Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sights of Marrakech, part 2

Varieties of Olives in the Medina

Snake Charmer
After our visit to the Berbers in the Atlas Mountains, we returned to the downtown, medina area of Marrakech. There is a famous square or place where all sorts of wares are sold, and it is also a place for snake charmers, monkey trainers and other such shenanigans. As one enters, one is immediately accosted if one takes a photo of anyone. You have to pay to take a photo!

I did not know this rule, snapped a picture of a water seller, and loped off to see some other oddity. The water seller hounded me, and when I wouldn't give him anything, he began hounding my three fellow traveling companions. He eventually gave up, and I began taking pictures on the sly.

Water Seller
The marketplace was very colorful and busy. Vendors were selling traditional Moroccan clothing, shoes, leather goods, and fruits, cookies and olives. It was a visual feast with odd and sometimes nasty odors. I really enjoyed all the brightly colored fabrics, shoes, dresses and leather purses. I have tried to capture some of what I saw in the pictures below. 

Along with the throng of people on foot, one could also take a carriage ride just like in old Williamsburg. There were perhaps twenty-five to fifty horse-drawn carriages waiting to be used standing at the entrance to this historic tourist area. 

I was thankful we had spent the bulk of our day up in the mountains. Although there were silly souvenirs along the road as we were ascending the mountains, they didn't seem nearly so overwhelming as at the square.

Traditional Shoes
I did purchase a couple of odd shaped silky pantaloons. They look a bit like a balloon shaped skirt, but they are actually pants. Some of my fellow teachers use them for work, so I thought I'd give it a try. 

I don't think I'll be wandering around in the traditional pointy shoes....they slip on and off, and I fear we are headed for the rainy season, therefore, boots might be a wiser choice.

Beautiful Fabrics

Leather Purses and Hats

Berber Rugs for Sale.
As we headed back to our hotel, we looked forward to a quiet evening at the restaurant and then heading off to bed. Our guide suggested we return to the medina for the evening festivities, but we declined. I'd seen so much in this one day. I had plenty to think about!

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