haggle in the bazaar
Two friends and I had planned to be away from the UK in autumn to get a little bit of sunshine and warm in Morocco months in advance. Yes November was the perfect time to travel in Morocco because it’s not that cold and not too hot either. The flights and hostel were pre-booked but it was eventful initially. I tell you how it went. Me and the other guy friend live in the same town in Ireland and the other friend lives in Scotland. She needed to be accompanied all the time knowing that it’s not safe for female traveler to get Morocco alone. To make it more complicated that guy friend wanted to stop over in Barcelona before reaching Marrakech. So in the end she and I reached up in London and boarded the same flight to Morocco so that I would be her first bodyguard( LOL).
kotubia mosque minaret-marakech landmark
The other guy friend(2nd bodyguard) flew separately and we’ll meet in Marrakesh. That’s the first part. Reaching to Morocco to get to the hostel was another thing. You have to think quick in getting one of those tout taxi otherwise they (don’t be fooled because they are the same party though doing business individually) will rip you off. We got the reasonable fare from airport to down town with the help of guide book and little research beforehand. The taxi won’t bring us into hostel footstep because most hostels were located in vehicle-less road and within the Medina souk where it was surrounded by wall-like fortress with gates. She and I ( the other guy was still in Barcelona) walked our way to find the hostel using the tiny map in the dark night.
crack of the dawn in Djemaa el Fna
It looked simple on the map to get from the gate to hostel but it was pretty confusing. The typical building is built like typical Moroccan (or North African) house- narrow alley of 2-3 storey masonry building. It’s like we were playing hide and seek to get to hostel because the alley was like huge maze. At most dark corner there were group of kids approached us to show direction because we were pretty lost. But beware of this tactic. Nothing is free. The kids will beg you money for the favors. If you not giving them money they will shout and curse then follow you until you vanish from their sight. I refused to use the kids favors instead was asking the old lady (we though we never get fooled by old folk furthermore granny) where the hell is this hostel.
Djemaa el Fna by night
She was kind enough to walk us the right direction but then introduced us to the other group of kids! It was fine to have the experience.Finally we reached the hostel with the help of the old lady and some tips to the kids. Back to the hostel we told the hostel operator and he said we should have called them as we arrived at the gate. They would have picked us up. Me being adventurous tried to find it using my own intuition and little help from the map. After we checked in later Kamal showed us the easiest way to get to Main Square from the hostel (very creative way) and asked us which kids that harassed us on the way out. I told him it’s not really a big deal. Kamal wanted to know because he didn’t want other travellers will face the same.I even realised the next day that the name of the road was intentionally altered to fool travellers and be lost.
We had our dinner at Jema-Al-fena the main square that is the essence of Marrakech. There, they were all sort of spice, food and delicacy, entertainment like where you could find in any funfare and one of thing that captured me - the sound of flute/recorder that made the snake stood up from its basket.
Go http://picasaweb.google.com/aminyunus/MarrakechMorrocco# for other photos