Morocco Travel Diaries: Marrakech!

The chant of “Marrakech!” became the catch-phrase of this leg of our trip. I started it as a way to amuse my little 6 year old niece and daughter and it took off like a rocket ship. Every car ride was peppered with “Marrakech!”, every lull in activity, every time they got bored. Thankfully, there was a lot of activity. Marrakech was my favorite city on this trip. Also called the Red City, for the hue of red used in most of the buildings, it’s a very traditional region in terms of architecture and city planning. It’s also a booming area. Construction of all sorts could be found, and apartments for sale where everywhere. Their tourism industry is alive and well, and this is the area where I found the most number of tourists. One of the catch must be the number of gorgeous resorts in the area, as well as Jemaa el Fna.

I have to pause to find the right words to describe this market. Picture your Indiana Jones movies, where Indy goes for a treasure hunt in the most exotic locale you can imagine, and has to enter a market area that is traditionally North African, catering to both what tourists want, and what the locals need. Where bartering is key, and where bargains are a plenty. Part of Jemaa el Fna is like that, and other parts are so modern as to offer pizza and wifi that it really does give you a double-take. My biggest regret is not coming here at night. I don’t like crowds and it gets intense at night but that is when you almost have to go. Snake charmers (although a sign said the snake charmers, and others who owned animals for touristy display was on strike), dancers, and most importantly food stalls abound at night. We didn’t make it. It’s ok. Next time. Here is the first thing we did: get some fresh-squeezed orange juice from one of the many stalls.

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Moroccan children in the street

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The more modern part of Jemaa el Fna

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The crowd in the late afternoon

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Locals and tourists

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Taken from our carriage ride, and thus blurry

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Taken from our carriage ride as well

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Mina and Zineb enjoy the carriage ride

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Cafe Brioche (they had wifi!). Here is their open kitchen, so you can see your pizza being made.

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A gekko in one of the stalls

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Saffron

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This doesn’t even have half the pictures I took of Marrakech, expect more in later days. And this doesn’t have anything from my evening at Chez Ali which I enjoyed (probably because I didn’t go with a tour but with locals and my family), but which has horrible reviews on tripadvisor lol.

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2 comments

  1. Marrakech seems so vibrant!! Just curious, I know that women tourists don’t seem to cover up compared to the locals there. That’s not a problem, right? I don’t know how strict they are when it comes to dressing appropriately.

  2. Hi Lissa, not a problem like I thought it would be. It was perfectly fine. Some women had the most revealing outfits and people sometimes raised eyebrows but even in some parts of the state they would have gotten raised eyebrows/stares lol. It was so foreign-friendly. I got a lot of “Chinoise? Japonaise?” and I would say “Filipinoise” and they’d smile as they clearly don’t get much of that here lol


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