Thursday 4 March 2010

A tale of Marrakech part 1

There is much to be said about the red city of Marrakech, one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and by far my favourite city. It is a bustling city, colourful and enchanting. Its greatest achievement might be its modernisation without the loss of old traditions which are still very much alive.

The medina (old fortified city) is a place for wandering endlessly and to be seduced into believing that all is scenic and intriguing. The adjacent modern city Gueliz has developed an unexpected splendour with its trendy restaurants and brand stores. But it is not all praise. Marrakech is also a turbulent, noisy, polluted and an exhausting city.

Lately we only visit the city with a busy schedule of appointments and lists of things we need to find but Marrakech seems to sabotage hurried visits. The appalling traffic, aggressive hassling of sellers and determined beggars require a sense of humour and an easy going state of mind. Most of all you need time, a flexible attitude and you might as well leave at home your stress and time bound schedule because Marrakech simply doesn’t allow it.

Today an early appointment at the Toyota garage in the city left us carless and with a whole day to spend randomly in Marrakech. We strolled from Gueliz to the medina, submitted to the embracement of the city and once again our eyes opened to its colour and vibrant life.

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