Marrakech Souks

January 27, 2013

Later that day we headed out to roam the souks, slowly making our way through the narrow passages towards Jemaa el-Fnaa square. Along the way we passed veiled women, clambering mule carts, and endless stalls. We could not help but stop to purchase handmade leather babouche slippers, Moroccan argon oil, spices, amber soaps and the most lovely silver trays, water decanters and brass lanterns. Though I must admit, haggling was part of the fun!

When we arrived at Jemaa el-Fnaa we were enchanted by the spectacle we saw before us. Fortune tellers, henna artists, singers, healers and fakirs all gathered in this cultural epicenter to entertain us. It reminded me of a fairy-tale like circus, very much what I had imagined as a child. It was magical. And when a snake charmer draped my neck with a serpent and cobra and told me I would receive baraka or good luck, I knew Marrakech and I were meant to be.

As the sun began to set over the square the real excitement began. This mysterious place became the land of Arabian fantasies. Troupes of costumed acrobats, storytellers, healers and other colorful characters dazzled us, as the air filled with the aromatic fumes from the food stands that quickly turned the square into a venue for alfresco dining.

The food is prepared hot and fresh along the many rows of countless food stalls. They are all wonderful, but stall #12 was our favourite serving up delicious shish kebabs, salads, Tajines and couscous. The entire square is dark with the exception of the gas lamps that light up the food vendors cooking area and illuminates the towers of greasy smoke sailing over the Jemaa. This was the perfect way to end off our first day in Marrakech, and as we returned to the Riad we were filled with a sense of childlike adventure and looked forward to tomorrow.

You Might Also Like