• Day11

    Morocco Day 11

    October 22, 2018 in Morocco ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Our last long bus ride today from Quarzazate to Marrakesh. The road leads through the High Atlas Mountains with lush, fertile valleys and small villages. The High Atlas Mountains are the longest mountain range in Africa and have 3 peaks over 12,000 ft. A very windy, mountain road up to the pass at ~7,000 ft and down the other side to Marrakesh. A couple stops for pictures, coffee and bathrooms.
    Arrived at the wonderful Jardin Koutoubia Hotel in the Medina of Marrakesh in time for a late lunch. Wonderful food, the restaurant at this hotel is listed on the fine dining restaurants of Marrakesh and it was easy to tell why. Lovely seating area by the pool with lush greenery, palm trees and very quiet in the courtyard.
    Time to unpack - again - and then Illene and I out to find a bank and a pharmacy. Had a successful walk not far from the hotel. Large group of people lined up on both sides of the street several blocks away clearly waiting for something. When we asked we were told that the king was coming. Morocco is a monarchy and the people love this king. We waiting as long as we could but never got to see the king. :-(
    Back for our first sojourn into the souk (shopping area/bazaar) of Marrakesh. So hard to describe. We walked for at least 1/2 hour past stalls and merchants selling any kind of wares. After all of that time, our guide said that we had probably seen only a very small part of the souk. We make our way to the famous square in the city - Jemaa el-Fnaa. The area is immense with hundreds of stalls all around, a huge "street food" area, hotels, cafes, and lots of open space. The square is busy from 10 in the AM to 3-4AM 24/7. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. As the sun goes down the entertainment in the square heats up and there is a carnival-like atmosphere. Belly dancers (tranvestites), snake charmers, Moroccan bands, henna tattoo stands, games for kids, gambling games, etc. You name it and it is there. A cacophony of sights and sounds. An amazing display of entertainment.
    We wandered on our own for an hour or so, Ilene and I bought some cheap travel technology - adapters and different types of plugs. I got a US to Europe 3 prong adapter for $2. :-) We all ate at one of the street food places, incredibly cheap and everything very fresh. back to our hotel for "after dinner" drinks.
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