Will and Mayang's Travels - Morocco, October 2004

We arrived in Marrakesh at night and immediately set to work sampling the culinary delights of the main square (Djeema el Fna).

marrakesh square

Mayang tried some snails but I was too scared.
mayang eats snails

During the daytime, we also regularly drank fresh orange from one of the many orange vendors.

A lot of the fun in Marrakesh is wandering endlessly round the market (souk) and seeing the many colourful and interesting sights.

We bought some spices and herbs...

We also bought some sickly sweet 'bonbons' from this very friendly vendor who let Mayang join him in his colourful shop.  Since it was Ramadan, we had to wait until nighttime to taste them!

The inhabitants of Marrakesh are very friendly.  On the street it's mainly young men, they are all much taller than the older people.  One guy in particular was huge, and we had a laugh taking his picture next to Mayang.  Look how he's even bending his legs to lower himself down!

After a while we decided to leave the safety of Marrakesh and go exploring round the country.  We saw lots of variety, such as tiny bridges over mountain streams:

and cactus forests:

Many of the villages are made from the same rock and mud as the hills they stand on.  They blend in beautifully:

We stayed overnight in a hotel in an amazing, deep gorge.  In the morning, I was lucky to see this woman with her flock of goats.  As I took the picture, it all became totally symmetrical (I'm quite smug about this picture!)

Then it was time for us to go towards the Sahara desert, near to the border with Algeria.  The road got more and more arid:

Finally we were staying in an isolated hotel next to the sand dunes at the edge of the Sahara.  We had a look around the neighbouring villages, driven by the friendly guy (Hamid) who ran the hotel in his land rover.

We also went to visit a village populated by black Africans, who sang us some amazing music as we sat in their mud house!  It was such fun, and we even managed to buy a recording of their music to bring back with us (it's not to everybody's taste, though).

Then we took a camel ride right into the Sahara, where we stayed overnight, sleeping under the stars.  Because of the time of year, it wasn't too hot.  We did have to wait until a sand storm ended before we could start, though.

After the Sahara, we went to Meknes and saw an old Roman town called Volubilis, built around 100AD.

After that it was back to Marrakesh to meet my mum who was flying out briefly.  She got a ring custom made by a small man working out of an even smaller shop.  With mum, Mayang, the shopkeeper and myself in the shop, there was barely room to move.  But he had all his jewellery equipment in there somewhere!

Finally, almost 4 weeks after we arrived, it was time to take a last picture in the hotel (covered, like all Moroccan hotels, in tiles from floor to ceiling) before we flew home.

For some panoramic photos of Morocco, see http://www.willsmith.org/pano/morocco/
Or go back to Mayang's and Will's Travels.

All pictures and other media are Copyright ©2004 William Owen Smith and Mayang Adnin.