September 25, 2015

Marrakech - Walking in The Red City



I have been dreaming of going to Marrakech for a long time now and this year, I finally got to visit for my birthday. Never have I been in a more intriguing and colorful place. 


Badi Palace - Badi means incomparable. In its day, the grounds were paved with gold, crystal and turquoise. Now it lies in ruins.    


Marrakech is called "The Red City" because all the buildings are painted in various shades of red or salmon pink. It is against the law to paint them any other color.


The old part of town, the Medina, is composed of labyrinthine cobbled streets with no names.  They just twist and turn under wooden slats that keep out the hot sun.


Piles of firewood outside a house means it belongs to a baker.


Every street has carts of beautiful vegetables or herbs or fruit for sale.    


Donkeys are a common sight on the streets of Marrakech, traveling right alongside cars and motorcycles.


The dyers market, where freshly dyed skeins of wool are hung from the ceiling .   



A caleche





Djemaa El Fna is the vast square in the heart of the medina. Music beats here night and day. It is a frenzied outdoor theater of snake charmers, chained monkeys, peddlers, storytellers, dancers, musicians, acrobats...    


When the sun goes down, the food stalls go up. This is my soup guy. Every night he would serve me harira soup for about 30 cents.


Berber musicians



I always made sure to be covered from neck to foot, usually wrapping myself in colorful scarves.


Proper footwear is very important. The streets of Marrakech, especially in the medina, are cobblestoned and the passageways of the souks are often wet because merchants are constantly cleaning in front of their markets by tossing a bucket of water on the ground. 
When the proprietor of the riad where I was staying saw my boots, she nodded in approval, saying that I wore the perfect shoes for walking around in the Red City.

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