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Marrakech: We Rock the Casbah

I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there.
I smell the garden in your hair.
Take the train from Casablanca going south,
blowing smoke rings from the corners of my m m m m mouth.
Colored cottons hang in the air,
charming cobras in the square.
Striped jellebas we can wear at home.
Well, let me hear ya now.

- Crosby, Stills & Nash

Nestled near the panoramic snow capped Atlas Mountains, Marrakech appeals, quite literally, to all your senses. You are lost in a mecca of exotica.  Laura nd I visted Marrakech with Fiby, Jon and Candie July 3-7, 1994.

Like many North African cities, the city of Marrakech comprises both an old fortified city (the medina) and an adjacent modern city (called Gueliz). Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna or Square of the Dead.The square bustles with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, snake charmers, fireeaters, coal-walkers, dancers, and musicians. By night food stalls open in the square turning it into a huge busy open-air restaurant.  Below, I’m in Djemaa el Fna apprenticing with a snake charmer.  

Marrakech is known as the red city or rose city because its pink-tinted buildings reflect the light like a rose quarts gem. Below, Candie and I take an afternoon stroll through the Gueliz with Bab Agnaou city gate in the background.

Inside the medina, Laura and I get local with some prêt-à-porter jellabas.

Catwalking, baby!

In fact, the whole group ditches their western garb for some local threads. from left to right: Fiby, Jon, Candie, Lou and the guy who got really upset when we didn’t actually buy these jellabas.

Our friend Ramon, who lives in Marrakech, took us to the Oasis for some nighttime entertainment.

 

Laura rides a Moroccan pony (below).

 

We stayed at the Marrakech Club Med, a trophy property in the heart of Marrakech on the Djemaa el Fna.  We made friends with several of the O.G.’s (Gentil Organisateur), the Club Med employees.  Below, Laura transforms into a human beatbox while Marrakech’s O.G. G.O. busts some rhymes. Can you dig it?  

While Laura is making friends with the O.G.’s, Candie and I befriend some of our linguistically challenged primate cousins.

 

Marrakech is a unique city that plays upon all your senses: the smells of spice and mint, the richly colored mosaics and the symphony of Djemaa el Fna provide a hypnotic retreat from which you never entirely leave.

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1 Response to " Marrakech: We Rock the Casbah "

  1. [...] is slow, walking down the narrow alleys as donkeys laden with goods climb up. As in the souks of Marrakech, certain areas are for certain products and the most amazing were the food stalls, an endless path [...]

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