and youngsters skipping down the alleys.
As you progress through the aisles, sometimes they are so narrow that you can touch both sides from the centre. It will be obvious that specialist areas have been allocated for the different crafts, and we occasionally wondered where the market was for so many copper light holders. We saw every product imaginable, ranging from decorated and carved wooden figures, finely polished wooden boxes, enamelled metal work, delicately engraved silverware, fretted copper, to brightly coloured textiles. We toyed with the idea of buying some of the highly decorated plates and treating ourselves to an elaborately designed tajine. We resisted the large choice of leather items, but were very tempted to buy an exquisitely tooled leather pouf. There were large selections of herbs and spices, many I’d ever even heard of.
Within this area, you’ll be able to call in at an apothecary and be spoken to about the wonders of natural medication. They’ll try to sell you cures for all ailments, obesity, and maintaining the body’s equilibrium. As a cold sore sufferer, I bought an ointment to relieve pain and speed up recovery–wish I’d been less cynical and bought more, as this application really works.
At the bottom end of Souq as-Smarrine is the tourist area selling rug, blankets, tourist trinkets, and souvenirs.
Wherever you are in the Souk, fight the fear that you’ll get lost–all alleys will eventually lead back to the main road and you’ll have a great time exploring. Never give the asking price and enjoy your haggling–I’m convinced that they do!
From journal A long weekend in Marrakesh
And then, as if by magic, as the sun began to set, the square began to fill. We saw groups forming around local storytellers. Unfortunately, we could not understand the tales, but the crowds stood transfixed as the performers spoke with feeling and intensity. One teller held a chameleon for added interest.
Snake charmers dragged writhing reptiles out of baskets and began their performances, rapidly sending assistants to prey on any pausing tourist. The colourfully dressed water carriers did seem to have a dual role; first to provide drinkable water to anyone who would pay, and second, to pose, for a few dirham for holiday snaps, but they weren’t the only photogenic individuals on the square! There were guys leading monkeys on chains who would happily let them sit on your shoulders for a payment or intimidate you with them if you resisted the photo call. Snakes were draped round your shoulder and I heard more cries of, "Hey my friend, are you from . . . ?" than I could count.
There were singers (or should I say wailers!), dancers, and a troupe of acrobats performing happily for a few centimes. Belly dancers seemed at home as they waddled around the square; the temporary henna tattooists were out in force, as were the fortune-tellers and the small market traders offering cheap trinkets or second hand English novels.
On top of the intense food smells, the noise level was intense. There were musicians by the score, and they competed with the cries of the traders and the excitement of the growing number of tourists.
After a time, we adjourned for a coffee on the nearby rooftop restaurant. We managed to get a seat overlooking the square, where the whole atmosphere of
Djemaa el-Fna could be realised. We could virtually see food being cooked as the smoke from the griddles filled the square. There was hardly a trestle table unoccupied as the food stalls business thrived and the whole of the floor space was rammed with people.
This is truly an experience that all your senses can savour, and it really is hard to express in words the excitement that you will feel in the "square of the dead."