Inside the Medina

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The first thing you learn about staying in the heart of the Medina is that, chances are, your luggage will be carted through the entire square for the world to see.

L1150071Seriously. Joan Collins on safari.

L1150075Luckily, the locals barely bat an eye (though as you can see, I’m walking 20 paces behind, carrying a big bag of mortification)

L1020791Needless to say, I get more comfortable with the concept in a day or two.

Here for a good time not a long time as they say.

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 5.26.58 PMThe souk is every bit the cacaphonic (poetic license) symphony of sounds, sights & smells I had expected.

It’s a lot to absorb in just a couple of days

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 3.46.08 PMScreen Shot 2013-03-19 at 3.45.49 PMBut although wildly animated, the market never really felt overwhelming.

For that we extend a big thank you to Maryam Montague from My Marrakech blog who (literally) wrote the book on Marrakech Style.

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 Maryam accompanied us for the better part of two days, helping us to explore the city and plow through our “To Do” list with considerable grace.

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Thank you Maryam for our “Insider’s tour” through Marrakech!

Truly, I couldn’t imagine navigating this city and it’s souks without the aid of someone who really knows their way around.

890A6419A rare peaceful moment-Friday afternoon when most of the dealers are attending Mosque.

890A6499And what’s a trip to Morocco without a little rug shopping?!

890A6595We took Maryam’s advice and walked out into the main square of the medina on our last night in Marrakech to experience the party that apparently happens every night!

890A6600What’s really great? For the most part the revellers are the local Moroccans who obviously know how to have a good time.

890A6615Fresh escargot anyone?

According to Maryam the food is extremely fresh and safe. Food stands are entirely dismantled at evening’s end and all left over food is disposed of.

890A6613Here, a rowdy and obviously popular game of fishing for soda bottles.

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890A6594And here, pretty much anything to cure what ails you.

There was even a man(woman?) who was ready to yank out your aching tooth (with a whacking great pile of previous customer’s teeth to prove it) but he/she didn’t look too photo friendly 🙁

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As the vendors dismantled their kiosks for the night, we wandered back towards our riad, our breath visible in the cold night air, the first call to prayer in the early morning hours not too far off

and visions of breakfast dancing in our heads…

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Almond soup with argan oil, Moroccan pancakes, fresh orange juice infused with orange blossom and good strong coffee.

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All Photos Slim Paley

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45 Comments

  1. oh Slim – so beautiful and evocative. I would have been scoffing those escargots like no-one’s business. Please do a post showing us the rug scarves little tiles textiles which I just know you bought. I am off to Tanzania in June. A bit further south and although its for work I hope to find a little time gap so that I can check out the markets. The best way to get a feel for the locals I think. xo

    • Have you been to Tanzania before? Our family went on Safari several years ago. Hands down our favourite family vacation (so far)

  2. Thanks so much for “taking us along” on your wonderful trip! I was in Morocco many years ago on a high school trip. It was a very memorable adventure, as it seems so is yours. Safe travels back to Cali.
    Kelly

  3. Wonderful! Love seeing two of my favorite lifestyle and design writers together in the amazing, vibrant Medina! Did you make it to Peacock Pavillions? Looking forward to more gorgeous photos and fun accounts of your adventures!

  4. You are a traveling all-star, all smiles and all. I would be worried with a funky tummy, etc., oh how I wish I could be a merrier traveler to exotic locales! I think you are wise to have a guide, it’s easier, right? I think you got the gold star treatment! I loved seeing your smiles in the photos!

  5. WOW! Look at all those bright colors! I love the luggage…….never know when you will need something so better take it all!! Glad you are having a great time……..thanks for the great photos. I hope you explain the soda bottle fishing thing as I didn’t understand it.

    • I didn’t really get a firm grip on it either. Not sure if they just won the bottle of soda, or something else for landing the soda.

  6. Slim, I no longer get your blogs. My daughter sent this to me because I turned her on to you and they just got back from Morocco. Please have your staff or whoever adjust your list to include me. I have two emails:
    Lmagidsohn@yahoo.com and or magidsohnl@yahoo.com.
    I LIVE FOR YOUR BLOGS AND ADORE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU, YOU ARE MY ALL TIME FAV! MY INSPIRATION!
    LOVE, LESLIE

    • Thank you Leslie!
      Unfortunately, I have neither staff, or the ability to sign you up for the email subscription on my end-it has to be done from your computer. You should see a grey “FOLLOW ME” tab on the right hand side of my blog. Click on that and fill in your email address. WordPress will send you a confirmation email-just click on that and you should be set up.

  7. Marrakech Express! What a trip! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos. The food, textiles, display of blue glasses, lanterns. Beautiful and mouth watering breakfast…would love to try the almond soup with argan oil!

  8. You are a dangerous woman Slim… your posts make me want to pack up and take off… I have been to Morocco but thinking back about the souk makes me want to rush to the airport now and take a plane to Marrakech… just to fill my eyes with some of that lively heart warming chaos…

    Your trip looks wonderful… xv

  9. Such fun! Love the Akbar embroidered coat in the first few shots. Hope to see some of your treasures in the upcoming photo updates. Truly a vicarious trip for me. Thank you for sharing as you do so well.
    MH

  10. You’ve just taken me back in time to the year I visited Morocco. If only I had not been young and frightened. I’d enjoy all of this so much more now. With age comes appreciation and a braver heart! Maybe I need to go back! Thanks for this post. It stirs my creativity, which I need today!

  11. Ooh la la, you are so close and yet so far!! Vicki is right (maybe I should kidnap her and we can run off to meet you?) this is sheer torture…But of the best kind. 🙂
    And *prepare yourself for sincere corniness* I really, really do think that you need to have a television program of your own for your travels…non? Slim’s World?
    Happy trails!

  12. I look forward to your blog with anticipation! You take us places I probably will never see. Just a gentle reminder:
    it’s=it is.
    Its is the possessive.

    Thank you for sharing your adventures.

  13. Your post from Marrakech has brought back my wonderful memories of our family trip there in 2007 with our two 20 something daughters.(If you pay, they will come). We stayed in a riad deep in the Medina for several nights. We used a guide the first day, but followed meekly behind our daughters who grasped the twists and turns of the Medina better than the parents.We were also happy to let them do the talking, since their high school French was extremely useful. We rarely saw any other Americans and many shopkeepers did not speak English. We were not experienced travelers at all, but we had the most fabulous time being totally out of our comfort zone – a lesson learned.

  14. Slim-
    My husband and I did the Marrakech/Essaouira/Ouarzazete trip last February, and while we’ve been blessed to travel to many wonderful, exotic locales, I’m sure that this was our favorite. Thank you very much for allowing us to relive it through your wonderful pictures!
    Love your blog! Thanks for taking the time to compose it…
    Nancy

  15. These posts have been wonderful! I’ve had Morocco popping up in my life a lot lately but only in reading. First, caught up on Laurie R. King’s Garment of Shadows, then read Suzanna Clarke’s A House in Fez, followed by Slim’s wonderful travelogue! What a treat! Now I plan to delve into Maryam’s blog and book! So much of Morocco reminds me of places and things I have seen in New Mexico. Connections, connections…

  16. The electricity and energy of this place jumped off the page! The colors and the culture. And how adorable are you? You look like a kid in a candy shop! Thanks, as ever, for sharing!

  17. Wow! What amazing photos to share your “Indiana Jones” adventure. The colors and people
    are so vibrant. Did you see any snake charmers? And please share with us some of the things you
    did purchase…the rugs and brass lanterns are beautiful!

  18. Slim,
    You are my travel muse.Your photos of Marrakech have been the best yet. The suitcase thing was too funny. It would be awkward! Can’t wait to hear what you bought. Loving these posts!

    xx
    Kim

  19. It looks like a truly memorable journey… I look forward to your posts – such beautiful photographs! Safe travels.

  20. Argan oil and almond YUM!… i want to try to juice some of my blood oranges and infuse it with the blossoms that are blooming as we speak…..i wish this was a scratch and sniff blog 🙂 TTFN! be safe grasshopper ….

  21. I can not wait for my trip to Morocco in November. I ordered Maryam’s book and will email her. Where did you stay? Will you be writing another post about your trip? I can not get enough.

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