We hopped into the car (oh sorry, I mean we hopped into Mustafa) again and headed out for our next stop. We were triple worried about driving into the city of Marrakech. Traffic here is .... Well there aren't really any rules. And round-abouts lack the logic they were meant to have. B Cowles did awesome tho. We didn't even get into one fight over the hectic traffic (miracle) and totally aced it. I read the gps while Brian drove, watched out for bikes, people, cats, dogs, other cars, motorbikes and donkey carts - All seem to just dart out in front of you at any moment.
And we think we have problems with the deer! Incredible! From, on Sep 6, 2013 at 05:46PM
This Berber city, Marrakech, is the hub between the Sahara, the Atlas and the anti-atlas mountains. As Old as 1062, it's like stepping back in time. Most important of the major cities, it is called "the red city" due to the red sandstone walls that surround it. Inside the medina walls are the souks (market stalls), the kasbahs (fortified houses) and the Mellah (Jewish quarters).
For lodging we booked a Place right inside the medina walls and just happened to park in the only parking available near our Riad (a traditional Moroccan house with a central interior garden or courtyard). Once we navigated the labyrinth of inner alley-ways we found our place. Cute, quaint and only 4 rooms available for rent.
It seems like everyone here shortens the names of the cities. Casablanca = "Casa". Marrakech = "Kesh". Are they lazy or too hip for their own good? Anyway - it took us forever to know what the hell place they were referring to.... So meanwhile, back in Kesh..... we were wondering what we'd be dealt on our first venture out into the souks. Again we heard stories and internet babble of yelling, hassling, pestering, and people constantly scamming you for money one way or another...this is what we were told was all of Marrakech. Not quite so true. We always try and keep an open mind and form opinions for ourselves .... You never know how much someone else has traveled, who they are as people or if other issues are at play. Here is what we saw for ourselves:
Pre-party at the Medina main square.
We did a little research and figured we'd get hassled for henna and we did and totally avoided the scam of them giving me a "free sample" on the hand. We also prepaired for the game with every souk stall we passed. But honestly, when we said "no thanks", smiled and wished them luck (or made a joke), every single person was fine and went on with their business....even when we walked into a shop and left with nothing. Not the experience we read about. From experience, If you are nice to people, they reciprocate. If you ignore them, or say no like a complete ass...they probably won't be so nice. It's pretty simple really. Nice=nice. Ass=ass. With all that said, the souks were cool, huge and had some of the least amount of hassle so far. The night bizzarr in the main square was one of the more entertaining markets that we have ever been to. See for yourself.
The night market at Marrakech. A far cry from the daytime version.
The bottle game is a huge hit.
Scamming on the ladies and selling juice.
Ok, We KNEW we'd get some hassle for money just for watching the snake charmers... Ok. Fine, it's a must see. And people have to make a living right? Brian's biggest fear was that they would put a snake on him then ask him for money for it. Haha 2 of his worst nightmares.
Marrakech has a bad rap with some travelers. Some love it, some hate it. Not many find a middle ground. It's loud, busy, exciting and can certainly be a hassle if you don't get into it. Yes, people want money...for just about everything you look at, taste, photograph, touch, or even glance at. It's not all that different from any other third world country where everyone is poor. If you know going into it... It's easier to deal with. We loved it!