Travel Notes: Marrakesh

Every Wednesday, I plan to post a look back at a place I’ve traveled, including some favorite photographs and memories. Today’s post is from my trip to Morocco in 2009.

If I had to use two words to describe Morocco, I’d go with “colorful” and “chaotic.” The colorful thing is undeniable – we were surrounded by beauty everywhere, from bright scarves to vibrant fruits to colorful earrings. The chaotic thing, however, is probably a matter of perspective. I traveled with my best friend, who was in the Peace Corps at the time – and I think she found Morocco to be incredibly orderly and clean compared to her host country (Mauritania). I, however, found Morocco a little overwhelming, especially compared to the places I had previously traveled (the whole “being followed around by random groups of men” thing? Not for me). Nonetheless, I loved the trip and when I look back at my photographs, I’m reminded of how vibrant the country is and of how many cool things we saw.

We started our trip in Marrakesh. Here’s a look back at some highlights:

Wandering through the souqs was so much fun – I especially loved seeing all the brightly-colored scarves. We were stopped many times by over-eager salesmen who’d wrap the scarves around us in futile efforts to get us to buy them. Okay, they were mostly-futile efforts; we did buy a few.

Djemaa al Fna is the main square of Marrakesh, and is always buzzing with activity. At night, food stalls and tables are erected in the square. One afternoon, we sat upstairs on the deck of a cafe and watched the construction in progress. It was fascinating:

Another cool thing in Djemaa al Fna? They have a bunch of stands selling dried fruits – I loved photographing all the different types for sale. We also made friends with a seller, who allowed my friend to climb into his booth for a photo op:

Another thing I loved seeing everywhere? Piles and piles of colorful and interesting spices:

We also visited Palais Bahia, which I loved for the colorful tiles and beautiful flowers everywhere:

Palais Badii, unless Palais Bahia, was more ruin-like. There weren’t decorations, but merely remnants of what once was. Still, it was vast, and quite interesting to explore.

Our Moroccan food essential was, undoubtedly, chicken tajine. It was my default meal when I didn’t know what else to order:

Also yummy? Chicken couscous:

And on the subject of completely non-gourmet food, my friend, desperate for a taste of the US, was elated when we found a McDonald’s at the train station in Marrakesh:

Our hotel in Marrakesh was lovely. Here’s a look down at the courtyard, where we ate our breakfasts and relaxed:

And a few other random bits and pieces of Marrakesh, like the Saadi Tombs:

Colorful ceramics and colorful flowers:

Moroccan money:

And a little love for tourists like ourselves:

Next week: we take an overnight train to Tangier!

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2 thoughts on “Travel Notes: Marrakesh

  1. What amazing photos – such a fun post! Morocco is on my MUST GO list and has been for years. Loved getting to see it through your camera lens. You really get such a neat sense of the place. Awesome post!

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