A North African city with a rich culture, Morocco’s
Marrakech has enough to appeal to the discerning traveller. Our presenter is eager to show you around his
home town as we walk through the old town or ‘Medina’ (square, as it is
commonly called) and the little narrow market or souks. Arabic language learners will
enjoy the insight into Moroccan culture and also get to practise their language skills as they interact with shopkeepers with help from our bi-lingual guide.
The tour begins at the Jemaa el-Fna a lively open-air square
where hawkers, snake charmers, storytellers, and dancers could be spotted until
before the pandemic. Today, too, the square is full of life and you can still
spot the odd water seller who attracts people with his bell and a bright red
attire and colourful hat. The square is lined by plenty of shops and the odd
minaret that stands high above the rest, with nearly 14 mosques in the Medina.
Although most of the buildings are Moroccan, evidence of French colonisation
remains strongly in the building that houses Café de France, which was where
French soldiers would gather socially. Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and novelist
George Orwell are among the many celebrities who have visited this little café.
We then move away from the Medina and into its narrower
alleys to see some of the little restaurants that sell Tanjia – a slow-cooked
meat stew made with fire. The market is frequented by the locals who shop for
delicious olives available in green, black, red and yellow varieties or fresh
mint leaves used in the traditional Moroccan mint tea. Moroccan tiles have
found their way in many architect’s portfolios, and they can easily be seen on
the floors and ceilings of most of the little shops.
Our guide then takes us through Semmarine Souk, where you
can find a myriad of things like the famous Moroccan ceramic ware (including
pots, plates, tiles), metal jewellery, brass handmade lamps, pretty scarves,
woollen hats and wooden souvenirs among a plethora of other items.
P.S.: Remember to ask why it’s called the red