Marrakech is overwhelming to the senses– between the stifling heat, the intense smell of diesel fuel and spices like tumeric & cumin, and the primitive sounds of drums coming from the medina, it can seem intimidating. Just as in the movies, there are snake charmers and acrobats in the square. It’s not just the sights and the sounds that make Marrakech feel so different, but the fact that it is a Muslim country. As an observer of the Islamic faith, the dress code is very conservative. Men and women should wear loose fitting clothing and reveal very little skin. So, not only is it 95 degrees, which by Moroccan standards is considered pleasant (apparently the week before the weather was 110 degrees), but most women are fully covered. I’ve been to marrakech once before about 8 years ago, and the feeling of stepping into another world was the same then as it is today.
This time around though, I was much more adventurous and ate at the outside foodstalls. Right in the Medina full of a hundred or so different food stalls to choose from. We had tagine (12 dirham), eggplant(5), kebabs(25), lentil soup(6), spiced olives(5) and of course, Morocco would not be complete with out its mint tea (1). Eight Dirham equals one dollar. Even though it might seem like a recipe for an upset stomach, we mostly stuck to the things that were either boiled or fried. We also did not try the lamb`s head sandwich and wash it down with the communal cup passed around with unfiltered water.
While in Marrakech, we walked through the markets and went to the few sites in the city: the Katoubia, Bab Agnou, and the Saadien Tombs. Probably the highlight of the trip was our day trip to the Atlas Mountains. We did a short 4 km trek through several Berber villages, including Imlil.