Looking back on our time in Marrakech. What a great camping spot we had in our own little quiet corner in the centre of the city. Here are some thoughts.
The Immam is SOOOO much better than Aourir. It is like waking up to an angel at 5 in the morning. I like this guy. I was talking to Karim about the responsibilities of the Immam. I think he has it rougher than the Christian priests and pastors. He does his big call to prayer 5 times a day. Yeah, think about it 5 times a day. He is hanging with a friend. Ooops, time to go. He wants to have a bit of a lie in. Oooops, time to get up. He does this every day of the week AND the call to prayer is just beginning. After the bit on the loudspeaker he goes downstairs and prays with people and does a bit of teaching. I think the Immam works hard.
So, the souks. Yeah, easy to get lost. At day you can wander through the souks. Well, wander is the wrong word. Because every stallkeeper wants you to come in. Now, I think we are getting a bit better at this but we still need to get better. Alana and Abi got lots of attention from the young men. They complained, of course, but they kept getting dressed up and going back in and well, 2 plus 2 equals… The hard time with the souks is if you have a particular place you want to be in them. By the end I found what I was looking for and had a greaat time walking around with the kids. We looked into lots of stalls that showed people working on the different stages of making shoes by hand. Saw a man soldering with a little heated hammer instead of a soldering iron. A man demonstrated how to make rounded discs of metal. We saw several people punching designs out of metal. Lots of smoke, lots of noise, lots of creative people. Loved it.
In the evenings to eat a couple of times as food to cook your own meals with in the centre is hard to come by and we figure when we go back into Europe we won’t be eating out much as it is much less expensive down here. There is this souk of prepared food that pops up in the evenings at the fna area. All these little swirly metal boxes surrounded by table and tarps come in to join the orange juice and dried fruit stalls. Every evening this village is created and stays up til about 4 in the morning. A note about eating out. You go to a normal western style restaurant, even one with moroccan food you will pay big. If you go and get pizza or other exotic foods and you will pay big. A rule for every country is that if you want to get better local food for cheaper prices go to where the locals eat. Sometimes you need to insist. One time me and the girls went into the non-touristy part of the souk. As we were leaving a man told us we were going out of the area we were wanting to be in. We said we were looking for Moroccan food. He directed us back to the tourist restaurants. No! We want to eat moroccan food where Moroccans eat it. We were directed into a tiny little restaurant with thin white-tile counters against the wall, little plastic stools and about 5 guys grilling lots of food next to us. All this in a stall about the size of our truck. We loved it! Back to the pop-up prepared food souk. We went out for Harrira (moroccan soup) one night with a desert, well. It was swirly and sweet and you eat it with your fingers. Karim said there is a legend about this sweet of a great battle between a japanese warrior and a moroccan warrior. Of course, the moroccan warrior won and this dessert is in the shape of a Japanese swear word.
I would like to finish off with a warning from Alana and Abi about their time in Marrakesh.
Beware of the Henna ladies – they are evil.
We are now in the Cascades. We have met up with the German family again and they told us of this German future campground in the Cascades on the way to Fez. Sounded good so here we are. They will arrive tomorrow.