Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Marrakech Day 2 (7 Jan 09): Tourist in Marrakech

We started our second day with a guided tour of Marrakech. Our guide was the distinguished Mustafa, who was once a banker, but now toured people around the Medina that is visited by more than 8 million people each year. (By the way, the people from Morocco are pretty amazing - they know, by default, 3 official UN languages. They speak Arabic and French from childhood, and learn English in school.)

There was much to see in this pink city. We visited several souks (these are a leather based one and a metal based one):

here's a souk selling carpets:

and a store selling traditional herbs and spices:

We also went to see the fantastic Ben Youssef Medersa, a Quranic school established in the 14th century:
The Koubba El-Badiyin, the only surviving structure from the era of the Almoravids (from the twelfth century:
and the Musee de Marrakech:

At night, L and I climbed to the top of an outdoor cafe and gawked at the busy Jemaa El Fna, with its snake charmers and monkey peddlers, story tellers and make shift food shops. The Koutoubia Mosque is seen in the distance, the tallest point in Marrakech:

We ate at one of the make-shift stalls, and insofar as street food goes, the meal was pretty memorable:

Upon sitting down you're given bread, fresh tomatoes, pickled tomatoes and olives:

I had skewers, of which the sausage was the best:

And L had chicken couscous, which was really, really good:

We ended the meal with fabulous Moroccan Mint Tea, which I really couldn't get enough of:

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