Sunday, July 30, 2017

19 يوم - Marrakech

This is one of my favorite pictures from all of Morocco, taken just steps from our riad.

We canceled our guide in the medina today so we have another day to walk around and do a little shopping.  Since guides get commission from the shops for bringing in clients/tourists/suckers the prices are always higher, so it is better without one.  Marrakech has wider streets and some signage, so it is possible without a guide (unlike Fez).  It is still a maze so when we felt like a street wasn't going anywhere or like we wouldn't be able to easily find our way out, we would just stop and backtrack.  It worked for us!

Morocco feels like a different world. 

Jewelry shop owners prove that the objects are real silver (versus plated or another metal) with an acid test.  The real stuff is on the right, supposedly.  Sometimes you just have to have faith that what you are hearing is true. It sounded and looked good.

It has taken a lot of energy dealing with the old school ways of negotiating prices in Morocco because the prices they claim are so high that they are never reduced enough to make a purchase worth the money, but I figured out a trick.  You just have to wear them down.  You spend enough time in their shop (hours!) looking at everything, talking about all the pieces and their individual prices, that they don't want to waste their time having you leave.  You don't get mad about the prices or their learned behaviors for making sales, you just keep saying the price you are willing to pay and eventually, if you are lucky, you don't get completely ripped off and you have some pieces you like.  
And that, my friends, is the definition of democracy.  

Okay, this picture is pretty spectacular too, if I don't mind saying so myself.

We found delicious artisan ice cream for a good deal in Jemaa el-Fnaa, Marrakech's main square.  It must be really good ice cream because in order to eat it inside you have to go through a metal detector.

At 77 meters tall, built in the 12 century, Koutoubia is the largest mosque in Marrakech.

Eric doesn't like that I can make Morocco seem so beautiful in pictures, but I can't help it.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the one who be holding the camera.

Today is our last night in Marrakech, and our last night in Morocco in general, therefore the last time that I will ever hear a call to prayer in person.  
Luckily, video does do it justice.

1 comment:

  1. That call to prayer was haunting. Thank you for including the video. It totally helps us understand. Wow.

    My fav photo is the one with the umbrella, too.

    This reminded me of China, "Since guides get commission from the shops for bringing in clients/tourists/suckers the prices are always higher."

    This is a part of the world I will never visit, so thank you for sharing it with me.


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