The city of Marrakesh has many faces. The one most preferred by visitors is the one of glamorous and aristocratic oriental city that is a home of beautiful Moroccan villas (or riads as they call them here) belonging to French fashion designers or movie stars or even some members of royal families from other countries. This face of Marrakesh can be described with soft fabrics and bold colors, gold, and abundance. The medina in Marrakech is something different!
If you want to see the real life of Marrakesh you should visit its beating heart – the Medina. Medina means just town, but in our days it means the oldest part of Marrakesh. In a contrary with an opulent oriental portrait of the wealthy Marrakesh, the old part of the city is the place where you can see and taste the real Morocco because not everything is a luxury and 5-star hotels. As in every country, to know its culture you have to see how the simple people live. In the Medina, you can observe their daily life, work, bargaining, selling the production of their own hands. In the Medina, you will be probably chased by the locals as a tourist as they hope to make some money from you. The narrow streets are difficult for orientation and it is very possible that you will need help to find the way out or address of the riad where you are staying for the night. See how it looks and how it feels, especially a or woman visiting the country, to walk in the labyrinth of the Marrakesh’s Medina in these photos:
The main gate to the Medina welcomes you. Its name is Bab Agnaou and dates back to 12th century. Here was the official entry to the city when Marrakesh was fitting in within the Medina.
Walking on the streets of the Medina in Marrakesh. As a woman you should be very careful. The best is to be accompanied by a man, but even then should be cautious. Despite the relatively respectful attitude of the local men to women tourist, they use any opportunity to approach a foreign woman. Be distant and show confidence.
You can buy fresh vegetables and fruits in the Medina. The Moroccans are one of the best farmers in the world! The food is tasty, the vegetable production is still grown in a very natural any and many small producers are able to sell their production directly to the end client. In a contrary with the “developed” countries, here you can get salad that was brought from the garden the same morning. Freshly fresh!
More veggies in the Medina.
Even more veggies ….
Then it comes the fish…not my favorite.
And beans and grains…
Do you like dates? In Morocco there are between 30 and 45 dates’ varieties. On this picture there are at least 15.
The bread in Morocco is so tasty that I wanted to bring some with me back home.
You can have lunch at the Medina too. If you are like me, you will skip this. Really not looking hygienic and safe. But those who tasted it said that it is very tasty and in the same time cheap. Well, it is personal preference.
In the shops of the medina there are mainly male sellers
Orderly chaos is ruling the Medina
This is an open air job agency. Here you see people with different skills waiting for someone to give them job for the day.
Shop for chess boards and other wooden workings; you can see that they are handmade and not imported from China.
The traditional Moroccan baboosh slippers in different colors.
More traditional crafts on a display in medina of Marrakesh
Let’s not forget the spices without which the traditional Moroccan couscous will not have its savory flavor and aroma.
As I’ve said before, women should be very careful when walking in the medina. Cover your body even if it is hot and be respectful to the local customs.
Another of the numerous gates to the Medina
The people same as the cats enjoy the sun in the Medina
Marrakesh is called also “the pink city” because of the pink-ocher color of its buildings.
And the cats. As I wrote before, the cats in Morocco are very special creatures and reflect the individuality of the places that they inhabit.
If you have been in Morocco, what is the thing that you remember most clearly from your trip?
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